MANDATE & MISSION STATEMENT
Now in our 15th year, Planet in Focus is an environmental media arts organization with year-round programming whose mandate is to produce, promote and disseminate first and foremost artistically made films and videos that question, explore, and tell stories about the world in which we live.
The Planet in Focus Environmental Film & Video Festival showcases and promotes outstanding and compelling environmental films and videos in all genres (documentaries, animation, experimental, shorts films and dramas) by Canadian and international filmmakers.
Our goal is to enlighten, engage, and entertain audiences of all backgrounds – through film.
Furthermore, our Mission is to:
· To expand opportunities for artists to create and exhibit new works in the environmental genre with themes that celebrate, question and establish varied ways of viewing the state of our world
· To establish a hub for artists and producers of environmental artistic media at our annual festival, on-line and in varied events throughout the year locally, nationally and internationally for the exhibition of environmental media
· To include and encourage diverse perspectives (e.g., Aboriginal, women, multi-cultural, diasporas, international, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, racial, spiritual, and economic status)
· To use a broad definition of environment that includes the natural, cultural, social, political-economic environments and the dynamic relationships between these. This includes everything from the bodies we live in, to the physical structures, institutions and industries human’s build, to the politics, languages and cultural practices we use to communicate, and of course, to the environment-Earth and its complex multitude of life and processes
· To provide the viewing public a layered experience, appreciation and understanding of the aesthetic range of environmental artistic expression in Canada and globally
· To promote the use of film and video as a catalyst for public awareness, discussion, and appropriate action and positive change on the ecological and social health of the planet
Mark Haslam – Festival Founder
Mark was the Founder and Director of the Planet in Focus Environmental Film and Video Festival from 1999 to 2004 during which the festival evolved into an important event on Ontario’s film festival calendar. Earlier in his career, Mark was a writer, director and producer at Vision TV for several programs, including a Gemini Award-winning series. He has been on the programming committee of Desh Pardesh, the multidisciplinary South Asian arts and culture festival and he has served on programming juries for the Hot Docs and Inside Out festivals. He has contributed both as an editor and as a writer to a variety of publications dealing with film, cultural studies and the environment. Mark has a Masters degree in both Fine Arts and Environmental Studies and he is a Fellow with LEAD (Leadership for Environmental and Development) International in London, England.