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. Reception will follow the modules to close the day in a relaxing mix & mingle.




This session provides a rare opportunity for 12 selected independent filmmakers to meet face-to-face with 12 major industry stakeholders including broadcasters, commissioning editors, producers, distributors and government & private funding agencies. The day starts with a breakfast mingle over registration and then filmmakers pitch their new projects one-on-one to each of the industry guests. Filmmakers receive professional feedback and form new relationships in order to move their projects forward and get them made. Applications are open until Friday, October 2, 2020.


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.

2019 panelists included:

Karam Masri  Ontario Creates
 Lea Marin  NFB
 Christine Lee  TVO
 Rachel Feldbloom-Wood  Bell New Media Fund
 James Lucscombe  Telefilm
 Heidi Tao Yang  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.



This panel explores the world of inspiring real and lasting change through distribution, marketing and finding your audience, followed by an audience Q & A.

2019 panelists included:

Chanda Chevannes Filmmaker & Moderator
Jackie Garrow Founder & Principal Impact Producer at Ring Five Impact Docs
 Chris Lee Inspirit Foundation
JoAnne Fishburn Founder & CEO at Good Influence Films



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 $30,000 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 2019 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, Supergroup, Daniela Ponce Publicity. Green Pitch 2019 Judges included:

Sue Dando Executive Producer at the CBC
Aisha Jamal TIFF Programming Associate
Madelaine Russo Hot Docs Industry Programmer



Sue Dando

Head of The Nature of Things, CBC

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.


Madelaine Russo

Industry Programmer, Hot Docs

Madelaine Russo is Industry Programmer of Deal Maker at Hot Docs in Toronto. Deal Maker schedules 700 one-on-one meetings between producers and buyers at the Hot Docs festival. She also produces the Hot Docs crowdfunding event Pitch In, runs the blog – Hot Docs Jots, and produces the Hot Docs Guide to Decision Makers. Before joining Hot Docs, Madelaine ran the Alternate Realities Market at Sheffield Doc/Fest. She has also worked at short film distributor Ouat Media. She holds a Master of Arts in English and Cultural Studies.

Ton van Zantvoort

Filmmaker and Master Class Host

Ton van Zantvoort (Heesch, 1979) is an acclaimed director, cinematographer and editor, whose films have screened at numerous prestigious film festivals. His work has been broadcast all over the world (VPRO, ARTE/ZDF, Al Jazeera) and he has won a dozen awards for best director, best cinematographer and best editor.

Planet in Focus is proud to be presenting his latest film Sheep Hero on Friday, October 18th at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.


Christine Lee


Christine Lee is the Senior Acquisitions Officer at TVO, Ontario’s educational public service broadcaster, as well as the Executive in Charge of Production on multiple TVO Originals and co-productions. Her recent productions include 4 seasons of the award-winning science show, The Water Brothers, and ongoing series The Life-Sized City, Employable Me and First Contact, all of which were nominated for Canadian Screen Awards. Production credits also include the acclaimed feature documentary, The Fruit Machine, the upcoming second series of TVO Original, Striking Balance, and the new international eight part co-production, Man vs Time. Before joining TVO, Christine worked at the National Film Board of Canada’s Ontario Studio.


Rachel Feldbloom-Wood

Bell Fund

Before joining the Bell Fund team, Rachel managed Bell Media’s BravoFACT program. She sat on both the BravoFACT & BravoFACTUAL juries, travelled coast to coast doing program outreach, and organized special initiatives at some of Toronto’s most notable film festivals. Rachel’s been immersed in the world of arts funding since 2008, when she began working in the grants department at the Toronto Arts Council. She started her career at the Toronto International Film Festival, which prompted her to create an evening film program for teenagers, teaching them about the importance of world cinema. She holds a Specialized Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Film Studies from York University.

Bruce Fleming

Eggplant Picture and Sound Partner/Audio Lead

Bruce Fleming is partner and audio lead of eggplant picture and sound, which is a full service post facility catering to all genres of television, film, commercial and music production. Bruce has over 30 years experience in the audio industry. Starting out in the music industry, Bruce worked with many internationally acclaimed artists including Bob Dylan, Blue Rodeo, Martha and the Muffins, the Spoons and many others. He expanded his skills into commercial, post production (film and television) as a sound designer and mixer and has been involved in many award winning projects including a gemini for best sound for ‘Leahy in concer’; a golden reel award for the Emmy award winning film ‘Sandy Bottom Orchestra’; as well as numerous awards at Promax. Bruce has also been involved in many projects showcased at TIFF.



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.