Posted on October 28, 2013 by Marina

We are ecstatic to partner with Planet in Focus – Canada’s largest environmental festival happening November 21-24!

planetinfocus4

Since 1999, Planet in Focus has played a significant role in helping to raise awareness about the state of our planet through the power of film. As the producer of Canada’s largest environmental film festival, Planet in Focus showcases a wide range of outstanding films and filmmakers from across Canada and around the world.

Food, energy, Aboriginal perspectives, health, conflict are  some of the topics investigated by emerging and established filmmakers through the camera lens. Planet in Focus continues to break new ground through our  leadership in Green Screen, an educational sustainability initiative for the film and television industry.

planetinfocus3

 

We had a chance to catch up with Laura Di Girolamo, Sponsorship Coordinator at Planet in Focus to tell us all about the festival and here’s what she had to say.

1. What is Planet In Focus?

Planet in Focus, now in it’s 14th year, is Canada’s premier environmental film festival. The films we present are provocative, challenging, and beautiful. The festival is paired with an industry series to inform and assist filmmakers tackling demanding environmental topics, a Green Pitch competition to launch a new production, a school program for elementary and post-secondary students, as well as our Eco Hero awards, which are given to individuals who have done significant work to shed light on various environmental issues. This year’s Eco Heroes are Astronaut and Commander of the International Space Station, Colonel Chris Hadfield and acclaimed Inuit Filmmaker, Zacharias Kunuk.

2. How are films chosen for the film festival?

We place an emphasis on films that educate and inspire our audiences.

We also make sure that our films cover a wide variety of topics that are of significance across the globe, especially ones that are particularly pressing or in need of discussion. We’ve had films about bees, GMOs, tar sands, tourism, coyotes, the arctic, seafood, and more.

3. What are some of the most notable films at this year’s festival?

Our opening night film is called Arctic Defenders, directed by Canadian filmmaker John Walker.  It’s a beautifully shot and moving story about the Inuit, the creation of Nunavut and what they’ve had to endure to be Canada’s “arctic defenders.” The film details their deportation further north by the Canadian government in order to protect Canadian sovereignty. It highlights Canada?s continued failure to protect and respect the Inuit culture, and it’s going to be a great firsthand look into their story as told by the Inuit themselves.

4. Are there any films you are looking forward to seeing yourself?

I’m really excited to see Tokyo Waka – it’s a documentary film about crows in Japan. I’m fascinated by Tokyo as an urban cultural centre and the film really highlights the awesomeness of Tokyo and how it really is one of the most interesting and wonderful cities in the world, but doesn’t shy away from how crows are becoming somewhat of a problem there. crows. As their numbers grew in recent years, Tokyo fought back: trapping them, destroying nests, and securing trash. Since crows are intensely smart birds, they ultimately adapted, and now they live with the human inhabitants of Tokyo in a weird sort of stalemate. The film also uses this story to make insightful and poetic statements about the balance between the urban world and the natural world, and how it is possible for these conflicting communities to live in harmony.

5. What is the most rewarding part of working with Planet In Focus?

As a film lover who studied film and film theory in university, and who worked with some great emerging talents in school, it’s immensely rewarding to see some awesome local filmmakers getting their chance to shine via our festival. There are going to be some amazing films from local directors at this year’s festival, such as Crackdown! (about Toronto citizens who keep chickens in their yards illegally) and Reclaimed (a story about a Toronto artist who creates using wood and trash discarded from condo developments). Not to sound too lofty here, but I love that we use the beauty and power of cinema to shed light on issues that are often ignored or swept under the rug by our society, despite their immense importance. Everyone has to live on this planet, so we may as well learn how to live in harmony with it.

 

Want a pair of tickets? Log in with Twitter and comment below why you want to attend.

Winner will be chosen Nov 6th 12pm EST. 

 

Good luck!