GREEN SCHOOL TOURS
brought to you in partnership with
Since 1999, Planet in Focus has played a significant role in helping to raise awareness about the state of our planet through the power of film in schools and communities across Canada. Now you can join the Green School Tours and host in-school screenings of engaging environmental films!
Planet in Focus Teachers’ Guides are now available for selected titles. These guides provide background on the topics covered in the films, as well as additional resources like news coverage, helpful videos and websites for further research. The creation of the guides has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Scroll down to see the Teachers’ Guides below!
The 2017 Green School Tour is now sold out. We look forward to bringing the tour back in 2018 – please check back soon!
Step 1: The first 3 schools in each region will receive a free in-school film festival
North Eastern GTA
Grand River (Guelph, Elora, etc.)
Kitchener-Waterloo & Cambridge
If you do not qualify for a free program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for alternative options.
Step 2: Choose from the list below and apply!
RECOMMENDED FOR GRADES 1-6
Stephen Most | United States | 23 min
Themes: ecosystems, soundscapes
This unique doc offers a fascinating look at the world through the soundscapes of nature, as recorded by sound ecologist Bernie Krause, who is renowned for incorporating natural sounds into orchestral music for movies and other projects. Stunning natural landscapes complement interviews with various collaborators, in a project that documents an expedition to record sounds of the wildlife north of the Arctic.
Lalita Krishna | Canada | 28 min
Themes: water scarcity, social action
Ryan was 6 years old when he heard people were dying without clean water. The rest is history. In 14 years the Ryan’s Well Foundation has built over 1000 wells and sanitation projects helping hundreds of thousands of people get access to clean water. Ryan’s compassionate act has moved millions of people to take action. ‘Little people can do big jobs, You don’t have to be a grown up before people will listen to you”.In this documentary, Ryan returns to the site of his first well in Uganda to see the impact of his actions.
The Invisible Mammal
Kristin Tieche | United States | 10 min
Themes: wildlife, ecosystems
The Invisible Mammal is a film series about the struggle that bats face to survive, specifically in North America, where white nose syndrome is causing sharp decline in populations of certain bat species. The series will also address issues like climate change and habitat destruction, and the role that humans must take to save bats from extinction.
The Tree / L’arbre
Lucie Sunkova | Czech Republic | 15 min
Themes: Life cycle, natural resources
This film by Lucie Sunková is a metaphor on the parallels between the lives of trees and people, a lyrical poem on birth and death, an ode to the passage of time. It tells the story of parenthood, going beyond the boundaries of one’s (not only human) life. The technique of painting on glass is not just an animation method, but being so painstaking and artistic it works as another level of the whole parable.
Jean-Nicolas Orhon | Canada | 13 min
Themes: art, nature, wildlife
This delicate, poetic film offers a unique artistic creation: a portrait of the nearly extinct monarch butterfly assembled from traces of its movement on carbon black paper. By exploring the life of the monarch butterfly, and the effect it has on its human neighbours, this film combines art with a message of conservation and understanding.
Alex & Tyler Mifflin | Canada | 25 min
Themes: rainforest, water cycle
In Sao Paulo, Brazil, a record-breaking mega-drought has crippled the city and deforestation is thought to be one of the leading causes of the water shortages. The Brothers travel to the Amazon rainforest to explore the powerful message of what happens to the water cycle when too many trees are removed, and meet with innovative farmers who are trying to protect forests while maintaining high productivity.
RECOMMENDED FOR GRADES 6-12
David Lavallee | Canada | 83 min
Major themes: fossil fuels, energy production, activism
Filmmaker David Lavallee turns his attention to the wider impact of oil and gas extraction in the “new energy” age in To the Ends of the Earth. Since the peak of crude oil production a decade ago, the fossil fuel industry has been forced to resort to costly and unconventional methods of extraction—arctic drilling and shale gas fracking among them—giving rise to unprecedented economic and environmental hazards. Narrated by Emma Thompson, To the Ends of the Earth is a comprehensive investigation of the increasingly intensive hunt for untapped non-renewables. Lavallee’s latest is also a forum for a formidable array of scientists, authors, and activists, including Naomi Klein, who envision a post-growth economic future, premised on cooperation, social justice, and ecological stewardship. Website
Valentin Thurn | Germany | 52 min
Themes: global/local food systems, industrial/organic farming
Within the 21st century, the global population will surpass 10 billion, a figure that current methods of agricultural production cannot hope to sustain. Author, filmmaker, and self-proclaimed “food fighter” Valentin Thurn (Taste the Waste) set out in search of solutions to this looming crisis, documenting his discoveries in 10 Billion – What’s on Your Plate? Seeking ecologically and economically viable innovations, Thurn travels the world, consulting small-scale farmers and industrial producers alike. Among his destinations are an Indian seed bank, urban gardens in the US and UK, and a Dutch university cultivating lab-grown beef. A richly diverse and rigorously researched survey, 10 Billion offers an absorbing vision of the future of sustainable food. Website
Craig Norris | Tanzania/Canada | 29 min
Major themes: renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, deforestation, water scarcity
Despite the tiny size of their homeland, the challenges facing the 450 inhabitants of Kokota are global in scale. Plagued by widespread deforestation, severe water shortages, and a collapsing fishery, the Indian Ocean islet is a microcosm of the dangers wrought by climate change. But thanks to the efforts of an invested neighbour from the nearby island of Pemba, and the resilience and resolve of Kokotans, the islanders are innovating, adapting, and flourishing. Kokota: Islet of Hope offers an inspirational lesson in the power of simple solutions.
Vicki Lean | Canada | 88 min
Major themes: Human rights, pollution, Canadian politics
Winner of the Best Canadian Feature at the 16th Annual Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival. Vicki Lean has crafted a stunning documentary about the community of Attawapiskat and the impact diamond mining has had on the community. The multinational corporation De beers has opened a diamond mine on the band’s traditional territory, leading to promises of economic benefit and the risk of environmental damage. Lean interviews leaders and community members of Attawapiskat First Nation, De beers executives and representatives from federal and provincial governments. This doc looks at the difficult situation, exposing the indifference that made it possible, and highlights stories of resistance from inside the community.