Now entering its landmark 15th year, the environmentally minded Planet in Focus festival continues to bring local audiences socially and ecologically conscious fare. Opening this Thursday with a screening of Canadian filmmaker Sturla Gunnarsson’s Monsoon at the TIFF Bell Lightbox at 6:30pm, the festival continues through Sunday night with numerous Q&A sessions, industry panels, awards ceremonies, and special events in celebration of filmmakers and audiences who want to help restore the planet we all call home.
The most noteworthy prize winners of the festival, however, have already been announced. This year the recipients of the prestigious Eco Hero awards are filmmaker Rob Stewart – recipient of the International prize – and Canadian Eco Hero Tzeporah Berman. Although Stewart is himself a Canadian, his tireless work as an aquatic activist, as evidenced in his films Sharkwater and Revolution, has made him a noteworthy speaker and pundit around the world. Berman, on the other hand, has become a high profile, non-violent protestor and filmmaker who has devoted her life to preserving Canada’s only rainforest.
Keeping in line with the festival’s educational mandate, there are currently ongoing elementary and secondary programs in place that continue through Friday, and adult industry education programs throughout the day on Friday afternoon. There’s always a chance for hands on learning at the festival, but for those who want to learn more through viewing, here’s a look at ten of this year’s selections. And although all of what we saw this year was in documentary form, we also included our old review of Kelly Reichardt’s fictional Night Moves, which you should check out here if you still haven’t had the chance. We also included our old review of the documentary Fed Up, which plays again here and you should probably skip.
For more information, tickets, and a full listing of films, venues, and events, please check out the Planet in Focus website.
Planet in Focus 2014
Dark Side of the Chew (Closing Night Film) (Parker Mott)
Family Farm (Noah R. Taylor)
Night Moves (Zack Kotzer)
On the Trail of the Far Fur Country (Dave Voigt)
Radical Friends (Elena Lowe)
Trick or Treaty? (Elena Lowe)