Engaging the professional community of Canadian filmmakers, producers and broadcasters. Our goal is to provide stimulating, up-to-date information and access to the world of environmental films and funding. Professional modules include the Master Class, networking opportunities, the Green Pitch competition and DocBOX Toolkit sessions filled with an outstanding line up of VIP guests.




This session focuses on some of the key relationships necessary to get your film funded, produced & sold. Broadcasters, digital media providers, funding agency reps and distributors discuss the latest trends in financing, co-productions, distribution and the future of branded content.

2020 panelists included:

Karam Masri  Ontario Creates
 Justine Pimlott  NFB
 Sue Dando  CBC
 James Lucscombe  Telefilm
Julian Carrington  Hot Docs

DOCBOX 2: THE MASTER CLASS with Liz Marshall

Each year, Planet in Focus hosts a Master Class workshop with an established filmmaker and PiF alumnus. This year’s workshop will be with Canadian filmmaker Liz Marshall and hosted by Julian Carrington, PiF Senior Programmer.

Liz Marshall is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker. Since the 1990s she has written, produced, directed, and filmed diverse international and socially conscious documentaries. Her work has been released theatrically, been broadcast globally, made available digitally, and has screened for hundreds of grassroots communities around the globe. Marshall’s visionary feature-length films explore social justice and environmental themes through strong characters. The impact of Liz’s critically acclaimed documentary The Ghosts In Our Machine (2013) is reflected in an extensive global evaluation report funded by the Doc Society. Marshall’s current feature documentary Meat The Future (2020), chronicles the birth of the “clean” “cultured” “cell-based” meat industry in America through the eyes of pioneer Dr. Uma Valeti.

Planet in Focus is proud to be including her latest film Meat the Future in the 2020 festival lineup.




Thanks in part to the targeted reach offered by social media, documentary films are better positioned than ever before to become vehicles of social change. At the same time, social media often sorts users into polarized echo-chambers, where contrary views are scarce and acceptable opinions are algorithmically amplified. In such circumstances, how can documentarians transcend confirmation bias and the healthy skepticism of audiences that have become wary of manipulated media and bad-faith “alternative facts”? Like the film The Viewing Booth, this panel seeks to probe whether social issue filmmakers can feasibly aspire to persuade those with contrary beliefs, or whether their most impactful role is simply to spur the like-minded to action.

Panelists include:

Julian Carrington Moderator
Ra’anan Alexandrowicz Filmmaker, The Viewing Booth
Eric Hynes  Curator of Film at Museum of the Moving Image
Brett Story Filmmaker, The Hottest August




A highlight of Industry Day is the Green Pitch. Six selected filmmakers pitch their film idea to a panel of industry judges and in front of the conference audience. The winner receives a prize valued at $25,000 in services & cash to put toward the production of their project provided by Ontario film production suppliers. See the 2019 Green Pitch winners here.  Applications for the 2020 Green Pitch are due by Friday, October 2, 2020.

Green Pitch Prize Sponsors: Eggplant Picture & Sound, Muskoka North Film Studios, SIM Digital, PS Productions Services, William F. White, Dynamix Solutions, Pie in the Sky Studios, The Source Shop, Duncan Morin, Trinity Square Video, Daniela Ponce Publicity. The Green Pitch 2020 Judges included:

Sue Dando CBC
Justine Pimlott NFB
James Luscombe Telefilm



Sue Dando


Sue Dando is the head of The Nature of Things, CBC’s award-winning documentary science series, broadcast across Canada and seen in countries around the world.  For three decades, Dando has produced, directed and written for Canadian television, both public and private.  Her work includes overseeing award-winning documentary series and international co-productions. Among her honours are an Emmy, a Hot Docs award, a duPont Columbia award, a Canada Screen Award and several Geminis.


Justine Pimlott


Justine Pimlott is a multi-award winning Producer based at the Ontario Studio. With over 20 years of experience in the industry Justine has a long history of bringing stories from voices that are often marginalized to the screen. Her NFB producer credits include the feature documentaries What Walaa Wants – Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Hot Docs 2018, A Better Man, several Governor General Awards Shorts including The AfterLifetime of Colm Feore and upcoming releases Inconvenient IndianBorealis & Five @ 50 a series of LGBTQ2+ digital shorts.

James Luscombe


James Luscombe is a Content Analyst at Telefilm Canada who contributes to project development and decisions on feature films and theatrical documentaries. He has been a story editor and reader for the CFC, The Harold Greenberg Fund, the CMF and Ontario Creates, as well as numerous independent producers. Previous to his current job at Telefilm, he was a Development Executive at Shaftesbury Films.


Julian Carrington

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.

Alessandra Cannito

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.