2016 Official Selections

On behalf of the Review Committee for the Peace On Earth Film Festival, we extend our congratulations to the filmmakers whose films have been chosen as a 2016 Official Selection.

Our selections narrowed to 26 entries representing 11 different countries from a field of 101 submissions; this was an arduous task; given so many worthy, thought provoking, and illuminating films.

One of the purposes of this festival is to bring to light films that are often challenged to find exhibition. It takes a leap of faith to create films in the genre of peace; and all of the submissions reflected the filmmakers’ own advocacy and dedication to the cause.

We thank all of the submitting filmmakers. Our deepest regard for you, your crew, pre and post-production team, everyone involved in the creation of your film: we hold you all in high esteem. Most importantly, the 2016 Peace on Earth Film Festival Review Committee thanks you for your steadfast dedication to peace, nonviolence, social justice, and an eco-balanced world, through the art of filmmaking.

View All 2016 Selections

2016 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 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.

2015 POEFF Best of Fest Winners

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.

2015 Official Selections

On behalf of the Review Committee for the Peace On Earth Film Festival, we extend our congratulations to the filmmakers whose films have been chosen as a 2015 Official Selection.

The process of selecting 41 entries from a field of 142 submissions was more difficult than the Review Committee could have imagined; given so many worthy, thought provoking, and illuminating films.

One of the purposes of this festival is to bring to light films that are often challenged to find exhibition. It takes a leap of faith to create films in the genre of peace; and all of the submissions reflected the filmmakers’ own advocacy and dedication to the cause.

We thank all of the submitting filmmakers. Our deepest regard for you, your crew, pre and post-production team, everyone involved in the creation of your film: we hold you all in high esteem. Most importantly, the 2015 Peace on Earth Film Festival Review Committee thanks you for your steadfast dedication to peace, nonviolence, social justice, and an eco-balanced world, through the art of filmmaking.

View All 2015 Selections

2015 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 2015 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 19, through Sunday, March 22, 2015.

SUBMISSIONS for the 2015 Peace On Earth Film Festival will commence on July 10, 2014. For further details see: Guidelines for Submissions.

The 7th 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 Opening Night Festivities, Filmmaker and Peacemaker Panel discussions, Q&A with attending filmmakers, and a Closing Night Awards Ceremony where exhibiting filmmakers are honored, and category winners receive accolades and cash prizes, and a ‘Wrap Party’ where the celebrating of filmmakers continues.

2014 POEFF Best of Fest Winners

Under the Same Sun (Israel, Palestine, USA, 75 min)

  • Directed by Sameh Zoabi
  • Executive Producer, John Marks
Shaul, an Israeli, and Nizar, a Palestinian, seem to have little in common, but for a shared spirit of entrepreneurship. They create a solar energy company with plans to bring renewable energy to communities in the Palestinian territories. Support is beyond difficult, until they take their story to the Internet and inspire others.

A Step Too Far? A Contemplation On Forgiveness (UK, 72 min)

  • Directed & Produced by Paul Moorehead
Most of us at some time in our lives feel that we have been wronged by others in some way. It may be as a result of malicious gossip or maybe a violent act or even worse. How do we react in such situations? Do we lash out at the offender, are we eaten up with the desire for revenge? “A Step Too Far?” investigates an alternative to revenge – the idea of forgiveness.

dress (USA, 20 min)

  • Directed by Henry Ian Cusick
Shot against the stunning backdrop of Hawaii, ‘dress’ is a poetic and emotional tale of Ben and his two children as they struggle to cope with the death of his wife Maile. This genuine and thoughtful story explores how this family deals with their loss.

Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall (USA, 40 min)

  • Directed by Edgar Barens
  • Produced by Edgar Barens & HBO
A moving cinema verite breaks through the walls of one of Americas oldest maximum security prison. Shot over a six-month period the film takes us behind the walls of the Iowa State Penitentiary entering the personal lives of the prisoners as they build a prison-based, prisoner-staffed hospice program from the ground up.

The High Five Apprentice (USA, 8 min)

  • Directed & Animated by Tom Kanter
  • Produced by Mar Elepano & Sheila Sofian
After Ray, a well-meaning but wimpy man, loses his job as well as his girlfriend, he encounters Blotto, a cat who is the self-proclaimed Cat-God of High Fives. Blotto whisks Ray off to the High Five Realm, where he teaches him the joys of high fives, and in turn, reveals to Ray the true meaning of paying it forward.

The Ghosts of Jeju (USA, 80 min)

  • Directed & Produced by Regis Tremblay
A shocking documentary about the struggle of the people of Jeju Island, S. Korea. Set in the context of the American presence in Korea after World War II, the film reveals horrible atrocities at the hands of the U.S. Military Government of Korea. 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.

Stepping Toward the Lion: Finding My Story (USA, 30 min)

  • Directed & Produced by John Lyden
Stepping Toward the Lion: Finding My Story chronicles the journey of a young African-American Muslim named Alaudeen as he ventures through an interfaith storytelling group and gains a new perspective on life after dealing with years of prejudice and bullying. Storytelling enables Alaudeen to better understand and overcome the one major obstacle that stands between him and his future: his fear.

Ravi & Jane (Australia, 14 min)

  • Executive Producer & Director, Stuart O'Rourke
10 year old Ravi, recently arrived from Sri Lanka, is shy on his first day at an Australian school. Ravi and his family have just moved into Sydney’s Villawood detention centre and school is the only time he is allowed outside its fences.