Mr. Koehler is a nationally recognized award-winning journalist, fiction writer and poet whose essays and columns have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines and on public radio and the Internet.
His weekly column, Common Wonders, is intensely political without being trapped in partisan politics. It is about values and meaning, back-lit with reverence for life, exploring emotional territory journalism often avoids but readers hunger to read about. Mr. Koehler brings his craft and knowledge to students of his “Peace Journalism” class at De Paul University.
Robert is also a board member of Transcendence Global Media, NFP the non-profit that presents the annual Peace On Earth Film Festival. Our mission in-part is to encourage and support filmmakers to continue in the genre of peace-filmmaking.
Whether the film is a documentary or narrative the key to its success is a good story.
We have reached out to Robert C Koehler and the works of his Peace Journalism students, for a taste of a good story in the genre of peace.
The Directors of the Peace On Earth Film Festival, along with the Board of Directors of Transcendence Global Media, NFP, are pleased to announce that the 2016 Peace On Earth Film Festival, will be presented in partnership with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and will take place in the historic Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater, beginning Thursday, March 3, through Sunday, March 6, 2016.
The 8th Annual Peace On Earth Film Festival (POEFF) celebrates and supports independent filmmakers and their work from around the world on the themes of peace, nonviolence, social justice and eco-balance: films within the various modalities of peace genre. Taking place at the historic Chicago Cultural Center, in the heart of Chicago’s world-renowned theater district, POEFF aims to contribute to a culture of peace through international cinema, dialogue and programming highlighting individuals on the vanguard of peace activism and social change.
Presenting a program of multi-faceted films, POEFF focuses on reshaping attitudes, encouraging and highlighting nonviolent practices, and opening minds to the possibility of communication, consideration, tolerance and understanding. POEFF features an Opening Night Press Gala, Filmmakers’ Panel discussions, Peacemakers’ Panel, discussions and a Closing Night Awards Ceremony where exhibiting filmmakers are honored, and category winners receive accolades and cash prizes.
Call for Submissions
Submissions for the 2016 Peace On Earth Film Festival will commence on June 10, 2015, and run through September 30, 2015. For further details see: Guidelines for Submissions.
Beyond the Divide (USA, 85 min)
- Directed & Produced by Jan Selby
Fifty years ago, an enduring divide began between those who served in Vietnam and those who fought a different war at home. Through the courageous acts of a Vietnam veteran and a peace advocate in Missoula, Montana, BEYOND THE DIVIDE illuminates a path to healing old wounds while reimagining peace.
Bîranînên lí der kevírî (Memories on Stone) (Germany, 97 min)
- Directed by Shawkat Amin Korki
- Produced by Mehmet Aktas
After Saddam Hussein’s loss of power in Iraq, childhood friends Hussein and Alan decide to produce a film about the ‘Al Anfal’ Kurdish genocide. But making a film in post war Kurdistan is not easy. And the most difficult task seems to be finding a leading actress. Suddenly they find her: Sinor, young and beautiful – and passionate about their project.
However, she is not allowed to decide on her own. Her cousin and her uncle, his father, control her fate. As they run out of money and time, Hussein and Alan sacrifice everything to keep on filming.
Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story (USA, 57 min)
- Directed by Robert Gardner
Throughout the 1930’s, an unimaginable evil tore through Europe, as Hitler’s Third Reich terrorized its way to domination. During these tumultuous times, a young Muslim woman living in Paris found her calling. Noor Inayat Khan grew up in a home that fostered faith and hope. Leading with her heart, she overcame her quiet nature and joined Winston Churchill’s covert operation to give the allies a new chance at victory. This is her story.
A Story About Rain (Israel, 19 min)
- Directed by Bracha Yaniger
- Produced by Achva Herstik
In a world without rain, a couple discovers that they have the power to create water. This ability increases the man’s status in the world and creates distance between him and his wife
Inside Peace (USA, 77 min)
- Directed & Produced by Cynthia Fitzpatrick
Criminal offenders, plagued by a lifetime of violence, addiction and bad choices, find their way to the Peace Class in a Texas prison where they struggle to change, discover their humanity and try to beat the odds, as they put their lives back together from the inside out.
Exposé Award: to recognize the achievement of filmmakers in short and/or feature length, whose film exposes significant and life-altering issues that have previously been given little attention or notice in the world.
City of the Damned (USA, 16 min)
- Directed & Produced by Nate Skeen, Matt Rogers & Mor Albalak
City of the Damned focuses on LGBT rights in the face of the “kill the gays” anti-homosexuality bill, which became effective in February 2014. Although the death penalty was withdrawn from the bill due in large part to international pressure, public opinion remains the biggest threat to the Ugandan LGBT community. Youth on Rock Foundation (YRF), a Ugandan non-governmental organization, is fighting against stigma by promoting economic empowerment among its members. Najib, YRF’s treasurer, sells clothes in Uganda’s largest market. He aims to prove that his sexuality does not define
him; his respect for life, his determination for equality, and his aspirations to become a lawyer do.
For Francis (USA, 15 min)
- Directed by Angelique Letizia
Francis is a seven year old boy who loves dresses. When his teacher makes Francis a dress, his father Matt becomes enraged. Fearing the worst, Matt is forced to face his own fears and to choose between protecting his son from an intolerant world, or allowing the boy to live truthfully.
Anonymous: Giving A Voice to the Voiceless (USA, 6 min)
- Directed by Joshua Rosario
A short documentary centered on a group of young women who are telling each of their dark stories of being sexually assaulted and having been living in fear since there’s no escape from the past but as time progresses, these girls are showing to people that they are strong and they have a voice that needs to be heard. They are not anonymous.