Music Box Theatre to host POEFF 9 Preview- 3 days of inspiring films March 10-12, 2017


New films about social justice and human rights for the advancement of world peace to be presented at the Peace On Earth Film Festival (POEFF)

March 10-12 at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport, Chicago


The Peace on Earth Film Festival’s mission is to raise awareness of peace, nonviolence, social justice, an eco-balancedworld by encouraging citizens to care about the world and providing insight into what they can do to impact their communities.

 The 2017 festival welcomes 33 independent films from 16 countries, including Belgium, Greece, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Israel, Afghanistan and Costa Rica. Included will be short dramas, documentaries and narratives that address issues society currently faces. There will be Q&A’s as well a Peacemakers' Panels and Filmmakers' Panel that will enable attendees to listen to or interact with filmmakers (see list below) who have experienced these problems first-hand. There also will be a special block of films by student filmmakers.

 WBEZ’s host of Worldview, Jerome McDonnell, is Opening Nights Master of Ceremonies. The night includes special screenings of “Weeds “and “Beyond the Wall,” both of which address life in-and-out of prison and the challenges former inmates face inside and outside. "Beyond the Wall" brings the fictionalized "Weeds" into stark reality with a stellar documentary that takes it home.

From "Paying the Price for Peace"


“Weeds” is a fictional drama starring Nick Nolte and directed by John Hancock (“Bang the Drum Slowly/”Prancer“/”Hill Street Blues”/”The Twilight Zone”). After screening, will be a conversation with Hancock, the film’s co-writer Dorothy Tristan (actress, “Klute”/”Scarecrow”/”The Looking Glass”) andWeeds co-star Rita Taggart (“Mulholland Drive”/”Northern Exposure").

 That will be followed by Beyond the Wall, a real-life, behind-the-scenes documentary that highlights one of the most critical issues in criminal justice reform—the flood of prisoners returning to our streets and communities each year where they face tremendous challenges and barriers.  Producer/Director Jenny Phillips and Louie Diaz, a former inmate and one of the film’s subjects, will speak after the screening.

A ticket for Opening Night/"Weeds" will afford a free admission to "Beyond the Wall".

From "The Gathering"

  Other films include:

  • “An Undeniable Voice”: Actress and activist Sharon Stone has a conversation with Sam Harris, believed to be one of only a few male child survivors of the Holocaust, and President of Skokie’s Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
  • “The Good Mind”: Members of the sovereign Onondaga Nation in central New York wage a battle with the U.S. government for environmental stewardship of its ancestral lands.
  • “The Gathering”:  Witness to Innocence, the largest organization of death row exonerees in the country, hosts its annual gathering for former death row inmates to share their thoughts, feelings, fears and dreams. Chicago’s Nathson “Nate” Fields, one of the film’s subjects, is fighting a wrongful conviction; an Illinois jury recently awarded him $22 million, but the state is appealing it.
  • “Witness Bahrain”: Guerilla style footage, captures an intimate portrayal of Bahrain's uprising, two years after its beginning. Filmmaker Jen Marlowe entered the country under false pretenses and filmed clandestinely before being deported.  
  • “A Bridge Between Two World”s: Muslim and Catholic farmers, on the Island of Flores, Indonesia, fight to defeat poverty and enhance their environment, initiated by Gilles Raymond, a volunteer from Québec, and supported by families in North America and Europe.
  • “Paying for the Price for Peace”: Vietnam veteran S. Brian Wilson pays the price after calling attention to the U.S. government’s defiance of international law; Director Paul Haggis (“Letters from Iwo Jima”) called the film “As inspiring as it is shocking.”
  • “Mary Mother”: An Afghanistan mother searches for her military son who has fallen into the hands of the Taliban.
  • “Jarvis Rockwell”: Norman Rockwell's oldest son embarks on a journey of self and through his art, finds a way to love his often-difficult famous father.
  • “Mango Dreams”: Hindi Dr. Amit Singh (Ram Gopal Bajaj) survived the British partition of India; yet, cannot shake the trappings of dementia. Muslim auto rickshaw driver, Salim’s (Pankaj Tripathi) wife was raped and burned to death by Hindu rioters. Their journey of a thousand miles helps heal bitter cultural wounds and forge an unforgettable friendship.


From "Mango Dreams"


 POEFF has screened 229 films from 54 different countries, with nearly 129 filmmakers and 316 principal players present in Q&A’s, and hosted just short of 11,000 attendees within the past 7 years.

The principal theme or focus for POEFF 2017 is raising awareness of peace, social justice, human rights and the environment, and creating a new discourse on those concerns in Chicago and the world.

The overall theme categories are: justice reform, refugee crisis, native American rights, social justice, human rights, environmental recoveries, holocaust remembrance, religious tolerance and peace activism.

It was a challenge to review 142 films in a brief 6 months; however, POEFF is dedicated to the filmmakers and their product as advocates. The films reflect the attitudes of all past and present administrations and further reflect the regimes and policies of the 16 different countries in the 33 films to be shown this year. We do our best to select films that demonstrate how peace is possible, actionable, sustainable and happening in the world.

 The U.S. is fractured and torn apart more than ever, and this year’s festival is an opportunity for people interested in social causes to join the movement, or learn about current issues and meet the people who can articulate what these issues really are about. Nothing inflames the heart as much as films. By presenting a program of multifaceted films, POEFF focuses on reshaping attitudes, encouraging and highlighting nonviolent practices, and opening minds to communication, consideration, tolerance and understanding.

Nick Angotti, Co-Founder/Executive Director, The Peace On Earth Film Festival



Tickets are $7 for individual screenings. Opening Night tickets are $18. Weekend packages are $75. Short film packages (three to four films) are $7. Tickets for the Student Filmmaker Showcase are $5. Discounts are available for seniors and students.The Peacemaker and Filmmakers Panels and awards ceremony March 12 are free and open to the public.

Tickets and passes go on sale beginning Feb 10th. See for information and to purchase tickets.


All photos courtesy of The Peace On Earth Film Festival

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