Jordana in France

Jordana Aarons

Executive Director

Part of the Planet in Focus team since spring of 2014, Jordana brings her vast experience from the film & television industry. With a focus on human rights, Jordana had the good fortune to meet and perform for Nelson Mandela. From there she managed a cutting edge post-production facility, worked as an Assistant Director, Production Manager and on to produce numerous award winning films that have been invited to festivals around the world – notably the climate change docs The Antarctica Challenge and The Polar Explorer both screened at PIF.

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Katherine Bruce

Development Director

Katherine is delighted to be back working with Planet in Focus as Development Director responsible for fundraising and strategic partnerships. She has worked extensively in the not-for-profit arts sector, most recently for Cape Farewell on a project called Carbon 14: Climate is Culture in partnership with ROM Contemporary Culture. Katherine has an MA in Communication and Cultural Studies with a research focus on fresh water as both a commodity and a human rights through the historical narrative of Toronto’s R.C. Harris Filtration Plant.

Alessandra Cannito

Alessandra Cannito

Programs Director

Alessandra joined the Planet in Focus team in 2013 as a graduate of Ryerson University School of Media’s Radio and Television Arts Program. Engaging audiences through art is her passion, and in addition to Planet in Focus, Alessandra is an active singer and voice actor, with two decades in the North American entertainment industry. Her experience in production also includes coordinating media events such as Starwalkers: A Celebrity Tribute to MusiCounts and Crossmedia Banff.

marc glassman

Marc Glassman

Senior Film Programmer

Marc Glassman is an editor, film programmer, lecturer, writer, broadcaster, and the Artistic Director of This is Not a Reading Series, a multi-disciplinary programme that explores the creative process in literature. Marc is the Editor-in-Chief of POV (Point of View), Canada’s leading periodical on documentary culture and Montage, the Directors Guild of Canada’s national magazine. He is an Adjunct Professor at Ryerson Univeristy’s Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Media programme.


Julian Carrington

Film Programmer

Julian Carrington is a freelance writer and film programmer based in Toronto. He has contributed to publications including The Globe & Mail, Indiewire, and Cinema Scope, and, in 2014, served as a programming associate with the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2015, he became manager of the Documentary Organization of Canada’s Festival Concierge initiative, supporting filmmakers in developing distribution and audience engagement strategies.

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Michael John Long

Panel Programmer

Michael primarily works on environmental ethics and law.  He is currently completing the PhD at Osgoode Hall Law School, and previously attended York University for the Master in Environmental Studies (MES), and Osgoode Hall for the Master of Laws (LLM).  Michael has been a close friend of Planet in Focus since partnering in 2011 to co-create the Focus on Sustainability Film Festival at YorkU.  At PIF, Michael helps with creating and moderating the Fest Forum Panels.



Erica Richard

Environmental Education Coordinator

Erica has a life long love of the environment and what she calls a healthy obsession with film. These interests lead to a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Carleton University and a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication from Laurentian University. She thinks every film can be a teaching tool and is excited to join the Planet in Focus Team to help spread the word and love of environmental films.


Katii Capern

Communications Coordinator

A graduate of Ryerson University’s interdisciplinary Creative Industries program, Katii joined the Planet in Focus team in 2016. Her lifelong passions for storytelling and the environment have propelled her to advocate for the earth through creative platforms. With a background in community-based initiatives and storytelling practices, she is proud to support PiF’s incredible programs – for filmmakers working to create a better world, and for the next generation who will lead us into a more sustainable future.


Emily Charles-Donelson

Social Media Manager

With a double Honours Degree in Film Studies and Psychology from Carleton University, Emily is devoted to using her knowledge of media and communications to change the world for the better. Emily has been perfecting the art of online storytelling as a method to amplify the important messages of non-profits and charities in Toronto. She brings the tools and techniques of traditional digital media marketing to organizations working hard to shift our world into a new story and more sustainable planet.


Chloé Michel

Festival Coordinator

Chloé is a political sciences student in France and is currently taking a gap year from her masters in environmental politics. She is mostly interested in education to environmental issues and the socio-philosophical understanding of climate change and big transitions in the 21st Century.


Sophia Mendizabal

Volunteer Coordinator

Sophia has a background in Art & Design and Environmental Studies.  She uses this to create an outlet for creativity through various mediums of photography, photojournalism, and textile design to educate and inspire environmental and social change. A true believer in a sustainable planet, Sophia leads a zero-waste approach that has been incorporated into her works and designs.

Laura Vega Quant

Laura Vega Quant

Digital Media Designer

Laura is a Graphic Design student at George Brown College. She believes deeply into taking care of the environment and is very passionate about art and design. She is very excited to be part of Planet in Focus team and looking forward to bringing environmental awareness forward to the larger society through the promotion of their films in a creative and visually stimulating manner.


Gesila Azorbo


Gesilayefa Azorbo is a Toronto-based writer, photographer and filmmaker. She has a deep interest in music, film, literature, and pop culture. She was born in Nigeria, grew up in Kenya, currently lives in Canada, and considers herself a Third Culture Kid. Her work explores themes related to music, creativity and identity

pat mullen

Pat Mullen


Pat Mullen is the Assistant Online Editor at POV Magazine. He covers film at, contributes to The Canadian Encyclopedia and is a member of the Online Film Critics Society. You can reach him on Twitter at @cinemablogrpher. Pat joined the Planet in Focus team as a pre-screener in early 2015.

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Rachel Singer


Rachel is a student in Ryerson’s Environment and Urban Sustainability program. She has worked in environmental education and currently does research focusing on gentrification and equity issues in the context of Toronto’s neighbourhoods. Rachel is interested in sustainable policy and urban ecology.