Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Planet in Focus announces opening film, industry programming


Industry Series presents a diverse and exciting programming lineup including panels and pitch sessions with insiders and trendsetters

TORONTO, September 18, 2012 — The 13th Annual Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival -- the largest and longest running environmental film festival in the country -- will open with the world premiere Gala Presentation of Caroline Bâcle’s Lost Riversan adventurous and revelatory look into the disappearance and recent uncovering of historic waterways.  Planet in Focus takes place from October 10 to 14, 2012 at TIFF Bell Lightbox. The Festival’s complete programming will be announced at a press event on September 24, 2012. Industry Series and Early Bird Festival passes are now on sale. For information visit planetinfocus.org.

Winner of the Planet in Focus’ 2010 Green Pitch Award and produced by Katarina Soukup, Lost Rivers delves into the often overlooked rich-history of rivers within Canada and around the world. Once flowing through nearly every developed city in the world, rivers provided the infrastructure upon which modern metropolises were built. Lost Rivers leads us down the drain into vast underground museums of urban development.

“From the start of the Industrial Revolution, rivers have been deliberately hidden under our urban landscapes and have become forgotten by many through time,” says Kathleen Mullen, Artistic Director, Planet in Focus. “We are proud to present the world premiere of Lost Rivers, a fascinating and eye-opening film that brings to life an important aspect of urban ecology, the communities of ‘drainers’ that explore these underground rivers and the international cities that are working to revitalize the rivers and integrate them back into the city landscape.”

Also announced were details of this year’s Industry Series, which includes two days of panels, innovative programs, a pitch session and new funding opportunities. The Industry Series represents a key crossroad for established and emerging filmmakers, broadcasters, distributors and business leaders interested in opportunities and collaboration in the environmental sector. The industry events will take place on Thursday, October 11 and Friday, October 12.

Sponsored by the Ontario Media Development Corporation

As traditional avenues for funding decline for Canadian documentarians and other filmmakers, Planet in Focus explores fresh opportunities among NGOs (non-governmental organizations), digital filmmaking as well as the venerable Green Pitch. The Industry Series boasts networking activities, hands-on workshops and educational panels to enlighten emerging and veteran filmmakers alike so that they may continue to create films in all genres, including environmental cinema.

CREATIVE DOCUMENTARY WORKSHOP with Jennifer Baichwal, producer and director
Sponsored by Telefilm Canada with DOC Toronto
Friday, October 12, 9:00 am–1:00 pm. TIFF Bell Lightbox

Award-winning filmmaker, Jennifer Baichwal (Act of God, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, Manufactured Landscapes) will lead this intimate session in which she will work with a pre-selected class of eight documentarians who have projects currently in development or production. Baichwal will focus on the creative process, conceptualization and storytelling for directors who are struggling with their documentaries. This session will not explore finance or distribution and is geared towards intermediate filmmakers who have at least one film that has been broadcast or screened at festivals.  Admission to this session is by application.

Apply by submitting a film resume, project synopsis and a link to a 1–2-minute clip of the project to info@planetinfocus.org with the subject heading “Creative Documentary”. Application deadline Friday, September 28, 5:00 pm. Successful applicants will receive confirmation by October 5. $40/$30 for DOC members.

In addition Jennnifer Baichwal will be awarded the Canadian Eco Hero Award on Friday, October 13 at 7 pm at An Evening with Jennifer Baichwal where she will be joined by Edward Burtynsky and Nicholas de Pencier, moderated by film critic Adam Nayman, for a discussion on their creative collaboration.

Thursday, October 11, 9:30 am–11:00 am, TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 4
In 15-minute one-on-one sessions filmmakers meet funders, commissioning editors and other film and television executives, a veritable “speed-dating” event with funders.  Filmmakers must purchase tickets or a pass and reserve meetings ahead of time.  Pre-registration is required through industry@planetinfocus.org.

Melissa Amer, English Market, CMF Program Administrator/Telefilm Canada;
Larissa Fan, Distribution Manager, Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC);
Dan Lyon, Regional Feature Film Executive, Ontario & Nunavut, Telefilm Canada;
John Galway, President, English-Language Program, Harold Greenberg Fund, Astral Media:
Brad Horvath, Head of Acquisitions and North American Sales, Ouat Media;
Jane Jankovic, Commissioning Editor of Canadian POV documentaries, TVO;
Andrew Johnson, Production Executive, Shaw Media’s Original Factual Content Group;
Lea Marin, Producer, NFB; 
Marguerite Pigott, Head of Creative Development Super Channel;
Caroline Underwood, Senior Producer, CBC's Science and Natural History Documentary Unit;
Greg Rubidge, Syndicado Digital Distribution  

Thursday, October 11, 11:30 am–1:30 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 4
This session focuses on a completely new film-funding model: documentarians and NGOs collaborating on film projects promoting environmentalism.

