“In nature’s economy the currency is not money, it is life.”
― Vandana Shiva, Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability and Peace

The 16th Annual Planet In Focus Film Festival is putting a spotlight on a number of important environmental issues this year – but by far one of the overarching themes of this year’s festival is the issue of SEEDS.

A seed may be small, but it is mighty in its ability to shape the whole face of existence: “Whatever happens to seed affects the web of life” (Dr. Vandana Shiva). Here’s a comprehensive list of the carefully curated documentaries about Seeds and Organic Agriculture that will be screening between October 21st-25th in Toronto!

1) The Living Seed & Dr. Vandana Shiva in Conversation! – Wed. Oct. 21st, Isabel Bader Theatre, 7PM

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Dr. Vandana Shiva, Scientist, author, environmentalist and modern-day revolutionary, will be joining us for a screening of The Living Seed and in-depth conversation pertaining to biodiversity, the art of seed saving, local organic agriculture and more. During this event, we will be offering Dr. Shiva an award in celebration and recognition of her work and activism over the years in defence of these important issues. GET TICKETS 

2) I Am A Seed Saver – Thursday, October 22nd, The Royal Cinema, 6:30PM

Amy Millan in I Am A Seed Saver campaign video

Amy Millan in I Am A Seed Saver campaign video

Join us on Opening Night as we celebrate the work of Amy Millan (from the band STARS) and congratulate her for her leadership in USC Canada’s I Am A Seed Saver campaign to promote awareness of biodiversity, farmers’ rights and ecological agriculture. I Am A Seed Saver is a medley of Canadian musicians who, along with USC Canada, are celebrating good seeds and everything they mean for human health, environmental protection and food security. This screens alongside After The Last River.

3) Plant This Movie – Friday, October 23rd, Innis College, 5PM.

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Plant This Movie encourages audiences to use green space to grow veggies instead of grass. Darryl Hannah narrates this documentary about the benefits of Urban Farming in the changing landscapes of urban/suburban living. GET TICKETS 

4) Good Things Await – Saturday, October 24th, AGO Jackman Hall, 7:00PM

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Denmark’s preeminent documentary filmmaker Phie Ambo’s beautiful film follows Niels Stokholm, who has dedicated the past 40 years of his life to raising red cattle, once the dominant form in the country but now virtually extinct. Government officials continually harass the octogenarian farmer for his old fashioned, nearly mystical ways, which break the rules but the acclaimed chef Jesper Moller and the top restaurant in the world, Noma, support Stokholm. Who will win? GET TICKETS

5) Plant, Pick & Eat It  Saturday, October 24th, AGO Jackman Hall, 12:00PM

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Neighbours in Kassel, Germany are the cast of this documentary about community gardening. A public square is transformed into a community and sculpture garden by people in the surrounding neighbourhood. The film explores both the positive human impacts of the initiative and the subsequent resistance by the city to continue on with the garden. GET TICKETS

6) The Camp Home Project with Panel Discussion Saturday, October 24th, Innis College, 11:30AM

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Celebrity chef Michael Stadlander joins us for a panel discussion after the screening of Camp Home Project – a doc about Michael and his team of apprentices who set out to raise awareness of Genetically Modified Organisms through a series of culinary events. In classical cinema verité style, this film documents life on Eigensinn Farm with Michael, who has total belief in organic, local farming. What the Stadtlanders offer to the guests who come to eat their meals is more than food: it’s a philosophy of elegant sustainability mixed with joy and passion. The film is an honest treatment of a couple who have made sustainability work for them and their dedicated crew. GET TICKETS 

7) Seeds of Time – Saturday, October 24th, Innis College, 4:00PM

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For outspoken scientist and activist Cary Fowler, seed diversity is absolutely essential for the preservation of the planet. Without it, we’ll lose our healthy food supply. The engaging Fowler takes the viewer to the venerable Leningrad agricultural department and the astonishing “frozen garden of Eden” in Svalbard, Norway, which replaced Russia as the foremost preserver of seeds. In light of the recent events surrounding the ‘doomsday’ Svalbard seed bank, the panel discussion with filmmaker of Seeds of Time Sandy McLeod and Jane Rabinowicz, director of Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, will be particularly timely! GET TICKETS

8) CLOSING NIGHT: The Last Harvest – Sunday, October 25th, Bloor Hot Docs Theatre, 7PM

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Over 800,000 people have been forcibly relocated as a result of China’s controversial South-to-North Water Diversion Project, the largest of its kind in the world. In the process, three ancient cities and 247,000 acres of fertile farmland have been submerged. Last Harvest follows the riveting journey of an elderly Chinese farming couple whose relocation is imminent as a result of this project. Director Hui Wang captures a remarkable and engaging human story at the intersection of connection and disconnection from land and culture, and of old and new China. GET TICKETS

For a list of films that are accompanied by Panel Discussions, Check out FESTIVAL FORUM DAY 

 

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