Plastic People is one of those essential state-of-our-world documentaries. ..I urge you to see it.” 
– Owen Gleiberman / Variety
“Despite the sense of urgency and doom conveyed by Plastic People, Ms. Tong, the co-director and a former host of the Discovery Channel science show Daily Planet, hopes the film can inspire change, the way ‘Silent Spring,’ the 1962 book that documented the dangers of agricultural pesticides and helped lead to a ban on DDT, did.” 
– Andrew Jacobs / The New York Times


Emmy Award-winning White Pine Pictures
Presents a Ground-breaking Documentary On The Perils Of Microplastics And Human Health



The Hidden Crisis of Microplastics

Directed by Ben Addelman / Co-Directed by Ziya Tong

Canadian Premiere
DOXA Documentary Film Festival

Friday, May 10, 2024 – 5:30pm
Simon Fraser University – Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema 

149 West Hastings St., Vancouver, BC


Following its world premiere with sold-out screenings at SXSW in Austin Texas, the highly anticipated documentary Plastic People, directed by Ben Addelman, co-directed by Ziya Tong, makes its Canadian premiere at the DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver on Friday May 10 at Simon Fraser’s Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema. This groundbreaking film investigates our global addiction to plastic and the alarming threat posed by microplastics to human health.


In a world where over 1.5 billion plastic bottles are bought worldwide every day and two million plastic bags are used every minute, Plastic People delves into the devastating impact of plastic pollution. The film reveals how almost every bit of plastic ever made breaks down into microscopic particles which permeate our environment, from the air we breathe, to the water we drink, and the food we eat.


Read Here For Facts About Microplastics 


Plastic People takes a personal approach, led by acclaimed author and science journalist Ziya Tong, who undergoes experiments in her home and within her body, to shed light on the pervasive presence of microplastics. Director Ben Addelman emphasizes the urgency of the film’s message, stating, “The subject of microplastics is shockingly urgent. We have created a film that rises to the level of this critical issue.”


Ziya Tong further emphasizes the importance of revealing the connection between planetary health and human health, stating, Plastic People aims to make the invisible, visible.”


With a commitment to entertainment and education, the filmmakers have created a documentary that not only informs but also inspires action. Plastic People seeks to motivate audiences to address the pressing issue of plastic pollution and advocate for solutions.


The film will be accompanied by a state-of-the-art impact campaign to empower viewers with knowledge and encourage positive change. As Ziya Tong remarks, “The goal is to motivate people to action, not to fear.”


Rick Smith adds, “There are great leaders and organizations around the world working every day to solve the plastic pollution crisis. Many of them are excited to use Plastic People, and the new information it contains, in their efforts.”


Ben Addelman and Ziya Tong bring a wealth of experience to the project. Addelman, known for his award-winning documentaries, and Tong, an award-winning author and broadcaster, have dedicated themselves to creating a film that will resonate with audiences and drive meaningful change.


Plastic People is a thought-provoking and timely exploration of one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. The filmmakers are excited to share their work with audiences at the DOXA Documentary Film Festival and beyond.


Plastic People: The Hidden Crisis of Microplastics is produced by White Pine Pictures in association with TELUS independent; Written and Directed by Ben Addelman and Co-Directed by Ziya Tong; Produced by Vanessa Dylyn and Stephen Paniccia; and Executive Produced by Peter Raymont, Rick Smith and Steve Ord. The film is produced with the participation of The Canada Media Fund, Telefilm Canada, and Ontario Creates.


Ben Addelman Bio and Statement


Ziya Tong Bio and Statement


Rick Smith Bio


Film RT: 82 minutes


Official website:

Follow on social:
Instagram: @PlasticPeopleDoc
Facebook: @PlasticPeopleDoc
Threads: @PlasticPeopleDoc
TikTok: @PlasticPeopleDoc
X: @PlasticPeople_



What The Critics Say:

“One of the great values of a documentary like Plastic People is that it takes an issue you think you’ve grasped and colors it in. It takes your scattershot information and fuses it into a fuller vision – of the past, and the future.”  – Owen Gleiberman / Variety


“One of the most important films you’ll see in 2024.”  – Steve Kopian / Unseen Films


Plastic People is a must-see documentary.”  – SXSW Staff Pick


“In its way, Plastic People is a horror movie.”  – Owen Gleiberman / Variety


“…it is indeed hard to imagine any viewer being entirely unphased by the alarm this film sounds.”  
– Abe Friedtanzer / The Film Experience


Plastic People is, without a doubt, a beacon of change in the documentary genre.”  – Chris Jones / Overly Honest Movie Reviews


“Who needs make believe horror, when you can have the real thing?”  – Steve Kopian / Unseen Films


“You may look at things differently after venturing into Plastic People; you’re not just watching another documentary about the dangers of our climate and health. You’re embarking on a profound journey that peels back the curtain on the plastic engulfing our planet.”  – Chris Jones / Overly Honest Movie Reviews


“It is hard to digest but that’s only because it seems far too horrific and chilling to be true, and that’s part of why Addelman and his co-director, author and journalist Ziya Tong, felt the need to make this film.”
–  Abe Friedtanzer / The Film Experience 


“With Ben Addelman at the helm and Ziya Tong leading the charge, this documentary does more than just inform; it grabs you by the conscience and doesn’t let go.”  – Chris Jones / Overly Honest Movie Reviews 


“Even the most naive consumers might think twice when they learn that microplastic particles have been found in our bodies, the ultimate consequence of using something destructive that has now permeated our own wellbeing.”  – Abe Friedtanzer / The Film Experience


“A crucial documentary about how plastic is literally invading us all.”  – Owen Gleiberman / Variety 

ABOUT White Pine Pictures
Founded 46 years ago by filmmaker, Peter Raymont, White Pine Pictures is a Toronto based film and television production company. Its productions have engaged audiences worldwide with compelling stories in documentary and dramatic form. White Pine’s work has been honoured with dozens of international awards, including three Emmys (plus two Emmy nominations), two Oscar shortlists, the Sundance Audience Award, multiple Canadian Screen Awards, Director’s Guild of Canada Awards, several Gold and Silver Hugos, and the Sesterce d’Argent. White Pine Pictures is a trusted supplier of quality programs to Canadian and international broadcasters and streaming services including CBC, Bell Media, TVO, Hulu, BBC, Channel4, PBS, Smithsonian, Love Nature, France 2, ZDF, ARTE, SVT, NHK, ABC, SBS and more. Plastic People follows the success of White Pine Pictures’ 2019 award-winning documentary film, Toxic Beauty, which garnered two Canadian Screen Awards, an International Emmy nomination and more. Most recently the White Pine Pictures’ award-winning documentary, Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On (PBS/Bell Media), won the 2023 International Emmy award for Best Arts Program and premiered at TIFF (2022).

ABOUT TELUS independent

TELUS independent is a pilot film funding program created by TELUS Communications Inc.. The program’s mandate is to support Canadian feature documentaries and limited series driven by authentic, authorial voices. TELUS recognizes that the creation of meaningful solutions to social, economic and environmental challenges requires all voices, deep empathy, and new ways of thinking. TELUS independent’s primary areas of focus are: health and well-being in complex environments, emerging technologies and democracy of access, youth leading global transformation, sustainability and food security, and community.

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