“One Day On Earth” Unites The World Through Film

by Kameron Toews

I love to travel and I love to watch movies. Probably the cheapest way to explore the world is through film—especially documentary film. Supported by the United Nations and the international educational community, One Day on Earth celebrates our common global humanity by collecting video footage shot by individuals and non-profits from every country on one specific day. Anyone from anywhere is asked to document any and every aspect of their lives. The mission is to “create an open shareable archive and documentary film of the world… We follow characters and events that evolve throughout the day, interspersed with expansive global montages that explore the progression of life from birth, to death, to birth again.”

The idea originated during the 2008 World Festival of Sacred Music where musicians from around the world collaboratively play together. Project Founder of One Day on Earth, Kyle Ruddick, described it as, “a beautiful fusion of music [that] came together for the first time. The moment inspired a similar vision for another universal form of communication—cinema.”

The first media event took place on 10/10/10 with over 3,000 hours of footage submitted and the second project on 11/11/11. The feature film from the 2010 project will be screened globally on Earth Day—April 22, 2012. All screenings are free and there’s most likely one near you. Step into a truly unique experience and, for the first time, marvel our planet on the same day as others across the globe.

Besides creating an opportunity for global filmmakers to contribute to a gorgeous story, One Day on Earth promotes advocacy for poverty, gender equality, child welfare, and migration. With a film project of such gigantic proportions, the global audience is able to see how life is lived in all corners of Earth and see a glimpse of the millions of stories unfolding at the exact time as theirs.

Everyone has a story to tell, but we rarely have a venue to distribute these stories. I think it beautiful that the One Day on Earth organization is undertaking this project as a time capsule of our modern world. God calls us to love our neighbor, but how can we love if we don’t know them, if we have no idea what their lives look like? One Day on Earth unites our broken and fractured world and offers a small piece of redemption.

With this in mind I am forced to question other mediums we can use to capture our planet’s dynamic diversity and celebrate our global community of artists. Are there ways we can capture life in our local communities as an effort to unite neighbors and strangers?


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