Planet in Focus Announces 2017 Line-Up

PiF opens with Unfractured from director Chanda Chevannes


By Pat Mullen

Toronto’s Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival has unveiled its line-up for the 2017 edition of the festival. PiF will open with the world premiere of Chanda Chevannes’ Unfractured. The film profiles activist and rebel Dr. Sandra Steingraber in an uplifting portrait of a woman firmly committed to saving the world while balancing her responsibilities at work and at home.

PiF’s closing night selection is the documentary Can You Dig This? directed by Delila Vallot. Can You Dig This looks at the emerging urban gardening movement in South Los Angeles and features “Gangsta Gardener” Ron Finley as one of its subjects. Finley is the recipient of this year’s International Eco Hero award.

Other highlights in the programme include the extraordinary activist documentary Blue by Karina Holden, which brings an urgent story of water pollution and the consequences of plastic contamination in the Earth’s oceans, and the crowd-pleasing character study Four Wheel Bob, directed by Tal Skloot, about inspiring outdoorsman Bob Coomber who treks the trails of America by wheelchair. Timothy Wheeler’s strange and eye-opening Poached uncovers a deviant network of hobbyists who endanger rare birds by collection their eggs, while Joakim Demmer’s Dead Donkeys Fear No Hyenas explores the problems faced by Ethiopia as it exports food to Europe while relying on the support of the World Bank to survive.

On the Canadian front, PiF includes The Corporation producer Bart Simpson’s Brasilia: Life After Design, which follows three citizens in the city that aspired to be a utopian hotspot, as well as the enchanting animated short Birdlime by Evan DeRushie, the provocative experimental work The Big City by Evan Luchkow, the significant Shuswap tale Kéwku by Sean Stiller, and Kalli Anderson and Zachary Finkelstein’s Bird City Lights, which should especially appeal to fans of the eco doc The Messenger.

Get the full line-up of films here

Planet in Focus runs Oct. 19-22.