News & Media

July 30, 2017
30 Jul 2017

Best of Fest – I Am Not Your Negro

Join GFF for the Best of Fest 2017!

$10 cash at the door, rush seating of 220 seats available for those without tickets.


I Am Not Your Negro

8 pm, Sunday, July 30

Gimli Theatre

July 28, 2017
28 Jul 2017

Friday & Saturday – Gimli Film Fest 2017

Gimli – July 28, 2017 – Friday and Saturday are our two biggest days at the 2017 Gimli Film Festival. Attendees will be treated to great films, exciting competitions and special receptions and awards ceremonies.

The Festival experience spills outside and into the street, with First Avenue closed off to motor traffic and transformed into a pedestrian corridor for everyone to enjoy. Visitors can grab a bite at one of Gimli’s many snack spots, or relax with other festivalgoers in one of the temporary seating areas.

On Saturday, passersby can experience virtual reality at the On Screen Manitoba VR Showcase. Three Manitoba-made projects will be on display and free for the public to try from 1:00 – 4:00pm at two locations: The GFF box office and the First Avenue pedestrian corridor. Keep an eye out for On Screen Manitoba representatives, who will be handing out free tote bags full of industry goodies.

Friday and Saturday only, join us before the RBC Sunset Screenings for activities, displays, music and fun at the RBC Beach Boardwalk, 7:30 – 9:30 pm on Gimli Beach. On Friday night, the beach will host a double feature of Twister at 10:00 pm and The Birds at midnight. The 1981 fanfavorite Footloose screens on Saturday at 10:00 pm.

The RBC $10,000 Emerging Filmmaker Competition takes place Saturday at 10:00 am at the Gimli Theatre. Watch up-and-coming filmmakers pitch their short film ideas for a chance to win $10,000 courtesy of the RBC Emerging Artists Project. Winners will also receive a mentorship with industry professionals from the National Screen Institute, a $2,500 gift certificate courtesy of William F. White, and a one-year membership to industry association On Screen Manitoba. The completed film will premiere at the 2018 Gimli Film Festival.

Also on Saturday, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at Gimli Theatre, the Winnipeg Film Group 48 Hour Film Contest will premiere 18 short films all created in just 48 hours. Participants were tasked to write, shoot, edit, score and complete an original short film in just two days. Awards and prizes will be presented and audience members will have their chance to cast a vote for the Audience Choice Award.

Immediately following the 48 Hour Film Contest, the Manitoba Short Film Program takes over Gimli Theatre, with the Manitoba Film and Music Audience Choice Award cash prize up for grabs. Over 60 Manitoba filmmakers will be with us on Saturday to present their films. All visiting filmmakers are invited to attend a special Filmmakers Reception, sponsored by Integro Entertainment.

Festivalgoers have a unique opportunity to hear visiting filmmakers speak about their craft, their characters, and their inspirations. Don’t miss this rare chance to attend Q&As with our featured guest filmmakers:
• A Moon of Nickel and Ice Friday July 28, 10:00 am Gimli Lutheran Church Theatre
* Filmmaker François Jacob will be in attendance
• My American Cousin Friday, 5:30 pm Gimli Lutheran Church Theatre
*Filmmaker Sandy Wilson will be in attendance
• Duke and Battersby: 3 Videos Saturday, 3:00 pm Gimli Unitarian Church Aspire Theatre
*Filmmakers Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby will be in attendance
• Mike Hoolboom: 6 Films Saturday, 5:30 pm Gimli Unitarian Church Aspire Theatre
*Filmmaker Mike Hoolboom will be in attendance
• A Better Man Saturday, 5:30 pm Lady of The Lake Theatre; July 30, 12:30 pm
*Filmmaker Attiya Khan will be in attendance

Media representatives are invited to attend the 2017 Gimli Film Festival Awards Reception on Saturday at 8:00 pm at the Gimli Dance Pavilion (1 Fourth Avenue). A number of awards will be announced at the event, including:
• The Alda Award for excellence in Circumpolar filmmaking: NORMA BAILEY
• The Jack Clements “Livin’ the Dream” Lifetime Achievement Award: DEREK MAZUR & JOAN SCOTT
• RBC $10,000 Emerging Filmmakers Competition Award
• The 48 Hour Film Competition awards
• The Manitoba Film & Music Audience Choice Manitoba Short Film Award

A special thank you to Gled Vid Investment Company for supporting the closing reception.

July 26, 2017
26 Jul 2017

Opening Day! – Gimli Film Fest 2017

Gimli – July 26, 2017 – Manitoba’s largest film festival returns for its 17th year today. The 2017 annual Gimli Film Festival kicks off with a full day of programming and a special opening reception. A spotlight will shine on great Canadian cinema, with many classic Canadian films screening throughout the day.

