Toronto’s Planet in Focus International Environmental Film & Video Festival Set For October

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Margaret AtwoodToronto’s Planet in Focus International Environmental Film & Video Festival, now in its 11th year, runs October 13 to 17 and will screen 90 feature films, documentaries and short films from Canada and around the world.

The full line up will be announced on Sept. 22 and tickets go on sale the following day. The theme for this year is “Life on Earth,” in keeping with the United Nations’ declaration that 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity.

Opening the festival will be the Toronto Premiere Gala Presentation of Ron Mann’s documentary, In the Wake of the Flood (Sphinx Productions).  The film follows acclaimed Canadian author Margaret Atwood on her world book tour for her novel, The Year of the Flood.

Sudbury performance during Margaret Atwood's unique book tour for In the Wake of the Flood
Set in a post-apocalyptic future, the novel chronicles the onset of a pandemic and the small group that survives it.  Mann’s documentary brings further attention to the plight of the natural world on our planet through a series of community events around the world.

As part of Opening Night, Atwood and her partner, fellow novelist Graeme Gibson, will be honoured with this year’s Planet in Focus’ Canadian Eco Hero Award. This honour is given to an individual or individuals who have made an outstanding contribution by promoting environmental awareness, action and change and by seeking solutions to a more sustainable future. 

Ron MannThe evening will also include a musical performance by Echo-Choir, a Toronto-based women’s choir which will perform passages from the novel set to music, similar to the community choir performances featured in the film.

All the Opening Night Gala festivities will be held at the Bell Lightbox, the new five-story complex in downtown Toronto.

As well as the Bell Lightbox, other screenings through the duration of Planet in Focus take place at the Royal Ontario Museum, the Al Green Theatre at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, Theatre Direct at the Artscape Wychwood Barns (Toronto’s first heritage project with LEED certification), The Royal and the Bata Shoe Museum.

In addition to the screenings, there are filmmaking and eco panels and workshops at the Planet in Focus Industry Day on October 15 at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, as well as children’s and youth programming, including the Green Sprouts! New Filmmakers’ Showcase.  

Planet in Focus is Canada’s leading non-profit environmental media arts organization, producing year-round programming across Canada and around the world and fostering a new generation of environmental filmmakers.

For more information, go to planetinfocus.org.

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