The creation, mitigation, and elimination of our wasteful ways might be the defining environmental issue we face together in the 21st century.  From food to single-use plastics to electronics to clothing, the stuff we are consuming and tossing on an increasingly rapid basis is estimated to cause a staggering 60 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and between 50 and 80 percent of total land, material and water use:

60-80 percent of the impacts on the planet come from household consumption. If we change our consumption habits, this would have a drastic effect on our environmental footprint as well.” – Diana Ivanova, a PhD candidate at the Norwegian University of Science

There’s a silver lining in this: while the effects of mass individual consumption are environmentally devastating, this is also where we can effect significant change. We’ve programmed a few gems into our film festival lineup this year that revel in the grassroots movements sprouting up around the globe to keep our things and our food out of landfills, making better use of our precious resources while cutting back on wasteful consumption. These are the roots that take hold and result in a sea-change of human behaviour, blossoming into change at the level of government and industry policy.

Join us, get inspired about waste!


Karina Holden  Australia 2017 | Documentary | 76 min | G

By the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

Shark experts, marine biologists, sustainability promoters and Greenpeace activists are all fighting to preserve the ecological integrity of the Pacific Ocean from Indonesia to Hawaii.

Blue reveals shocking truths about the environment in Australia. The acclaimed Great Barrier Reef has had its coral cover halved in the past 30 years while the production of plastic bags is now over 50 million per year. Marine life is under constant threat, including sharks.


WASTED! The Story of Food Waste

Anna Chai, Nari Kye | USA | 2017 | Documentary | 85 min 

Slick, solution-oriented, and featuring Anthony Bourdain at his sardonic best, WASTED! The Story of Food Waste is that rare social issue documentary that’s every bit as entertaining as it is informative. Certainly, the film offers up its fair share of troubling facts—for instance, nearly a third of all food produced worldwide is wasted before it even reaches a plate—but directors Anna Chai and Nari Kye don’t belabour the failures of the global food system. Instead, they enlist Bourdain to introduce a roster of innovative chefs (including Dan Barber and Massimo Bottura) and enterprising thought leaders who are devising ingenious methods of maximizing sustainable food distribution. They offer viewers suggestions on how they can contribute to the effort, helping them to feel, in Bourdain’s inimitable words, “the smug self-satisfaction of doing the right thing!”


Death by Design

Sue Williams | USA/China | 2016 | Documentary | 73 min 

Full of inconvenient truths about the devices we’ve come to rely on for convenience and connectivity, Death by Design is a powerful and provocative look at the hidden human and ecological costs of our favourite gadgets. Director Sue Williams surveys the tech industry’s long history of haphazard attitudes towards hazardous materials, from the high rate of cancer among IBM employees in the ‘70s and ‘80s to the contemporary complaints of workers at Foxconn, Apple’s Taiwanese manufacturing partner. While many of these facts are grim—60% of China’s groundwater is unfit to drink thanks in part to factory pollutants—Death by Design isn’t all bad news. Williams also takes time to spotlight companies like iFixIt and iameco, working to empower consumers to disrupt the cycle of planned obsolescence.



Cat Mills | 2016 | Canada | 14 min | G | canleaf_small

If we can repair it, why not repair it? Why do we need to buy new things and then create more plastic and waste?

FIXED! highlights Toronto’s volunteer-run Repair Café, beloved but broken items are given a new lease on life, dodging the landfill and delighting their owners.

Screens with Food Coop (2016) on Food Fest Forum day at Planet in Focus.


Don’t miss the 18th Annual Planet in Focus Film Festival in Toronto (October 19-22), Canada’s largest and longest-running environmental film festival!

September 28, 2017

Rethinking WASTE: Solutions to a 21st Century Problem

September 13, 2017

Green Pitch Competition: an Opportunity for Environmental Filmmakers

September 7, 2017

Introducing Chanda Chevannes: Canadian Filmmaker, Writer & Educator

September 5, 2017

5 Films to Catch at TIFF with an Environmental Focus

August 23, 2017

Get Your Broken Treasures FIXED with Repair Café Toronto

July 27, 2017

Life on the River: Attawapiskat Eco-Film Lab Recap