PLANET IN FOCUS Film Fest – What to See

The 14th annual PLANET IN FOCUS  is Canada’s largest environmental film festival that takes place in Toronto (November 21-24, 2013). The mission of this important film festival is to promote environmental education and conservation by raising awareness of worldwide environmental issues. The festival will also include initiatives such as panel discussions, guest speakers, and school programming.

“This year, PIF’s film line-up captures a clear snapshot of the state of our environment”, says Dawn Kuisma, Executive Director of Planet in Focus. “From the breathtaking but endangered landscape of Canada’s High Arctic in John Walker’s Arctic Defenders to the depths of the Canadian owned goldmines in Gold Fever, and in the troubled oceans and rivers of Tyler Mifflin’s, Water Brothers: The Pure and the Poisoned, and Markus Schmidt’s The Last Catch, PIF audiences will explore some of the most beautiful and also most at risk areas of our planet.”

Here are a few titles that are on our radar:

ARCTIC DEFENDERS directed by John WalkerARCTIC DEFENDERS (Opening Night presented by Organic Garage) John Walker | Canada |2013

Arctic Defenders provides a startling revelation that the Canadian government secretly moved Inuit communities into the High Arctic, without proper resources, in order to defend our sovereignty. Italian filmmaker Enrico Cerasuolo’s Last Call is the Closing Night Film and provides a provocative look at the writers and the theories presented in the 1972 book “The Limits to Growth” which looks at the impact of population, industrialization, pollution, food production and resource depletion and was dubbed ‘one of the most important documents of our age’ by the New York Times.

LAST CALL (Closing Night) Enrico Cerasuolo | Italy |2013

In 1972, the world ignored the predictions in the famous book, The Limits to Growth which outlined the impact of population, industrialization, resource and food shortages. Having ignored the warnings, what should we do now?

BURNING ICE Peter Gilbert and Adam Singer | Canada | 2010

In September 2009, 40 artists join the climate change project, Cape Farewell (a on nine-day voyage in the Arctic to experience the effects of climate change) and begin a creative conversation with the rest of the world about one of the most important issue facing humanity.

REVOLUTION by Rob StewartREVOLUTION Rob Stewart | USA/Canada | 2012

From the evolution of our species to the revolution to save it, Rob Stewart and his team take viewers on a groundbreaking mission into the greatest war ever waged.

A RIVER CHANGES COURSE Kalyanee Mam | USA/Cambodia | 2013

This breathtaking, Sundance award-winning, doc follows three rural Cambodian families’ quiet struggle to preserve traditions in the face of globalization.

EMPTYING THE SKIES Douglas Kass | USA | 2013

Writer Jonathan Franzen’s joins a passionate crusade in Southern Europe to save songbirds from becoming a delicacy in posh restaurants.

GMO OMG Jeremy Seifert | USA |2013

Director Seifert launches an investigation into one of the food industry’s best-kept secrets, Genetically Modified Organisms.

GRINGO TRAILS Pegi Vail | USA | 2013

Tourists may bring capital to even the most remote destinations, but that’s not all they bring. This groundbreaking doc reveals the footprint tourism leaves behind.

TOKYO WAKA A John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson | USA \ 2013

A visually stunning doc that ponders the relationship between ultra-urban Tokyo, its human inhabitants and its 20,000-strong crow population.

With the purchase of every ticket and membership, a tree will be planted in the Planet Focus Forest located in Alberta by The Carbon Farmer.

For film schedules and ticket information visit


Song to the Siren. Artist Heather Gentleman


You may also be interested in checking out the SONG TO THE SIREN art exhibit. The original works of artist Heather Gentleman will be on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario during the Planet in Focus Film Festival.  The premise of this exhibit is to call upon the Sirens of the Great Lakes and Nipissing by their Indigenous names to heal humanity.



Sonya is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of She is also a well-established contributing lifestyle writer to other sites and magazines sharing her passion for arts & culture, fashion, beauty, travel and food. Sonya is based in Toronto, Canada. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @theculturepearl

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