With its 17th edition, Planet in Focus Film Festival has truly evolved to become an event that includes a year-round programming of monthly screening series and national and international tours. This is Canada´s leading environmental film organization. It showcases outstanding environmental films by Canadian and international filmmakers.
The festival takes place in Toronto every year and includes environmental films, an industry program, and a school program. These films are taken to schools across Canada and internationally through their Touring Programs. There are a total of 75 films presented every year. The themes of the environmental films are usually provocative and challenging.
The showcases of films include drama, documentary, animation, or experimental.
The Festival has several other important components that nurture its success. These include:
- Industry Day is considered a key component of the festival. It includes panels, workshops, and a Master Class to inform and assist filmmakers. There is also a meeting with distributers, funders, and broadcasters.
- The Green Pitch Competition is a key highlight of the Industry Series. It provides funding to a filmmaker for the development of their project
- Five Best of Awards that include a monetary prize like this:
- Best Canadian Short Film $500
- Best Canadian Feature Film $1000
- Best International Short Film $500
- Best International Feature Film $1000
- Mark Haslam Award for an under-represented community $500
Planet in Focus, as part of their Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival, accepts film submissions from January to May.
The festival was founded in 1999 by Festival Director Mark Haslam. Today, the organization is run by a volunteer Board of Directors. The organization is also run by Honorary Patrons Dr. David Suzuki, an environmentalist and broadcaster, and Vandana Shiva, environmental activitist and eco-feminist.