I spent the weekend at the Planet in Focus film festival. I saw over ten films this weekend and they were all really well done. I found they all had varying degrees of relation to the environment and their messages were quite varied. I saw a number of films about our food supply, I’ve never been one to think too much about my food but this weekend really opened my eyes. Other films were about the destruction of wild life and natural resources around the world.
There was one thing I really liked about this film, often times with documentaries, regardless of their topic, you can often feel helpless after watching them. The filmmaker has done an excellent job of explaining the problem but sometimes the answers on the solutions may seem unfathomable. It can seem like we are powerless against the issue but Planet in Focus did a great job of empowering the audience. On their site, each of the film’s have their own page, and on this page there are action items. Each one has one or two items you can do to help the problems addressed in the film, it can be signing a petition, or join an organization. It was a great way to engage the audience without everything seeming so hopeless. It is also a great way for you to get involved if you missed the film but are still concerned about the issues addressed.
If you would also like to get involved in the film festival throughout the year, they are offering a membership to their “Salon Verte” screenings that occur every month at the AGO. Memberships start a $50 and help bring environmental film to schools.
I really enjoyed my weekend at the film festival, I would really recommend checking out this amazing program in Toronto.
I had the chance back in July to see Bobby Umar speak at “Hello! My Name Is…”, I really enjoyed his talk that evening on ways to network. What really spoke to me was that networking is about what you can do for other people. Bobby has also done a series of TED Talks. For those who don’t know what those are (don’t worry, I only recently learned), TED talks are presentations that are a maximum of 18 minutes about any ideas “worth sharing”.
The presentation I watched this evening was called Learning to Fly, which was presented at UTSC back in February. I think this is an excellent video for university and college students, particularly at this time of year because this is the time to be asking questions about where you want to go on the path of life. For many students, this week was the first week they spent away from home and Bobby’s discussions on leaving the nest really put into perspective how important that is. Others, who are going in to their second, or third, or fourth, (or fifth, or whatever) year, may be wondering what their plans are for the next year and how these new classes, new groups and new experiences will benefit them throughout their life.
In less than 18 minutes, Bobby gives the audience the steps to “learn to fly”. Bobby asks at the beginning of the video “Why not?” and goes on to say that it is a very important question. I thought that was absolutely true, while living overseas, I was constantly asked “Why are you here?” or “Why did you go?” and the best answer I could give any of those people was “Why not?”. He discusses how you can live your super life and how you can start right now. He discusses how people wait for the perfect time to leave the nest, to get lost, to get a life. The reality is, there is no perfect opportunity, there will always be reasons not to do something but you have to ask yourself, if it is worth fighting for and is it worth the risk – if the answer is yes then it is likely that the right time is now. You have to ask yourself “Why not today?” because unfortunately, we can’t go back and try yesterday again. I highly recommend this video for all the twenty-somethings out there who just aren’t sure about their next step.