2018 AWARD WINNERS
Best Canadian Feature Film Winner
Best Canadian Short Winner
The Sun on Top of the House
Best International Feature Winner
When Lambs Become Lions
Mark Haslam Award Winner
El Taco Mazahua
Juan Pablo Ortíz Tallavas
Best International Short Winner
A Film About Animals
Eric Daniel Metzgar
Industry Conference Green Pitch Winner
The New Black Gold
Hannah Donegan & Ann Shin
Best Canadian Feature Jury
Winner Best Canadian Feature 2017
Chanda Chevannes is a Canadian doc filmmaker, writer, and educator who aims to make documentaries that deal with complex social issues in an artistic way. She has authored several educational resources, two blogs for the National Film Board of Canada’s CitizenSHIFT website, and a monthly column for Troy Media. Chanda trained as an arts educator with the Royal Conservatory and was recently an Innovator in Communities with the Toronto Public Library, leading filmmaking workshops in the city’s underserved communities.
London BFI, aired on many networks in Canada, and earned her a Genie Award. Her CBC documentary Indictment: The Crimes of Shelly Chartier (co-directed with Shane Belcourt) won Best Documentary at imagineNATIVE in 2017 and her VR piece Biidaaban: First Light premiered at Tribeca in 2018. She is Anishinaabe, works in fiction and documentary, and upcoming projects include a multimedia installation Transmissions, an IMAX film, along with more traditional film and TV. She a director mentor for the NSI IndigiDocs program, and sits on the advisory committee for the NFB’s Indigenous Action Plan. See more at lisajackson.ca
Maureen Judge is an award-winning documentary director and producer, whose most recent feature, My Millennial Life, won the 2017 Canadian Screen Award for Best Documentary Program. Her films and TV series have been shown around the world. Currently, Maureen is exploring the lives of teenage girls, and how gender inequity affects their attitudes, actions and goals in her newest doc, Girls on the Bus, in association with TVO. Maureen has an M.A. in Cinema Studies from NYU, is a former board member of the Documentary Organization of Canada and WIFT, and is an adjunct professor at Sheridan College.
Deanna Wong is the administrator director for REEL CANADA, an organization that brings festivals of Canadian film to high schools across the country. She was previously the executive director of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, from 2005 to 2008, and currently serves on its advisory board. Deanna is also a copy editor and writer and has contributed to RealScreen, Playback, Toronto.
Best International Feature Film Jury
Winner Best International Feature 2017
Director David Borenstein is an American director currently based in Copenhagen. He has directed films for ARTE, Al Jazeera English, DR Horisont, NYTIMES, with more underway. He was a cinematographer and Producer for the Sundance-funded film “The Hand that Feeds,” winner of the audience award at the Full Frame Film Festival. Read More
A China scholar, he received PhD training in Anthropology at City University of New York. He began developing CHINA DREAMLAND while on a Fulbright scholarship in China, studying urbanization and real estate speculation. David speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese.
Green Film Network Member
Samer Angelone is a biologist and filmmaker. He teaches “Filmmaking for Scientists”, “Storytelling Science”, and “Filmmaking Marathon” at various Swiss and German universities and research institutes (e.g., Universities of Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, Basel, Munich and ETH), and film festivals (e.g., Locarno Film Festival). He is the founder and director of the Global Science Film Festival in Switzerland. Read More
Angelone has directed several fiction and documentary films in Spain, Switzerland, and Kenya, mainly focusing on issues relating to science and the environment. He has developed scientific research on population genetics, diseases, forensics, wildlife conservation, social media, and human-elephant conflict. Angelone holds a PhD in population genetics (Jaen University, Spain), and master’s degrees in film studies (Cordoba University, Spain) and film direction (Escuela Superior de Cine y Audiovisuales de Cataluña, Barcelona, Spain).
Journalist and writer with American roots and Italian upbringing. Cristina began her career as an entertainment reporter for Mediaset TV news, showcasing the art and and passions of rock stars. Motherhood made her reflect on what world her children would inherit and she found herself in the abyss between what we know and how we live. Read More
This had a profound effect on her life and way of living. She began experimenting sustainable solutions and wrote her first book, Tentativi di Eco Condotta, which brought her back on TV with Occhio allo Spreco, a weekly segment on eco behavior for the popular program Striscia la notizia. Three more books
followed, including one for schoolchildren, which to date has reached over a million students. With her new TV segment Occhio al Futuro, she explores the synergies between ecology and technology. She is editor at Large of the Italian edition of the magazine The Good Life and moderates conferences on future proof development.
Ravi de Costa
Planet in Focus Board Member
I originally came to Canada from Australia to take up a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition at McMaster University. Prior to joining FES in 2007, I also taught at Trent University in the Department of Political Studies. Read More
My research and teaching interests are in comparative and global approaches to the legacies of colonialism and Indigenous politics. My PhD dissertation was a comparative study of treaty-making in Canada and reconciliation in Australia. During my postdoctoral work I broadened my research to include Indigenous politics beyond the nation-state and to examine Indigenous peoples’ activism both in transnational networks and in global institutions. My current projects include collaborative work on Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission as well as research that examines the conflicts and alliances between Indigenous communities and environmental actors.
