EARTH TAKES A ROAD TRIP**The Best of Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival**travels across Canada

presented by Planet in Focus and the Alliance of Natural History Museums - starting March 21

The Best of Planet in Focus
Environmental Film Festival
presented by Planet in Focus and the Alliance of Natural History Museums

Inspirational stories and Planet-saving insights are too important to limit to one place and a unique one-time film event.  So it is that Planet in Focus and the Alliance of Natural History Museums have reached an exciting agreement to create a national tour of a diverse selection of films – all premieres from Toronto’s internationally-acclaimed Planet in Focus Film Festival.

Soon, eco-conscious Canadians—and those who just like a good real-life story—from St John’s to Whitehorse will have access to a startling array of award-winning documentaries on topics-of-concern as diverse as the coming crisis in drinking water, the dire and widespread ramifications of mass bee “hive collapse,” innovative projects by Indigenous groups to save habitats and global warming effects reaching as high as the Himalayas.

“Our tour program is a wonderful opportunity for Canadians across the country to see some of the most acclaimed contemporary environmental films,” says Executive Director of Planet in Focus Sarah Margolius. “Where better to watch and appreciate fascinating environmental stories than in our very own natural history Museums?  We thank our partners for their support and dedication to delivering innovative programming.”

“These must-see films are being shared with Canadians at six museums across the country during Earth Month,” says Anne Chafe, President of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada. “This national and timely programme offers an ideal opportunity to engage individuals in pressing environmental issues and hopefully inspire them to take some action for the betterment of our planet.”

This Best of Planet in Focus cross Canada Environmental Film Festival tour features a total of eight films that will not only educate and enlighten, but intrigue you and expand your appreciation of the interconnectedness of all life on Earth. These are must-see films for the next phase in our self-awareness as a species, a species that depends on a multitude of interlocking ecologies to survive.

“The international and Canadian films we are screening on the tour,” explains Director of Programming, Kathleen Mullen, “shine light on the state of the planet today and provide points of discussion and debate for the audience and guests in attendance.”

The following films will be showcased as part of The Best of Planet In Focus Environmental Film Festival Tour:

Water on the Table
Director: Liz Marshall

Canada / 2010 / 79 min / Documentary

Winner of the Best Canadian Feature Film at the 2010 Planet in Focus International Film & Video Festival. Nicknamed the international “Water Warrior,” Maude Barlow, National Chairperson for the Council of Canadians and former Senior Advisor on Water at the United Nations General Assembly, cares about the environment. She won’t back down from a fight with corporations who threaten the access to clean and free water. Water sustains life, but in many countries water has also become a commodity. Barlow wants to put a stop to considering water a profit-generating good and have it declared a human right. Marshall takes us on the road with Barlow as she works to preserve Canada’s freshwater systems. We travel with them to Canadian and international speaking engagements and get to watch as they crash political meetings. Marshall’s character-driven social commentary is a visually stunning meditation on the beauty and all-encompassing need for clean water.

Queen of the Sun: What the bees are telling us?
Director: Taggart Siegel

USA/ 2010/ 82 min/ Documentary

A poetic and passionate homage to bees and beekeepers, Queen of the Sun is both

soulful and scientific. The documentary follows passionate beekeepers and philosophers around the world as they grapple with colony collapse disorder, the crisis of the world’s bees’ sudden disappearance from their hives, pointing their collective finger at culprits like artificial insemination, pesticides, and monoculture farming. With daunting statistics, intimate conversations and luminous shots, Siegel issues a wake-up call to audiences while honouring these ancient, sacred insects. At once uplifting and alarming, Queen of the Sun explores the problems and solutions we face as we strive to coexist with nature in meaningful and beneficial ways.

The 4th Revolution: Energy Autonomy
Director: Carl-A. Fechner

Germany / 2010 / 86min / Documentary
German and English, with English subtitles

After the “agrarian revolution,” the “industrial revolution” and the “digital revolution,”

energy autonomy will be the fourth revolution, shifting power relations by democratizing power generation. Such is the persuasive argument of The 4th Revolution. Examining proponents and opponents of getting off the fossil and nuclear powered grid, the film highlights how changing to renewable sources is not only necessary but also possible. With discussions and examples from Mali to Denmark, the film moves the energy debate beyond CO2 emissions, and calls for the borderless democratization of energy generation. The energy turn is not a technological issue, but an ideological one based on power relations and ownership structures: whoever owns the power, controls the power.

