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Finding Farley Media Coverage

Some good news in films that fight to save the world

A spirit of hopefulness underlies this festival, offering motivation for the call to action

Published: October 15, 2009
Toronto Star
By: Jason Anderson

What with the urgent tone that's become common in documentaries about the state of the world, it's a relief to discover that not all of the selections at Toronto's most environmentally minded film festival are as apocalyptic as we've come to expect.

That said, the 10th annual Planet in Focus International Environmental Film and Video Festival gives viewers plenty of reasons to get concerned and maybe even get active in the Earth's defence. But films such as the festival's opening selection also shows how some parts of the world remain relatively unspoiled and untamed.

Screening Oct. 21 at the Royal Cinema, Finding Farley documents one family's remarkable journey through the Canadian wilds in search of places made famous by Farley Mowat. The writer's Cape Breton home also marks the destination for Leanne Allison, Karsten Heuer and their 2-year-old son Zev, who spend several months travelling largely by canoe.

The pesky blackflies that torment poor Zev are not enough to deter them from completing this unique homage to one of the country's best-loved storytellers, though Heuer admits that allegations that Mowat fudged the truth in some of his accounts means they might be "looking for stories that don't exist." What the family discovers beyond a doubt is that many places preserved by Mowat in print retain a fierce beauty in the present.

The Planet in Focus film and video festival runs Oct. 21-25 at the Royal Cinema, the Bloor Cinema and other venues. See www.planetinfocus.org

© Toronto Star