Best Canadian Short Film Jury
Winner Best Canadian Short 2017
Scott co-produced and directed the short doc “Fix And Release”. In 2016 he was story editor for Viceland’s Payday. He recently directed Puffin Patrol and Carpe Diem, for the CBC’s The Nature of Things. In 2012 he directed Church Of Elvis; a 3-hour look the spiritual world of Elvis Presley, and its sister show, Elvis In Love. Prior, he produced the very successful spam: The Documentary for CBC Newsworld, which was broadcast around the world. Read More
As Producer/Director he created the award-winning Keep On Shucking documentary for Food TV Canada/US, produced many projects for the famed Second City in Toronto and Chicago; from TV spots, to documentaries to the critically acclaimed re-release of the beloved SCTV TV series onto DVD for the first time; a massive project taking 4 years to complete. For Bravo Canada he produced 2 series exploring modern Canadian Jazz and Blues, the latter was nominated for the prestigious WC Handy Award by the Memphis Blues Society
Shorts Programmer, TIFF
Lisa Haller has worked for TIFF since 2010 and is currently the Festival Programming Manager and Shorts Programmer. In her role she is the lead on Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival strategy and programming execution, and she curates short film for Canada’s Top Ten, TIFF Kids International Film Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival. Read More
In addition to her programming experience, Haller has participated on juries, panels, and programming teams at film festivals and film institutions both in Canada and internationally, including the Norwegian Short Film Festival (NO), Clermont-Ferrand (FR), Cucalorus Film Festival (US), Newport Beach Film Festival (US), Young at Heart Short Film Festival (AU), TIFF Kids International Film Festival, Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival, Ryerson University Film Festival, and the National Screen Institute.
Haller was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She holds a BAH in Film Studies and History from Queen’s University, and a Master’s degree in Communication and Culture from Ryerson University and York University. Haller is a longtime advocate for emerging and student filmmaker talent, both Canadian and international, and sits on the TIFF Talent Development advisory team.
Co-Founder, Pure + Simple
Jean Eng is the co-founder of Pure + Simple, Toronto’s favourite natural skin care specialist and facial spa. Pure + Simple is a pioneer in the field of sustainable and natural skin care, with responsibly sourced natural ingredients, sustainable spa operations + innovative initiatives like their bottle return program. Read More
Their renowned products and services have been featured in Globe & Mail, Flare Magazine + FASHION Magazine, winning FASHION’s 2017 Beauty Awards for Best Cleanser.
In addition to being named NOW Magazine reader’s choice Best Facials year over year, Pure + Simple has been recognized in the fields of entrepreneurship, innovation + sustainability: Winner of The Association of Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs Most Innovative 2010 and Runner Up in the Royal Bank Canada Women Entrepreneur Awards for Sustainability.
Jean is a certified Esthetician and Ayurvedic Practitioner with a MBA from University of Toronto Rotman School of Management and a BAA from Ryerson University Interior Design. Prior to founding Pure + Simple with her daughter, Kristen Ma, she was an Interior Designer.
Environmental Communications Manager
Thomas has an extensive communications background having held senior-level positions in publicity and advertising including the Ontario Science Centre and Alliance Atlantis. He currently works as the Team Lead of Marketing Communications for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Thomas holds a Master’s in Independent Film and prefers ice cream over popcorn.
Best International Short Film Jury
Winner Best International Short 2017
Harnessing the power of visual media to tell stories, Jenny works to create films that will act as tipping points in conservation campaigns. Jenny thrives on multidisciplinary projects and continues to collaborate with a dedicated community of photojournalists, filmmakers, writers, illustrators, scientists and conservation organizations.
Jenny’s films have screened at HotDocs, Seattle International Film Festival, Brooklyn Film Festival and many more!
Executive Director, CARFAC
Sally Lee has served as Executive Director of artists’ rights organization CARFAC Ontario since 2015. She has held management and leadership positions at TIFF, Soulpepper Theatre Company, and the Reel Asian International Film Festival. Other groups she has worked with as a staff or board/committee member include the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT), the Images Festival, Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC), the Pan Am Path, Samara Canada, BorderLines Magazine and the Women’s Press. Read More
She currently sits on the board of Wavelength Music, the Visual Arts and Media Arts Committee of the Toronto Arts Council, the Advocacy Network of the Toronto Arts Foundation, and the Advisory Board of Reel Asian. She is also a 2016-17 TAC Cultural Leaders Lab Fellow. She has participated in the production of several independent films and music videos, both behind and in front of the camera. As a musician, she played in Toronto bands Chicken Milk, Venus Cures All, and The Magnetars, and also the Seoul-based band Third Line Butterfly. She currently plays bass and sings in the Toronto band Long Branch.
Elwood Jimmy is a learner, collaborator, writer, artist, facilitator, curator, and gardener. He is originally from the Thunderchild First Nation, a Nehiyaw community in the global north. For almost 20 years, he has played a leadership role in several art projects, collectives and organizations nationally and abroad. In his practices, he has employed photography, film, video, storytelling, language, text, textiles, natural materials, performance, and personal & community narratives as the foundation for a number of collaborative projects.
Acting Executive Producer, TRT World
Stravroula has 35 years of media experience in both on and off-camera roles. She has played various roles in film and television, including a supporting role in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) and has as a director, producer, EP, writer and presenter with programs such as AJ Eats. Stavroula has been with TRT World for 2 years as Senior Producer, acting EP and the host of In the Loop, a round table show that brings journalists together to discuss the personal journeys behind the stories they cover. Her latest series for TRT World Life in Ruins will follow female aid workers on the frontline.
Mark Haslam Award Jury
Planet in Focus Senior 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 reviews film every week for Classical 96.3 FM. He is an Adjunct Professor at Ryerson Univeristy’s Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Media programme.
Planet in Focus 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 manger of the Documentary Organization of Canada’s Festival Concierge initiative, supporting filmmakers in developing distribution and audience engagement strategies. Julian joined Planet in Focus as the festival’s associate programmer in 2016.