Urban Planner: October 21, 2009
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Urban Planner: October 21, 2009

Urban Planner is Torontoist’s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email all of its details—as well as images, if you’ve got any—to [email protected].

20091021urbanplanner.jpg Still from Finding Farley, directed by Leanne Allison. Courtesy of Planet In Focus.

FILM: For the tenth year running, Planet In Focus will help you see the world through green-coloured glasses, with more than eighty-five environmentally focused films from twenty-five countries. The five-day festival will showcase shorts and feature-length films from a variety of genres including animated, drama, and documentary. In addition to the lineup of films, the festival will also host a variety of special events including a Film Industry Symposium, child and youth programs, a green market, and film awards. Tonight’s opening gala at the Royal Cinema will feature Gemini Award–winning director Leanne Allison’s Finding Farley, the autobiographical adventure of a young couple traipsing across Canada—from Canmore, Alberta, to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia—with a babe and dog in tow, on a canoeing expedition to visit the beloved Canadian author and environmentalist Farley Mowat. The filmmaker and her family, along with Mowat, will be in attendance tonight to present the documentary for its Canadian premiere screening. Various locations and times; $100 festival pass, $20 opening-night gala and reception, $10 per screening ($8 for seniors and students, $5 for children). Tickets available online.
TALK: Urban cyclists will rejoice in what Roger Geller, the bicycle coordinator with the City of Portland, Oregon, has to say about bikeway design, bicycle parking, cyclist mentality, and shifting gears to make cities more cycling-friendly. A bunch of local organizations—the Toronto Cyclists Union, the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation, the Clean Air Partnership, and the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto—are teaming up to present “Livable Streets: Rethinking Urban Transportation.” Having learned what has been successful in Portland over the past two decades, earning a bike-friendly reputation, and boasting the highest rate of bicycle commuting to work of any major American city, Geller will talk about the roles that political leadership and citizen advocacy play in influencing change with the goal of getting people out of their motor vehicles and using alternative means of transportation such as public transit, biking, and walking. Centre for Social Innovation (215 Spadina Avenue, Suite 120), 6–7:30 p.m., FREE (pre-register online).
FILM: Doc Soup, the monthly documentary date-night that leads up to next spring’s Hot Docs Film Festival, kicks off its season tonight with the Canadian premiere of R.J. Cutler’s The September Issue. Coinciding with Toronto Fashion Week, this documentary offers a look at the sartorial splendour of one of the fashion industry’s most powerful publications and the people responsible for putting it together. The film shines a spotlight on Vogue magazine’s much sought-after September 2007 issue—weighing in at the size of a small baby and reaching an audience of thirteen million people—while showcasing the life of fashion icon and magazine editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Be sure to stick around after the screening for a Q&A session with the filmmaker via Skype. Bloor Cinema (506 Bloor Street West), 6:30 and 9:15 p.m., $12 (a limited number of tickets available at the door) or FREE for students with ID (a limited number of tickets for the 9:15 p.m. screening will be available at the door beginning at 5:30 p.m.).
MUSIC: The Music Gallery, a not-for-profit centre for the creation and performance of new music and music-related arts, presents the fourth annual “X Avant New Music Festival: Convergence and Collaboration.” This five-day festival of concerts, workshops, and symposia will feature vocalists and instrumentalists from Canada, Germany, the Czech Republic, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The festival begins tonight at an off-site venue with a Canadian debut performance by Germany’s electronic music pioneering group Cluster, along with fellow German pianist and composer Hauschka accompanied by a string quartet. Polish Combatants Hall (206 Beverley Street), 8 p.m., $20–30 or $65 for a festival pass.