Where: Online and in person
When: October 14 – 24, 2021
Cost: PIF 2021 festival passes are available online now for $35 CAD, with select individual screening tickets available for $10 and $12. Can be purchased at www.planetinfocus.org
Details: The Planet In Focus International Environmental Film Festival (PIF), Canada’s largest environmental film festival announces the lineup for it’s 2021 edition. This year’s hybrid event showcases a stellar lineup of Canadian and international film screenings and premieres, alongside a selection of in person experiences, all chosen to address climate, environment, biodiversity, reconciliation and equity. The 2021 lineup demonstrates PIF’s award winning expertise toward programming films which ask timely questions and tell pressing stories about our natural world and which continue to enlighten, engage and entertain audiences since the festival was first established 22 years ago.
The festival has evolved to meet our unprecedented times by offering a selection of international and national titles shared through nationally accessible online screenings, Ontario exclusive premieres, and two in person events, inside Toronto’s stackt market. Located at Bathurst and Front Street stackt is designed entirely out of shipping containers; the market is an ever-evolving cultural marketplace featuring a mix of shops, a microbrewery + killer city views.
This year’s edition of PIF opens with Heather Hatch’s stunning Wochiigii lo. Shot over five years by Hatch who is Haida and hails from British Columbia, this stirring chronicle of resistance and environmental stewardship, and the ongoing construction of Site C, a multi-billion-dollar mega-dam along BC’s Peace River. If completed, the project will flood thousands of acres of agricultural land,threaten critical habitat, and endanger a way of life that has been sustainably practiced for millennia—even as official assessments suggest the dam’s potential benefits are difficult to discern. The PIF screening marks the second consecutive Toronto film screening for this important and timely Canadian story.
Additional Canadian feature films in the festival include Gloria Pancraziand Elena Jean’s Coextinction, a stunning journey across the Pacific Northwest, joining activists, scientists and Indigenous leaders, to uncover the corruption behind the extinction of orcas; The Gig is Up, by Shannon Walsh, a cinema verite styled film which uncovers the real costs of the platform economy through the lives of workers from around the world for companies including Uber, Amazon and Deliveroo; as well as the World Premiere of Hubert Caron-Guayand Serge-Olivier Rondeau’s Resources, an artful and insightful observational documentary which follows a cohort of recent arrivals from Mexico who are navigating both the asylum system and the recruitment processes of food companies in Quebec.
Also returning this year are the robust Canadian and international short film programs. These will all be delivered via specialized programming, including Indigenous Experiences; Encounters in the Natural World;Taking Action; and Diverse Eco Visions. Highlights include a live streamed closing night screening of Toronto filmmakers Nadine Pequeneza’s Last of the Right Whales. This special screening is part of the PIF 2021Marine Spotlight, and is presented in conjunction with the programming to coincide with the Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) Great Whale Exhibition. Last of the Right Whaleswill be available exclusively in Ontario via Cinesend on October 24 at 7pm ET.
Next, Planet in Focus will deliver the annual Family Day, delivered in partnership with the City of Toronto’s ShowLoveTOinitiative, at stackt market on October 16. The Family Shorts Program features a screening of Brian Yulo Ng’s acclaimed stop motion animated film, Ryori (Japan), alongside a variety of Canadian and international titles expressly chosen for young people. The films will be complemented by a live dance performance from Toronto choreographer Neil Lordson Tangcuangco and the day will end with a family feature event of the classic environmental animated movie, WALL-E.