Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Planet in Focus Film Festival 2010 announces programming

At a press conference this morning at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the Planet in Focus International Environmental Film & Video Festival announced its full schedule for the festival next month, from October 13th to 17th. The opening night screening will be Ron Mann's In the Wake of the Flood, which will screen at the newly opened Bell Lightbox. The main subject of In the Wake of the Flood, author Margaret Atwood, will attend and will be co-recipient of the festival's Canadian Eco Hero Award. 

The closing night film will be Climate of Change by director Brian Hill and features narration by actress Tilda Swinton. In addition to many other features and short films, the festival will have free children's programming and an industry series that includes the Green Pitch Competition.

Planet in Focus
International Environmental Film & Video Festival
October 13-17, 2010: Toronto, Canada
100 + environmental films from 32 countries screened over 5 days
Free children's programming/$5 screenings/From news to screen

TORONTO, September 22, 2010 - Planet in Focus, Canada's leading environmental media arts organization, today announced the complete line-up of the 11th annual Planet in Focus International Environmental Film & Video Festival at a press conference held at the Royal Ontario Museum's Schad Gallery of Biodiversity in Toronto, Canada.

Executive Director Sarah Margolius and Director of Programming Kathleen Mullen unveiled this year's line-up, which includes over 100 environmental films from 32 countries.  Director Ron Mann (Opening Feature: In the Wake of the Flood), Dr. Allan Baker, Head, Department of Natural History & Senior Curator, Ornithology of the Royal Ontario Museum (featured in the film Red Knot: Flying on the Edge) and Earth Rangers trainer Meghan Woodworth with Sonic (a Barn Owl), also took to the stage during the launch.

"This is a tremendously exciting year, with an unprecedented number of films that deal with stories and issues taken right from the headlines.  As with all environmental films, what happens after you watch them is as important as what takes place on-screen:  these films help us imagine more possibilities, and promote a deeper understanding of our world, inspiring us to think more about how we live." said Executive Director Sarah Margolius. "

"This year we have films from places as diverse as the Solomon Islands, Bangladesh, Niger, Iran, Australia, the USA and from all parts of Canada. Our filmmakers prove that important environmental stories are everywhere, and we have worked hard to make available the most engaging stories from all over the planet" said Director of Programming Kathleen Mullen.

The festival launches Opening Night at the brand new TIFF Bell Lightbox with Director Ron Mann's In the Wake of the Flood. The film follows acclaimed Canadian author Margaret Atwood as she sets out on a journey around the world, using her latest novel The Year of the Flood to inspire audiences into awareness and civic action.  Atwood's novel and Mann's film brings further attention to the plight of birds on our planet. Prior to the opening of the film, both Margaret Atwood and her partner and fellow novelist Graeme Gibson will be presented with this year's Planet in Focus' Canadian Eco Hero Award for their role in promoting environmental education and awareness.

Closing Night features Director Brian Hill's Climate of Change, a globally focused documentary profiling those who are working to combat the effects of climate change. From child activists in India to residents in Appalachia this documentary will leave audiences inspired to make changes in their own lives - a fitting way to end the festival. The film is paired with narration written by celebrated British poet Simon Armitage and read by Oscar winning Actress Tilda Swinton.

HIGHLIGHTS [THURS, FRI, SAT, SUN] Many Directors in attendance
Complete Listings available.

Canadian environmental stories are showcased.   

Director Liz Marshall's Documentary Water on the Table , recently nominated for a Gemini for the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social, Political Documentary, follows Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians as she works to have water declared a human right, during her term as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the U.N. General Assembly.  This July, the U.N. passed a resolution making water a human right, with Canada abstaining from this historic vote. Both Maude Barlow and Liz Marshall will be present for a post-screening discussion.

Burning Water tells a story from Rosebud, Alberta when one family's land becomes toxic after their farm water is contaminated by chemicals used in gas extraction. This feature is screened in conjunction with Life in the Fast Lane, a short film about Highway 401 in Toronto, Ontario and how a once-200-acre farm is directly affected. Green Heroes: Sarah Harmer, profiles the award-winning singer's fight to protect the Escarpment in the region of Halton, Ontario.

Realizing that our children are our future, the inspiring NFB documentary Hope Builders is about teacher Dominique Leduc and his classroom of kids in rural Quebec who take on a community project to effect change in their hometown.

Celebrating an unusual urban farm, Cement Roots introduces us to La Ferme Pousse Menu, the only concrete building in downtown Montreal with farm status from the Government. Through innovative practices like vermi-composting, Philippe Robillard produces one ton of highly nutritious, organic sprouts every week.

