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Piping Plovers: Film fest spotlights endangered bird’s return to Chicago’s Lake Michigan shore

Piping Plovers: Film fest spotlights endangered bird’s return to Chicago’s Lake Michigan shore
March 5, 2020 Gary Wilson
Courtesy of One Earth Film Festival

Editor’s Note: As of March 12, the “Monty and Rose” screening, as well as numerous other screenings have been postponed.

They’re Monty and Rose, a celebrated couple of piping plovers, one of the great bird species of the Great Lakes region.

And they challenged the culture of Chicago’s busiest beach last year when they nested smack in the middle of the sandy Lake Michigan shore that’s the summer playground for urban sunbathers, frisbee throwers and volleyball games.

Photo by Scott Heron via flickr.com cc 2.0

Piping Plovers, Photo by Scott Heron via flickr.com cc 2.0

While a few piping plovers have passed through Chicago’s lakeshore over the years according to a trailer for a film about them, when Monty and Rose set up camp it was the first time in 64 years that a pair nested.

What happened next is the stuff of films—or at least this film—as the community rallied to protect the birds, which are an officially designated endangered species, while coping with the demands of a busy public beach.

Monty and Rose are the title stars of a featured film at this year’s One Earth Film Festival, which kicks off its 9th season in Chicago this week.

The festival includes 28 films that will screen at multiple locations, and some screenings will feature the filmmaker as a speaker.

Photo courtesy of oneearthfilmfest.org

Ana Garcia Doyle, Director One Earth Film Festival, Photo courtesy of oneearthfilmfest.org

The 2020 festival theme is “The Power of We.”

“The Power of We unites us around common goals that allow us all to work together to grow resilient, sustainable communities,” festival director Ana Garcia Doyle said in a statement.

It’s about “empowering audiences,” according to Doyle, who said the goal is for viewers to take what they learn from a film and turn it into action.

Other films that touch on issues challenging the Great Lakes are “Right to Harm spotlighting the impact of concentrated animal feeding operations and “The Power of Plastic illustrating the global plastic pollution crisis.

One Earth Film Festival runs through March 16. It’s a production of Green Community Connections.

“Monty and Rose” will be screened on March 14 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Thatcher Woods Pavilion at 8030 Chicago Ave., River Forest, Illinois.

Great Lakes Now Senior Correspondent Gary Wilson is facilitating the post-film discussion of “Racing Extinction on March 12 at Chicago’s Harold Washington Public Library.

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