The Festival opens with Goin’ Down the Road, a realist dramatic portrait of two young men from Canada’s Maritime Provinces who come to the big city, Toronto, looking for good jobs and good times. The 1970 film is widely regarded as the marker for the beginning of the film industry in English Canada, and is often referred to as one of the best Canadian films of all time.

In 2016, it was named one of 150 essential works in Canadian cinema history by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). In the afternoon, discover the work of fearless Canadian filmmaker Frank Cole, who entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the first man to cross the Sahara on foot. On November 29, 1989, Cole began another tormenting journey across Sahara by camel, filming his experiences in the dangerous climate and region. In Life Without Death the filmmaker as he confronts his fascination with dying. Life Without Death was the filmmaker’s final film before his 2000 murder by bandits on a return trip to the Sahara.

For family fun for all ages, join us for a curated retrospective of films from legendary award-winning Canadian filmmaker, Norman McLaren. McLaren was a pioneer in several areas of animation and filmmaking, including hand-drawn animation, drawn-on-film animation, visual music, abstract film, pixilation and graphical sound. His awards included an Oscar for the Best Animated Short in 1952 for Neighbours, and a 1969 BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film for Pas de deux.

Super Pass holders will have the added opportunity to attend a special opening reception at 7pm at Johnson Hall. Mingle with Film Festival staff and board as well as some visiting filmmakers and community representatives. Sponsored by Catherine Filmon and Elsebeth and Andre Kriening, the opening reception will feature appetizers from Bergmann’s on Lombard, Sugar Me Cookies dessert and Icelandic vinarterta from Afi’s Baking, wine from De Luca Fine Wines and beer from Brazen Hall. To preserve the memory, guests will be treated to caricature artist drawings, courtesy of RBC.

June 14, 2017
14 Jun 2017

GFF Passes Now On Sale Now – Individual Tickets July 1! Film Schedule Is Live Now!

This could be you! Are you ready to get your GFF pass? Passes on sale here.

Individual film screening tickets go on sale in July.

April 8, 2017
08 Apr 2017

Free screening of My American Cousin – Wed, April 19

Join GFF on Wednesday, April 19 as we partner with TIFF Film Circuit to screen My American Cousin for free in celebration of National Canadian Film Day. Seating is limited so arrive early to guarantee your seat.

3 free screenings: 2pm, 4pm & 7pm
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Lady of The Lake Theatre, New Iceland Heritage Museum, Gimli

Also join us for the GFF Volunteer Appreciation and Recruitment Reception
5:30 – 7:00 pm, April 19
New Iceland Heritage Museum
Generously supported by RBC.

February 6, 2017
06 Feb 2017

6th Annual RBC Emerging Filmmaker Competition – Calling All Aspiring Filmmakers!

Are you an emerging filmmaker? Do you have an idea for a short film you are desperate to make? Are you over the age of 18 and a resident of Manitoba? Are you prepared to complete your 3 – 5 minute short film in one year’s time for a premiere screening at the 18th edition of the Gimli Film Festival? If yes, we want you!


RBC offers the chance at $10,000 to make your short film!

Fill out and send in the application by June 16th, 2017 to have a shot at winning the dream budget for your short film!

Finalists will be announced June 29th, and will have the chance to pitch their film live in front of a panel of industry professionals at this year’s Gimli Film Festival

Enter now!

December 12, 2016
12 Dec 2016

Join us July 26 – 30, 2017 for the 17th annual Gimli Film Festival!


September 22, 2016
22 Sep 2016

GFF searches for new Executive Director

Are you passionate about film and the impact of GFF in the community of Gimli? Are you a successful change manager with strong leadership skills, strategic agility and financial acumen? Do you motivate, collaborate and encourage innovation? Do you strive for excellence? If so, perhaps this exceptional opportunity is for you!

Chair Janis Johnson and the Board of the Gimli Film Festival are conducting a search for a new Executive Director, who will oversee operations and ensure that the policies of the Board are implemented.

The responsibilities of the Executive Director are listed below. Interested parties are invited to send their resume by September 30, 2016 to

The Gimli Film Festival is widely recognized as the most successful film festival in Manitoba. Over the last sixteen years, our audience, sponsors and partners have supported and shaped the Festival into what it is today.

The Festival showcases the best new films from Canada’s and Manitoba’s most promising directors and an exceptional selection of features, documentaries and shorts from around the world. The Festival also includes:

  • Four indoor venues and the popular free on-the-beach screenings
  • Industry workshops and seminars
  • Over $10,000 awarded in pitch competitions & film competitions
  • Manitoban Short Film Awards
  • Networking events

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director’s responsibilities include:

  • strategic planning and implementation of policies set by the Board of Directors to ensure the growth and profiling of GFF in Manitoba, Canada and internationally;
  • managing GFF’s operations, including scheduling, organizing and attending all board meetings, executive committee meetings, the annual general meeting of the membership and any special events hosted by GFF;
  • managing GFF’s offices and the day-to-day affairs of the organization, including supervision of staff, hiring of staff and disciplining staff;
  • preparing and managing the budget and financial resources of GFF, including drafting grant and funding proposals and initiating and managing fundraising activities;
  • managing, scheduling and organizing all film festival events, including volunteers, workshops, sponsors and films;
  • managing all internal communication, developing and managing media and other external communications, including public relations and community relationships;
  • representing GFF at provincial, national and international events where GFF requires a presence and requests the Executive Director’s attendance.