We live by the River
Director: Karin Williams

USA / Canada / 2010 / 52 min / Documentary

Shot over a period spanning 1997 to 2009, We Live By the River tells the awe-inspiring story of the Inter-Tribal Watershed Council—an amalgamation of all the indigenous nations and communities of the Yukon River across national borders—who combine forces to heal the river. Working with traditional and modern ecological sciences and grassroots communities, the ITWC proves their effectiveness against the ravages of military, municipal and mining waste. Signing one of the largest treaties between sovereign nations, and creating peaceful, respectful relationships with no interest in proprietorship, but rather in stewardship and caretaking, the communities of the Yukon River set an inspiring example for global ecosystem protection.

Himalaya Alert
Director: Mark Verkerk

The Netherlands / 2009 / 60 min / Documentary
English and Dutch with English subtitles

This gripping adventure film follows acclaimed climate journalist Bernice Notenboom’s grueling trip to the Everest summit, as she reports on the effects of rising water levels in the largest glacial range outside the polar regions. Speaking with local communities and climate professionals along the journey, Notenboom gathers alarming personal accounts of the changes already experienced in this region. A testament to Notenboom’s unflinching commitment to environmental education, Himalaya Alert documents the lengths to which she will go to inform and galvanize the world’s youth to mobilize on these issues.

Home for Hawksbill
Director: Jordan Plotsky

USA / 2010 / 29 min / Documentary
English and Pijin with English subtitles

The Hawksbill turtles have lived in the Southern Ocean off the coast of the Solomon Islands from the time of the dinosaurs. After overfishing the Hawksbills to the brink of extinction, three unique, separate neighbouring nations that were previously antagonistic come together to protect the islands and save the turtles from a tragic fate.

Belly Up: Salmon in Peril
Director: Andrew Deiters

Canada / 2009 / 21 min / Documentary

The First Nations people on the west coast of Canada have relied on salmon for income, sustenance and ceremonial purposes for thousands of years. Logging and salmon farming are threatening the wild salmon population and the coastal ecosystem. Belly Up reflects on the possibility of salmon extinction and what that means in terms of the environment and the food at our dinner table.

Héen Taak
Director: Nathalie Lasselin

Canada / USA / 51 min / Documentary

”A single drop on a calm sea reaches the furthest shore.”  Héen Tàak (bottom of the water in the Tlingit language) explores the wilderness of the inside passage in Alaska. A voyage from the tip of the glacier to the bottom of the ocean with the men and women who are part of the ocean landscape. The wilderness offers unique and surprising wonders, above and under water, revealing a host of fascinating species.

The Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa in addition to the eight films will feature
Bulletin météo/ Weather Report

Director: Brenda Longfellow

Canada / 2007 / 52 min / Documentary

For many, global warming is something that is happening somewhere else to other people, but for millions of people, it is right at their doorstep. Weather Report journeys across the globe—from the Canadian Arctic to Northern Kenya, from the U.S. Midwest to China and India—visiting communities where lives and livelihoods are being affected in dramatic ways.  

Putting a face to the reality of global warming, the film illuminates the impact of recent climate change, delivering a new perspective to audiences worldwide. The question is no longer whether climate change is happening, but whether we can respond to the emergency before it’s too late.

And two short films Green Heroes: Sarah Harmer by Joan Prowse and Carpe Diem by Brenda Longfellow


Yukon Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
March 21-22, April 15-16

Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa
April 5-8

Nova Scotia Museum, Halifax
April 6, 20, 27 and May 4

New Brunswick Museum, St. John
April 7, 9, 14, 21, 28, 30, May 5, 7

The Rooms, St. John’s Newfoundland
April 26-May 1

Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria
April 15-17

Filmmakers and experts will be attendance at certain Museums.
Check the schedule for more information

About Planet In Focus

Planet in Focus is Canada’s leading environmental media arts organization. Planet in Focus produces the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival; brings environmental films to communities and schools across the country and around the world through our Touring Programs; houses the largest archive of environmental film works in North America with 3,500-plus titles from more than 80 countries around the world and presented in all genres; teaches youth how to tell stories about the environment using the latest video production and storytelling tools in the Youth, Camera, Action! program; and spearheads a pan-industry program, Planet in Focus Green Screen, to reduce the environmental footprint of the film and television industry. Find out more at

About Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada

The Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada (ANHMC) was created in 2002 from a common desire among directors and senior curatorial staff of Canada’s key natural history museums to establish a network for the exchange of information on issues dealing with collections, research and education. They shared a concern for the image and perception of natural history museums and increased competition for public and private funding as well as a desire to enhance cooperation among their institutions. Incorporated in 2003, the network’s primary objective is to enhance visibility, recognition and benefit of natural history museums under the shared goal of connecting people with nature.