Best of Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival 2012 at the Museum of Nature

Written by guest blogger Denise Deby, who writes on local and global social and environmental issues.

The Canadian Museum of Nature is again offering its Best of Planet in Focus Film Festival, this year from April 18-20. (The films are selected from the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival that takes place in Toronto every fall). The documentaries are personal looks at issues such as sustainable farming, energy, climate change and more, according to the Museum. Each evening offers two films and a guest speaker.

Here’s the lineup:

Wednesday, April 18: Truck Farm (USA 2010), a film about urban farms featuring a man who turns his pickup truck into a mobile farm; and White Water, Black Gold (Canada 2011), about the effects of the Alberta tar sands on Canada’s water supply. Guest speaker is Nathan Lemphers, Senior Oilsands Policy Analyst at the Pembina Institute.

Thursday, April 19: La Reine malade [The Ailing Queen] (Canada 2010), on bees, threats to them and one man’s exploration of sustainable beekeeping; and [Chercher le courant / Seeking the Current] (Canada 2010) which follows the filmmakers’ canoe journey to document the Romaine River ecosystem before a damming project begins, and their search for sustainable energy alternatives. The evening’s guest speaker is Chercher le courant’s director, Nicolas Boisclair.

Friday, April 20: The Polar Explorer (Canada 2011), a dramatic look at scientists’ discovery of new life in the Arctic seabed and signs of polar climate change; and the Clean Bin Project (Canada 2010), a humorous and thoughtful take on one couple’s competition to produce the least amount of garbage in a year. Guest speaker is Kathy Conlan, marine biologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Saturday, April 21: Elisha and The Cacao Tree (Canada 2010), in which a 13-year-old and her father explain life on their family’s cacao farm; and The Whale (Canada 2010), which documents a displaced orca (killer whale) and people’s responses. The Museum’s website says, “The Whale captures the complicated interaction between humans and animals and celebrates the whale’s spirit in the face of adversity.” The evening’s guest speaker is Dr. Scott Findlay, Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Ottawa. Since Saturday is closing night, the Museum is hosting A Whale of a Celebration! in its Blue Water Gallery, with a DJ, cash bar and more, following the films.

The screenings start at 7 p.m. each evening. Admission cost varies depending which evening you attend, so check the Museum’s website for details on prices and reservations.


[Note, I received 2 guest blog on this same topic!  I’ve posted the more detailed one, but I wanted to thank Amy Husser, another Ottawa blogger, for also writing about this event.  Amy can be found at:]

3 thoughts on “Best of Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival 2012 at the Museum of Nature

    • Hi Mark,
      I checked with the Museum and they’re not planning to hold the Best of Planet in Focus festival in 2013. However, in April 2013 they’ll be running an “Extraordinary Arctic” festival that will show some NFB Arctic films.
      Also, the Ottawa Riverkeeper will be hosting a “Wild and Scenic Film Festival” on February 21, 2013, 7 p.m. at Library and Archives Canada. There’ll be more information on their website at

      • Thanks Denise. Do you know of any other environmental-type film festivals that are happening in Ottawa? I was thinking that it would be a great idea to organize something like this on an annual basis in the fall if there is nothing already in the works.


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