2019 POEFF Announced and Call for Submissions

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 2019 Peace On Earth Film Festival, Friday, March 8th, through Sunday, March 10th, 2019, will be hosted by the newly renovated Davis Theater in Lincoln Park, Chicago.

Submissions for the 2019 POEFF will commence on Sunday, June 10 and run through September 23, 2018. We are proud to announce our continued relationship with submission partners Withoutabox and FilmFreeway.

For further details see: Guidelines for Submissions.

The 11th 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. 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 and Peacemakers’ Panel discussions and a Closing Night Awards Ceremony and after-party where exhibiting filmmakers are honored, and category winners receive accolades and cash prizes.

Submit Your Film

2018 POEFF Best of Fest Winners

The Field (Israel, 73 min)

  • Directed by Mordechai Vardi
Ali Abu Awwad, a charismatic leader whose autobiography tells a story that normally produces a bitter hardened enemy, began the “Roots” project in the winter of 2014 when he met a settler named Shaul Judelman, and they built together a partnership of peace activists. A joint grass roots project of Palestinians and Israeli settlers meet on the homestead of Ali for meaningful dialogue to find a way to live together in the hope of a better future.

Perception: From Prison to Purpose (USA, 40 min)

  • Directed by Jonathan Reed
In 2009, Noah Schultz was arrested for attempted murder sentenced and incarcerated for seven years. Pushed to better himself and to challenge our perceptions of what it means to be an inmate, Noah took advantage of every program, workshop and educational service provided. From gang member and drug dealer, to college grad, author, and TEDx speaker. Noah’s determination and spirit have launched him to success; and he continues to advocate for programs in youth correctional facilities, and hopes to achieve reform of our prison systems nation’s widespread.

Not One of Us (USA, 9 min)

  • Directed by Bill Jarcho
When a brutish band of clay-morphing meanies invades and conquers a tribe of peaceful natives, their callous actions escalate to a shocking finale. Not One of Us serves as an ominous warning about the perils of building walls in the name of greed, violence, and xenophobia.

Hurria (USA, 15 min)

  • Directed by Travis Rush
A refugee father struggles to escape with his daughter out of war torn Syria before IS fighters attack their camp.

The Arcade Creek Project: A Mosaic of Sustainability (USA, 30 min)

  • Directed by Jierel Almario
The story of a small, deteriorated creek and one group of high schoolers and their teachers and advisor efforts to bring it back to its natural beauty from over a hundred years ago.

Voices Not Heard: The Climate Fight of Malaysian Youth (USA, China, 40 min)

  • Directed by Scott Brown
As climate change begins to wreak havoc, especially on the world’s developing nations, a 23-year-old Malaysian activist travels to Paris to represent young people from countries like his at the COP21 climate negotiations. His journey to discover his role as an activist on a global stage, to speak up for the underrepresented Global South, and to continue fighting now in the face of U.S. President Trump’s abandonment of the Paris Agreement, provides insight into the world of international climate negotiations and activism that is rarely reported to the public.

The Secret Fatwa (USA, 55 min)

  • Directed by Delnaz Abadi
‘The Secret Fatwa’ uncovers a crime unknown to the world and unique in the history of state crimes. In 1988 the Islamic Republic of Iran in a modern day medieval inquisition and religious purging, sent to death 4,000 political prisoners. Filmmaker, Delnaz Abadi, reaches out to former political prisoners who had fled Iran to uncover this horrific story.

Un Besito Más (One More Kiss) (USA, 6 min)

  • Directed by Simón Brand
The emotionally-charged visual follows the harrowing narrative of one family’s undocumented journey and their sudden, tragic separation. The visual is a tribute to fellow Latinos – beyond any border. It’s an emotional narrative and only one of thousands of stories lived daily in the US


Student Voices for Peace Awards
Selected by over 250 6th through 12th graders.

Exposé Awards
Recognizes short and feature documentaries that expose a subject that has received little or no media or public attention, but that shares a potent message and a clear demonstration that change is needed.

2018 POEFF Selections

The Directors of the Peace On Earth Film Festival, along with the Board of Directors of Transcendence Global Media, NFP, are pleased to announce the Selected Films for the 10th Annual Peace On Earth Film Festival (POEFF) presented March 9th – March 11th, at the newly renovated Davis Theater, in Lincoln Square – Chicago.

The 34 international films of the 2018 POEFF celebrate the work of filmmakers from around the world – 11 different countries – on the themes of peace, nonviolence, social justice and eco-balance: films within the various modalities of peace genre. 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.

View All 2018 Peace On Earth Film Festival Film Selections

2018 Peace On Earth Film Festival

Submissions for the 10th Annual Peace On Earth Film Festival are now closed.

Thank you to filmmakers worldwide that submitted their powerful and courageous works with us.

We will announce Official Selections into the 2018 Peace On Earth Film Festival on or about December 10th.

The 10th Annual Peace On Earth Film Festival (POEFF) will be held at the newly renovated Davis Theater in Lincoln Square (Chicago, IL) from Friday, March 9 through Sunday, March 11, 2018.

Join us to celebrate and support 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. Join us, as we aim to contribute to a culture of peace through international cinema, dialogue and programming highlighting individuals on the vanguard of peace activism and social change.

