Doc-maker Jennifer Baichwal (pictured) has been named a Canadian Eco Hero by the Toronto-based Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival, which also announced some of its programming highlights for this year.
Baichwal’s body of work also includes the recent Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, which examined the environmental and economic impact of debt; Act of God, which looked at the metaphysical dimensions of being struck by lightning; and Manufactured Landscapes, which focused on environmental devastation as seen in the photographic work of Ed Burtynsky. The upcoming Water, which recently received funding from the Shaw Media-Hot Docs Completion and Development Fund, will be directed by both Baichwal and Burtynsky.
“For the past 18 years Jennifer Baichwal has created an outstanding body of work by using the medium of film to examine many complex issues including our relationship with the environment,” said Rob Pazdro, executive director, Planet in Focus. “Jennifer has done this with a unique creative passion and we are honored to have her as our Canadian Eco Hero.”
Baichwal will accept the award on October 12, during an “in conversation session” moderated by Adam Nayman and also featuring producing partner Nick de Pencier and Burtynsky.
Documentary features announced for the festival, which hits Toronto from October 10-14, include the North American premiere of Maori Boy Genius from New Zealand director Pietra Brettkelly; the Canadian premiere of Just Do It: A Tale of Modern-Day Outlaws from the UK’s Emily James; and the Toronto premieres of three projects from Canadian directors – Geoff Morrison’s Northwords, Amy Miller’s The Carbon Rush, and Vanishing Point from Stephen A. Smith and Julia Szucs.
The full line-up of programming for the environmental film fest will be revealed on September 24.