Toronto’s Planet in Focus honors the best in enviromental film

Documentaries by Gary Marcuse and Briar March took two of the top prizes at the Planet in Focus Film Festival this weekend in Toronto. (Pictured: Marcuse's Waking the Green Tiger)
October 17, 2011

Films by Canadian directors Réal Junior Leblanc and Gary Marcuse took two of the top prizes at the Planet in Focus Film Festival this weekend in Toronto.

Marcuse’s feature doc, Waking the Green Tiger (pictured), was named best Canadian feature film head of its premiere later this year on CBC’s The Nature of Things, while Leblanc’s film, Nanameskueu, was named best Canadian short film at the festival, which screened 75 environmentally focused films over five days in Toronto.

The festival’s best international feature film award went to Briar March’s There Once Was An Island: Te Henua E Nnoho, which examines the impact of climate change on the indigenous people of Papua New Guinea and the best international short film award was handed to Evan and Carmen Elsa Lopez Abramson’s Carbon for Water. The film follows a carbon-conscious startup working to provide clean water in Kenya.

Additionally, the film festival handed out cash prizes in the form of The Green Pitch Award, which bestowed CDN$5,000 in development funding and services to Charlotte Engel and her documentary, Carpe Diem, and the Green Screen Award, for which $5,000 went to producer Avi Federgreen for Score, A Hockey Musical, which incorporated environmentally friendly techniques in its production.

The Planet in Focus jury included broadcast executive Janice Tufford; film director Liz Marshall  and director and photojournalist Powys Dewhurst. The Green Screen Award jury included Harold Greenberg Fund president John Galway, Clean Air Partnership executive director and GTA Clean Air Council member Eva Ligeti, and Mercury Films president Nicholas de Pencier. The Green Pitch Award jury included Gordon Henderson of 90th Parallel Productions, Shaw Media exec Andrew Johnson and the CBC’s Caroline Underwood.

The environmental film fest ran from October 12 to 16 in Toronto.

(From Playback Daily)

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.