POEFF presents a program of multi-faceted films, focused 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, Peacemakers’ Panel, and One on One discussions with filmmakers and activists, and a Closing Night Awards Ceremony where exhibiting filmmakers are honored, and category winners receive accolades and cash prizes.

Discover that “Peace is Reel” and documented as doable.

2018 POEFF Call for Submissions

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 2018 Peace On Earth Film Festival, coming in mid-March at a venue in Chicago.

Submissions for the 2018 POEFF will commence on Tuesday, June 20 and run through September 20, 2017. We are proud to announce our continued relationship with FilmFreeway and Withoutabox submission partners for the 2018 Peace On Earth Film Festival. For further details see: Guidelines for Submissions.

Submit Your Film

2017 POEFF Best of Fest Winners

Beyond the Wall (USA, 75 min)

  • Directed by Jenny Phillips & Bestor Cram
Through the personal stories of six former prisoners documented over four years, Beyond the Wall bears witness to the challenges of life on the outside. Our characters are in transition; they must relinquish their old lives and build new ones often with little help from the criminal justice system. This film is an intimate portrait of their struggle, their reentry, relapse, recovery and redemption.

Mango Dreams (USA, India, 93 min)

  • Directed by John Upchurch
Hindi Dr. Amit Singh (Ram Gopal Bajaj) survived the British partition of India; yet, cannot shake the trappings of dementia. Salim (Pankaj Tripathi), is a Muslim auto rickshaw driver whose wife was raped and burned to death by Hindu rioters. Now the journey of a thousand miles will heal bitter cultural wounds and forge an unforgettable friendship.

Three Boats (three documentary poems) (USA, 12 min)

  • Directed by Irina Patkanian
An intimate look into the eyes of bewildered children – refugees of Syria. Children account for One-third of the 4.8 million total refugees since Jan 2015.

iWITNESS (Greece, 8 min)

  • Directed by Georgios Mastrakoulis
A man is assaulted by a group of young men. The assault is recorded, the video goes viral – an instant hit. Life through a lens proves to be far more engaging than the real thing, and an exposé of cyber voyeurism.

A Bold Peace (USA, Costa Rica, 90 min)

  • Directed by Matthew Eddy & Michael Dreiling
Costa Rica’s civil war in 1948 shook the country to its foundations, culminating in the decision to abolish the military. From there, they intentionally cultivated security relationships with other nations through treaties, international laws, and international organizations; they created a vital democracy, a wide middle class, and a strong welfare state with free university education and universal health care. Over the last 68 years, the Costa Rican model has survived several serious crises, but the current threats may be the most formidable of all.

The Little Dictator (Israel, 29 min)

  • Directed by Nurith Cohn
An uncharismatic history lecturer of totalitarian leaders, on the Sabbath weekend celebrating the 90th birthday of his wife’s grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, is forced to confront history, family and self.

Dividing Line of Chicago (USA, 9 min)

  • Directed by Students from Free Spirit Media at North Lawndale College Prep
Students of Free Spirit Media–North Lawndale College Prep Chicago youth see their city as diverse; but also see it as segregated.

Ubuntu: The Peace Exchange in South Africa (USA, S. Africa, 14 min)

  • Produced by Chad Rispalje & Jessica Work (Free Spirit PRO)
Students of Chicago’s violence-plagued neighborhoods travel to S. Africa in 2016, 22 years after apartheid, to prepare to become the Peace Builders needed in their communities.


Student Voices for Peace Awards
Student Voices for Peace Showcases are held on Thursday (middle school) and Friday (high school) mornings of the festival. The students screen Official Selections that the POEFF Teacher Advisory Panel has recommended to the festival directors for students in 7th – 12th grades. The students share dialogue on each film then cast their votes for the Student Choice Award for Most Inspiring Story.

Exposé Awards
A special category that the festival directors created 5 years ago to recognize short and feature documentaries that expose a subject that has received little or no media or public attention, but that shares a potent message, and a clear demonstration that change is needed and is possible.

2017 Peace On Earth Film Festival

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 2017 Peace On Earth Film Festival, Friday, March 10th, through Sunday, March 12th, will be held at the Music Box Theatre, the premiere venue for independent and foreign films in Chicago.

Tickets will go on sale February 10th, 2017.

Student Voices for Peace Education Outreach, an ALL FREE program for Chicago school students is being held in the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater (2nd floor-north) on Thursday, March 9th, 2017. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is co-presenting the screenings for the Student Voices for Peace program. Download Flier (PDF).

The 9th 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. 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.

View All 2017 Peace On Earth Film Festival Film Selections

Online Screeners Accepted

Good morning All International Filmmakers

We have adjusted our submissions process for the 2017 Peace On Earth Film Festival to include streaming. You may now upload your films for live streaming via Withoutabox or FilmFreeway.

Please Note: if selected for entry into the 2017 Peace On Earth Film Festival we must receive via ground-mail a DVD or Blu-ray (US Region 0 or 1 format ONLY) exactly the same cut as the live stream by February 1, 2017.

For full details, see our Guidelines for Submission.

Thank you,
2017 POEFF Review Committee