Entertainment

Documentary on raw milk crusade wins award at Planet in Focus

Filmmaker Norman Loft's documentary about an Ontario farmer who has led a 20-year crusade for the right to sell unpasteurized milk has won the award for best Canadian feature-length movie at the Planet in Focus Film Festival.

Filmmaker Norman Loft's documentary about an Ontario farmer who has led a 20-year crusade for the right to sell unpasteurized milk has won the award for best Canadian feature-length movie at the Planet in Focus Film Festival.

The festival, which is devoted to films about the environment, wrapped up Sunday with presentation of awards in seven categories.

Michael Schmidt: Organic Hero or Bioterrorist chronicles Schmidt's fight against the powerful milk lobby in Ontario, which wants selling raw milk to remain illegal.

The organic farmer recently was found guilty of refusing to heed a court order to stop selling unpasteurized milk and faces two more court cases on similar charges.

Film festival judges hailed Michael Schmidt: Organic Hero or Bioterrorist as a "compelling documentary" that "takes us into the heart of that controversy from both sides."

The documentary will be shown on Tuesday on CBC Newsworld at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

The Last Nomads, a film by Toronto director Andrew Gregg, won honorable mention in the Canadian long form category.

The film follows Canadian author and linguist Ian Mackenzie as he studies the lives of the Penan, a Sarawak-based tribe who are among the last nomads on earth.

International winners included Eternal Mash, by Catherine Van Campen of the Netherlands, and Paradise: Three Journeys in This World by Finland's Elina Hirvonen.

Eternal Mash is about Master Dutch horticulturist Ruurd Walrecht, who devoted his life to preserving the seeds of rare vegetables on the brink of extinction until he mysteriously disappeared.

Paradise: Three Journeys In This World is the story of young people from Mali who yearn to emigrate to Spain.

Other winners include:

  • Mark Haslam Award: Mama Coca: The Sacred Leaf,  a documentary by Felix Atencio-Gonzales about a native elder who journeys to Peru to investigate the source of the cocaine that is destroying lives in his Quebec community.
  • Canadian Short Form Award: Garbage Angels, by Pierre M. Trudeau of Canada, a whimsical film about objects in a dump that morph into animals.
  • International Short Form AwardSilent Snow, by Jan van den Berg of the Netherlands, about a small Inuit community on the Greenland coast that is under siege due to the poisoning of the food chain.

 

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