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Erin Babbin

Erin Babbin is a documentary filmmaker who believes in keeping it real. Her work centers around elevating true stories from real people who exist in the margins of the mainstream. Erin continues her family’s tradition led by her great grandfather’s home movies, her grandmother's photography and her mother's filmmaking. She studied documentary filmmaking at Columbia College and in 2011 co-founded the Chicago-based film and photo production company On The Real Film, which creates social justice and art-centered work. On The Real Film has had 3 short films distributed by Fusion network and screened in festivals internationally. Babbin is the co-captain of the doc shorts jury of Slamdance 2018-2022, and the NYC Indy Film Fest 2016-2021.


Emerging from each of the elder’s stories in Nuestra Herencia, the garden at El Paseo reshapes itself beyond its near one acre of land in Chicago by including far away imagined landscapes of mountains, prairies, and homesteads across Mexico, Colombia, Honduras, and Puerto Rico, all the while, acknowledging the political and social challenges that may have initially compelled the elders to resettle in Chicago many years before. It is in this spirit of hopefulness and preservation that this series of short documentary films presents the importance of recognizing our elders and rebuilding intergenerational communities through storytelling, gardening, and living archives. 


Nuestra Herencia

NUESTRA HERENCIA is a film project that explores histories, gardens, and legacies. This project aims to become a ten-part film series on immigration, gardening and farming, and remembering featuring crafted portraits of elders of El Paseo Community Garden. We are weaving together ten short documentary films with interviews and footage uniquely recognizing the individual lives of our elders and their stewardship to the garden and engagement as long-standing residents of the Pilsen neighborhood.


NUESTRA HERENCIA was filmed on location at the El Paseo community garden in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. 

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To learn more about the beautiful oasis in the city that is the El Paseo Community Garden, visit their website at

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See more of Erin Babbin's work, and the work of On the Real Film at

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