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Climate Change Awareness Through Film

Written by on October 18, 2022

Photo provided by Illinois State University 

NORMAL, Ill. — A local, free film series aims to get students thinking of issues beyond their homework. 

The Green Screen: A Climate Change Film Series is held from 7 to 9 p.m. weekly at the Normal Theater until Nov. 15. The next film, “Thunderbird Woman: Winona LaDuke,” will be shown on Tuesday. 

Elisabeth Reed is the director of the Office of Sustainability. She spoke about the purpose of The Green Screen.

“Each month goes over a different topic on the climate change crisis, so we see different philosophies and different ways of managing it,” Reed said. “It really gives people different perspectives to educate themselves even further.” 

The idea came together when Dr. May Jadallah wanted to engage more of the campus and community in climate change conversations. Jadallah reached out to Reed and Dr. Rebecca Garner to brainstorm a community outreach event. Once the idea for The Green Screen came to reality, Reed said that she wanted to make the event free.

“It’s a great opportunity for our campus but also community members to come to a film at the Normal Theater and hopefully learn something by attending,” Reed said. “We really wanted to make sure that it was a free event so that it was accessible to everyone.” 

Reed also spoke about what she wants people to get out of each movie. 

“I hope that they found something that they learned, some new information hopefully,” Reed said. “Some of these films might be discouraging, or feel a little depressing after…but I hope they take that and turn it into some action of some sort. Whether it would be in their everyday choices in their lives, or trying to influence something in where they work, or their classroom, or anywhere that might be.” 

Although climate change is a heavy topic, Reed said that it is essential for everybody to be aware of it. Additionally, the team tries to balance serious films with hopeful ones. 

“Whatever your major is, whatever your disciplines or interests are, we all have the Earth in common,” Reed said.  “It’s something that we can’t just avoid. We can’t prolong any of this anymore. We have to be on top of this. We have to educate ourselves. We all have a part in this, some small and some bigger, but we all ought to be better informed.”