West Dundee resident wins film contest prize
West Dundee resident Sarah Glees will be awarded an Environmental Action Award in the One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest for her film "The Long-Lived Effects of the Long Meadow Parkway."
The award consists of a $500 scholarship from the Environmental Law and Policy Center. Glees plans to use the funds to help pay for Elmhurst University, where she is a senior.
The Long Meadow Parkway (under construction) has a four-lane Fox River bridge crossing, which is meant to alleviate traffic in Kane County, Illinois.
Glees begins her 7-minute film "The Long-Lived Effects of the Long Meadow Parkway" with an interview with Parkway opponent Sue Harney, a Dundee Township Trustee and former Dundee Township Supervisor from 2000-17.
Harney explains that trucking companies wanted the Parkway to serve logistics hubs where items are stored or manufactured and then trucked out. Her main concern is contamination of the Fox River from heavy metals such as arsenic and chromium released from tires, hydraulic fluid, gas leaks, and the fine particulate matter from exhaust.
"It's so long-lived and so very fine that when it gets into the water and the river, the fish have the same problem we do," Harney said "It gets into their bodies and their gills. It's like a slow poison."
Glees suggests possible solutions such as electric trucks, which have no emissions, and permeable pavement, which reduces runoff and the cost of water treatment. She writes in her contest submission: "It means so much to share this story and hopefully evoke change."
Since its inception in 2013, the One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest has grown from a local, Oak Park, Illinois, project to a highly competitive international competition garnering 403 submissions.
Countries such as Brazil, Australia and Mexico and states such as California, Georgia and Indiana will be represented among this year's winners at the Global Awards Celebration at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, in person at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., in Chicago, or online virtually anywhere in the world.
"The Long-Lived Effects of the Long Meadow Parkway" will premiere at this special event. Free tickets are available at tinyurl.com/yfc23awards.
"The secret ingredient to our success is youth. They have opinions, ideas and viewpoints about the climate emergency," said contest Founding Director Sue Crothers. "It's hard for people to deny what's happening when they're living through extreme floods, fires, and tornadoes. And the younger generations have something to say about the mess our generation has made."
The Young Filmmakers Contest asks students from age 8 to 25 to create a 3- to 8-minute environmental film that inspires change or action. Animated or stop-motion films can be a minimum of 45 seconds long.
The deadline each year is June 25, which gives individuals and school groups the entire academic year to submit their film projects.
The call for entries for 2024 will open soon on Film Freeway at filmfreeway.com/OneEarthYoungFilmmakersContest.