5 films to watch at the 2012 Planet in Focus Film Festival
The Planet in Focus Film Festival celebrates its 13th year and it promises to be a good one. The festival opens with Lost Rivers and closes with Chasing Ice, the Hot Docs People's Choice Award. While the festival showcases some of the best environmentally focused films of the year, action is not only found on the screen; a tree is planted for every t-shirt sold, renewable green energy is supplied by Bullfrog Power and Carbon Zero offsets the carbon use of the festival. Now, for a few of the films.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 11 / BAY OF ALL SAINTS / CINEMA 3 / 7:30PM
In Brazil's Bay of All Saints, rows of haphazard shacks (palafitas) sit on stilts above water during high tide and a sea of garbage in low tide. For over sixty years this community has thrived by building their homes on garbage, replacing the stilts and tapping into the water and electricity grid. The inhabitants live mere blocks from hotels, restaurants and plazas, where some of them even work. With the help of refrigerator-repairman Norato, the crew spends six years with a group of families (mostly single mothers) as they pray for relief from a shaky and disorganized government relocation project.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 11 / JUST DO IT: A TALE OF MODERN DAY OUTLAWS / CINEMA 3 / 9:30PM
Domestic extremist Marina Pepper is a tea-toting, fascinator-wearing modern day activist, a perfect fit for a nation obsessed with tabloids and public acts of spectacle. Just Do It spends a year following her and an imaginative group of activists (the Camp for Climate Action) as they practice barricade techniques to defend themselves from cops, decorate a politician's house with windmills to protest his views on wind energy and "lock-in" the Royal Bank of Scotland with ladders and superglue. With unprecedented access to the group and their planning strategies, Just Do It acts as a tool to spark inspiration for revolutionaries in training.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 12 / BITTER SEEDS / CINEMA 3 / 5PM
While much is known about the biologic harm of genetically modified seeds, less is known about the deadly impact that the seeds have on the farmer. Nowhere in the world is this more evident than in India where agriculture is in such rough shape that one farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes. Bitter Seeds exposes the human suffering found at the hands of large agricultural corporations, and how the expensive and allegedly disease-resistant seeds, are worse than useless when the crops are compromised anyway. There's no shortage of documentaries about the hazards of GMO's but none hit as hard as Bitter Seeds.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 13 / HOME GROWN - LOCAL FILMMAKERS SPEAK OUT! / CINEMA 3 / 2:15PM
This short program addresses the need for films about local issues, some of which were created by participants of the Youth Camera Action! production program. Explore the benefits of farmers' markets in You Are What You Eat, discover more about the fight against the mega-quarry in Dolime Dilemma: Water Proof?, reintroduce yourself to the endangered Peregrine Falcon in Feathered Bullets and even witness the wall between nature and technology in the experimental short, Transformed.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 14 / IN ORGANIC WE TRUST / CINEMA 2 / 12PM
When is organic not really organic? What do the labels on packages even mean? In Organic We Trust takes a hard look at the corporate takeover of the term "organic" and how it has turned an environmental movement into a 30 billion dollar a year industry. Combined with the well-documented disconnect that most North Americans have with their food chain, (see films like Food, Inc and King Corn) In Organic We Trust tries to clear the air about what organic really means and how the designation isn't a do-all-end-all way of preserving our health but just another rung in the ladder.
Additional Events & Screenings
- An Evening with Jennifer Baichwal with Edward Burtynsky and Nicholas de Pencier - Fri Oct 12 - 7:15pm
- Vanishing Point (Katinngat) - Fri Oct 12 - 9:15pm
- Semper Fi: Always Faithful - Sun Oct 14 - 12:15pm
- Chasing Ice - Closing Night Gala - Sun Oct 14 - 7pm
The Planet in Focus Film Festival runs from Wednesday October 10 to Sunday October 14. All screenings will be held at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Tickets can be purchased online or at the TIFF Bell Lightbox box office.