Toronto Film Festival focuses on environment films



At the Edge of the World

A scene from At the Edge of the World.

Credit: Toronto International Film Festival

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TORONTO: A "tsunami" of films premiering this week at the Toronto Film Festival explore mankind's destruction of the environment and efforts around the world to save it, organisers said.

Led by an inside look at Japanese whaling in Antarctica in the acclaimed "At the Edge of the World," a "tsunami of documentaries on the environment" is being showcased, festival programmer Thom Powers told AFP.

"It reflects our growing preoccupation with nature, which we have long taken for granted, but which now is in serious jeopardy," Powers explained.

The environmental emphasis marks a dramatic shift away from filmmakers' recent focus on war and bloodshed, particularly the US-led "war on terror," he said.

In Dan Stone's At the Edge of the World, the filmmaker steps aboard former Greenpeace activist Paul Watson's ships "Farley Mowatt" and "Robert Hunter" to document firsthand efforts to shame whalers at work.

The camera focuses more on the human struggle than the plight of animals, presenting a compelling story with spectacular scenery.

The dozen or so films about the environment at the festival also includes Upstream Battle about the impact of hydro-electric dams on US Pacific Coast salmon spawning, and Malcolm Rogge's Ecuador mining story Under Rich Earth.