One of the last semi-nomadic hunting people of Canada, the Mushuau Innu of Labrador are profiled in Nutshimit- On the Land, a film they commissioned to create a visual legacy of their continuing life on the land. The film screens in tandem with Tshiushuas, a short by Christine Poker, an Innu filmmaker, who will be in attendance at the festival.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of CBC's award-winning program The Nature of Things with David Suzuki with a special screening of For The Love of Elephants, a poignant documentary portrait of an elephant-human bond that develops at an Elephant rehabilitation centre near Nairobi, Kenya.This event kicks off the brand new $5 screening events at the festival, taking place at 5 p.m. daily on Thursday and Friday and at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. 

Cultivating a New Generation of 'Green' Film Lovers.
Saturday's programming includes a day of free children's activities at Theatre Direct's Wychwood Theatre and The Stop Community Food Centre at Artscape Wychwood Barns.Events include short film screenings for 3-6 year olds and 7-13 year olds, a Farmer's Market Scavenger Hunt and an animation workshop courtesy of the National Film Board. Pre-registration is required; spaces are limited.

Supporting Youth Environmental Filmmakers.
Sunday's programming includes the free Green Sprouts! Youth Filmmakers' Showcaseat the Bata Shoe Museum, featuring films made by youth for youth. Planet in Focus' Youth Camera Action! Videos premiere as well as other films from around the world.

Imagining a Sustainable Future: 21st Century Visionaries.
Two exceptional documentaries profile visionaries. Transcendent Man follows the best-selling Author and Futurist Ray Kurzweil, a man whose ideas and inventions have earned him 17 honorary doctorates and cult-legend status. A Road Not Taken profiles US President Jimmy Carter's visionary move to install a set of solar panels on the White House and the shift in ideals when Reagan takes office a year later.

Nature's Greatest Defender profiles National Geographic's Lifetime Achievement Award winner George Schaller. The globally recognized conservationist is seen here returning to the sites of some of his iconic studies to see what has happened to some of these extraordinary animals and their habitats.

Dr. Allan Baker, Head, Dept. of Natural History & Senior Curator, Ornithology of the Royal Ontario Museum is the focus of Red Knot: Flying on the Edge. Over the last decade, this migratory shore bird that moves from Argentina to the Arctic and back annually, has seen its population plummet from 52,000 individuals to a mere 15,000. Dr. Baker has dedicated his life to recovering the species.

Championing Everyday Activists.
Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic
? is a terrific documentary driven by one charismatic father-to be who tackles the number one consumer item in the world, the plastic bag.  Two guerilla journalists (literally) confront over-consumption in the USA in Dive! Living Off America's Waste.

Highlighting International Perspectives.
Winner of the best documentary at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2009 (Africa's top film prize) For The Best and For The Onion! follows Yaro, a farmer in Niger, as he fights to successfully harvest his Galmi purple onion crop all to provide enough funds and community respect to support the wedding of his daughter.

Into The Dragon's Lair details a perilous expedition by Jacques Cousteau's former cinematographer and diver Didier Noirot in Botswana to find one of nature's most fearsome predators: the Nile Crocodile. Walter and the Tigers breaks down our fear with a spectacular film about free diving with Tigers Sharks.

Built in the far north permafrost of Svalbard, Norway, Seed Warriors introduces us to the 'Doomsday Vault', a construction containing seeds from around the world in order to safeguard our diverse plant species from potential extinction.

The town of Pascua Lama is put on the map in Cry of the Andes when it is caught in a war between corporate and social values. Barrick is poised to develop the world's largest open pit gold mine threatening the way of life for the local indigenous people.

German Perspectives on Innovation

In The 4th Revolution - Energy Autonomy the film shows that a complete changeover of world's energy-supply system to renewable energies can - and must - take place. The film includes thoughts from much-lauded environmental thinkers.  A series of German filmmakers explore tradition, innovation and sustainability, with many in attendance this year.

Focusing on the urban environment.

As China emerges as the new economic powerhouse of the 21-century, no one can disrupt the biggest construction boom in the world's history. New Beijing, Reinventing a City looks at China's future. Regarding Vancouver mixes archives and contemporary elements of Vancouver in order to rediscover urban decay and development.

Fostering Green Film Projects and Productions. 

Friday October 15
brings together filmmakers, broadcasters and distributors in a series of interactive panels and events, including the innovative Free Green Screen Toronto Workshop to provide assistance in reducing film productions' environmental footprint.

Planet in Focus is Canada's leading non-profit environmental media arts organization, producing year-round programming across Canada and around the world and fostering a new generation of environmental filmmakers. The 11th annual Planet in Focus International Environmental Film & Video Festival runs from October 13 to 17 in Toronto. Visit

1 comment:

  1. Great Event to share in your blog thanks for the information.