July 23rd, 2012

The Chicago International Social Change Festival (October 5th-7th) was created for filmmakers to showcase films that heighten public consciousness and provide a film forum for their productions to be screened on an international level. In addition, the festival is dedicated to the art of filmmaking and the filmmakers who make each and every work possible.

This is a Chicago film festival with a specific focus on the issues facing society and how social change can make an incredible impact. Every day, society is in search of sustainable and innovative solutions that are designed to reshape the way the world views cultural differences and the many issues facing it today. Through this film forum, filmmakers are able to use their feature-length, short, documentary, or student films to fuel a movement. It is through this that true and inspiring social development can take place.

History has shown that social change starts with ideas both large and small and film has been a major player in relaying new ideas to the world. Without ideas, society would be without the great strides that have been taken in recent decades to solve many of the world’s problems. Through this Chicago festival, filmmakers are able to translate their ideas onto the big screen and expose themselves and those ideas to the thousands of nonprofit and NGO organizations all over the world. This is an international film festival experience that people are hungering for on a global level.

Overall, this is the chance for activist filmmakers to use their independent films to share information and it is also a skill-building opportunity for the filmmaker while producing a powerful, unforgettable, and transformative piece of work. We screen films that are
unique and are made with the goal to benefit society by encouraging social change.

Emile Cambry, Jr. received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Chicago and his MBA on Merit Scholarship from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Emile is a Professor at North Park University. Emile was recognized as one of the Top 50 Business School Professors. Emile has experience in Investment Banking for J.P. Morgan Chase, was the Interim CEO of a Certified Public Accounting firm, and co-founder of MetroWorks, an award-winning film production company. Emile’s films have been licensed by HBO and Cinemax, as well as Showtime. Emile is a Founding Board Member of the Chicago Comedy Film Festival and the American Chamber Opera Company. Emile is the Founder and CEO of social entrepreneurship projects, the 21st Century Youth Project and the Chicago Film Group. Emile is an Ideas Award Fellow, recognizing “leaders and change agents of the world tomorrow, who are making a huge impact on their local and regional communities today.” Emile is a Gold Medal Edison Awards winner, recognizing “visionaries” and innovators who seek to “write a new chapter in American innovation history.” The 21st Century Youth Project was recognized as the most innovative educational program in America by the Edison Awards (2012).

Todd Belcore is a staff attorney at Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and Equal Justice Works Fellow (also sponsored by Greenberg Traurig) focusing on litigating, organizing, educating, and crafting legislation to ensure that individuals with criminal records are not unjustly denied employment or occupational licenses. Todd is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law, where he served as President of the public service organization (SERV) and, later, as the Student Bar Association (SBA) President. In these roles, he was able to significantly increase the amount of exposure law students had to public interest and public service. In recognition of Todd’s commitment to service, he was the chosen recipient of the 2009 PSLawNet Pro Bono Publico Award, which honors one law student nationwide for their pro bono contributions to society. In 2010, Todd was also the chosen recipient of Northwestern University School of Law’s Wigmore Key, which is given to the one graduating student who has done the most to preserve the traditions of the law school. Since law school, Todd was chosen to receive the Kimball and Karen Anderson Public Interest Fellowship award which honors one attorney for their commitment to public interest work, academic achievement in law school, and their outstanding character and integrity. He was also recently selected as a White House “Champion of Change”, which is an honor awarded to attorneys who dedicate their professional lives to closing the justice gap in America.

Mahrinah von Schlegel is an Anthropologist, Tech Entrepreneur and Sustainable Real Estate Developer with a diverse background in green development and policy, bio-fuels, alternative energies, business development and strategy, music journalism, fine arts dance, and non-profit direction. Born and raised in the South Pacific and Southern California, Mahrinah received her education at the University of Pennsylvania and Wharton School of Business. A Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholar who was named “America’s Promising Youth Leader” by Secretary of State Colin Powell, Mahrinah has had a longstanding commitment toward works with a humanist basis and extensive involvement serving on boards and committees for organizations such as the United States Greenbuild Council, Urban Land Institute, and American Planning Association – Latino. Mahrinah is also Founder and Executive Director of Crime Alert, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting open data and the evolution of public safety, Founder of (a Spanish-language entrepreneurship community), Helping to build (social CRM for Sustainable Agribusiness), and several other projects currently.

George Aye is an Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He teaches graduate and under graduate design classes in Designed Objects, as part of the AIADO department (Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects).
His independent practice, Greater Good Studio, is a innovation consultancy that uses design methods to solve social problems.
George Kyaw Soe Maung Aye was born in Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar) in 1976.
In 1979, his parents moved him and his siblings to England where grew up and got his education. After graduating with a B.Eng (Hons) in Engineering Design Visualisation, he worked as a designer in London.
In 2001 he moved to Chicago in to work as a designer consultant for IDEO, the global design consultancy.
In 2005 he founded Hubwear, a small t-shirt business with his wife Sara Cantor Aye, for the modern urban traveller.
In 2008 he became the Lead Designer for the Chicago Transit Authority.
In 2009 he became the Creative Director of Industrial Design for IA Collaborative.
And most recently, in 2010, he joined the full-time faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is now a tenure track Assistant Professor.