Simon Brothers, Co-founder, Producer, Director, Powerline Films;
Carolyn Young, Program Coordinator, Sustain Ontario;
Robert Lang, Founder & President, Kensington Communications;
Sheila Petzold, Director of Communications, USC Canada;
Moderator: Nadine Pequeneza, Independent Producer and Director (Inside Disaster Haiti)

Thursday, October 11, 2:00 pm–3:30 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 4
A selection of 2012 Planet in Focus filmmakers will talk about the challenges in clearing music, images and footage in their documentaries as they explore the tricky practice of “fair use.” The panelists will be announced at www.planetinfocus.org at a later date.

Moderator: Willa Marcus, Barrister and Solicitor

Thursday, October 11, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 4
In keeping with the festival spotlight on Sustainable Energy, this year’s Green Panel will examine ways of reducing energy use in film and television productions of all sizes and budgets.  It will include an introduction to the latest innovation in production lighting, low energy-use LED lights, as well as the means for having a green-powered shoot through use of carbon offsets to balance the creation of emissions by productions through transportation and power usage. An essential panel for every environmental filmmaker!

Katie Atloft, VP of Advisory Services, Carbonzero
Jo Coombe, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Bullfrog Power
Mike Harwood, Manager, National Rental Service, William F White International Inc.
Moderator:  Melissa Felder, Environmental Consultant, Green Screen

Friday, October 12, 9:30 am–11:30 am, TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 4
More than ever, Canadian filmmakers rely on grants to finance their projects. Meet the funders directly, learn about their grant programs and hear tips on what makes a successful application. 

Francesca Accinelli Director, English Market, Canada Media Fund Program Administrator/Telefilm Canada;
Martin Harbury, Film & Television Consultant, Ontario Media Development Corporation;
Marcia Douglas, Program Manager, Bell New Media Fund;
Mark Haslam, Media Arts Officer, Ontario Arts Council;  
Peter Kingstone, Acting Visual/Media Arts Officer, Toronto Arts Council;
Ian Reid, Program Officer, Media Arts Section, Canada Council for the Arts.

Friday, October 12, 12:00 pm–2:00 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 4
This panel offers an in-depth conversation between digital documentary storytellers on the vanguard of the interactive space. Sharing samples from their current environmental projects, panelists will discuss their experience creating and producing in the ever-changing interactive space.  Co-sponsored by DOC Toronto and Co-presented with docSHIFT.

Gerry Flahive, Senior Producer, Interactive Documentary, NFB;
Alex Jansen, Owner, Pop Sandbox;
Lalita Krishna Producer, In Sync Media;
Moderator: Richard Lachman, Assistant Professor, Digital Media, Ryerson School of Radio & Television Arts.

Friday, October 12, 3:00 pm–4:30 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 4
Six pre-selected filmmakers will pitch their idea about for an environmentally-themed film before a live audience and jury of broadcasters, producers and established filmmakers. Finalists receive expert coaching from past Green Pitch winners. The winner receives a prize worth more than $10,000 in cash and services to help develop their film. This year’s jury is composed of Alison Duke, Producer at Goldelox Productions; Paul Lewis, President and General Manager of Discovery Networks; and Caroline Underwood, Senior Producer at CBC’s Science and Natural History Documentary Unit.

Friday, October 12, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm, The Green Room
Sponsored by William F. White International Inc.
Winners of the Green Pitch Award and the Planet in Focus Green Screen Award sponsored by The Harold Greenberg Fund will be announced at this Industry Reception. The Green Screen Award Jury is composed of John Galway, President of Astral’s Harold Greenberg Fund, Ziya Tong, co-host of Daily Planet on Discovery Channel and Keir Brownstone, General Manager of GLOBE Inc.  

About Planet in Focus
Planet in Focus is Canada's leading not-for-profit environmental media arts organization, producing year-round programming across Canada and around the world and fostering a new generation of environmental filmmakers.

Visit us on the web: planetinfocus.org
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/planetinfocus
Like Us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/planetinfocus

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