July 26, 2016
26 Jul 2016

Festival tops 10,000 in attendance; indoor screenings record.


(Gimli, Manitoba; July 25, 2016) – Spotty rain showers did not keep film fans away from the last day of Festival. This year’s Gimli Film Festival was capped off by The Goonies!, a final RBC Sunset Beach Screening which drew 1450 people to the shores of Lake Winnipeg on Sunday night.

In total, 10,300 attended this year’s dynamic lineup of films and events.

The Festival’s iconic beach films drew approximately 6000 people over the festival’s five day duration. Indoor attendance hit an all-time high of 4,301 at GFF this year, showing a 10% rise in ticket sales from last year’s numbers.

 Hottest & Most Talked-About Films at this Year’s GFF


  • RAMS, the Icelandic comedy-drama about two estranged brothers trying to save their beloved sheep herd, not only was the opening film of this year’s festival, but had several sell-out shows and was voted Best of Fest, with an encore performance Sunday night.
  • IXCANUL, a French-Guatemalan drama about a young Mayan woman unsure if she wants to continue her family’s traditions or step into a wider world, evoked a powerful reaction from film-goers (notably the first screened in its language). With compelling imagery, Ixcanul was deeply appreciated by all who attended it at GFF, although some were shocked by the depth and accuracy of the portrayal of a pig slaughter.
  • ICE AND SKY wins the audience choice for stunning cinematography, showcasing the stark beauty of Antarctica in a French documentary about Claude Lorius, the first scientist to draw focus to global warming. Ice and Sky was arguably regarded as ‘the most beautiful screening of the festival’.
  • SPARROWS is an Icelandic film with heavy subject matter (rated 18+ and bearing multiple warnings on explicit sexual content) that was handled with incredible care and delicacy. Those who braved Sparrows were rewarded with a compelling screening that challenged them and broadened their understanding.
  • THE HEART OF MADAME SABALI, by Manitoba filmmaker Ryan McKenna, was one of the best-attended films of the entire festival, described as “a great blend of culture, sound, and imagery – imaginative, surreal, and a treat to see.”
  •  CLOSET MONSTER, from first time feature film director Stephen Dunn, was part of this year’s Reel Pride series and drew overwhelming positive feedback.
  • A SPACE PROGRAM was highly successful for both screenings, attended by director Tom Sacks who held an engaging Q+A on Saturday afternoon. A Space Program was such an intriguing cinematic experience that some festival goers actually chose to see it twice!
  • A MAN CALLED OVE was a festival favorite in its own right, and tremendously enjoyed by everyone who attended. It had the highest attendance rating of all films that screened at the festival (over 175 people at two separate screenings in Gimli Theatre)
  • UNDER THE SUN was the dark horse for Best of Fest. An incredible risk was taken by director Vitaly Mansky to bring the world an insider’s look at North Korea. Film goers described it as ‘austere, dry, disturbing, thought provoking, eye opening…’ Under the Sun had excellent attendance at two separate screenings at GFF, with over 200 people viewing the film.

reception12016 Closing Reception & Awards

 Approximately 200 people attended Saturday night’s Closing Reception at the Lakeview Resort Conference Centre. The annual Alda Award –a word which means ‘wave’ in Icelandic—was presented by Janis G Johnson, in celebration of excellence in circumpolar filmmaking. This year’s Alda was awarded to native actress Tantoo Cardinal, and accepted by Tina Keeper at Saturday night’s event, on behalf of Cardinal.

The annual Jack Clements “Livin’ the Dream” Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Claude Forest, whose company Multimedia Risk has been serving the Manitoba film community for two and a half decades.  Forest’s family was in attendance for his memorable acceptance speech on the evolution of Multimedia Risk and its importance in the film community.

Industry events & competitions draw Manitoba filmmakers to Gimli

Two film competitions in this year’s GFF brought short film fans and local filmmakers together in a high-energy celebration of immense raw talent that electrified Gimli Theatre.

The 48 Hour Film Contest, organized by Winnipeg Film Group, this year proved to be skyrocketing in popularity, selling out its Saturday showing with approximately 270 enthusiastic film-fans. Winners included Best Film & Best Score:  Julie Epp, Contents of the Heart; Best Director & Audience Choice: BJ Verot, Flashkick: A Kumite Revenge Story;  Best Cinematography: Vincent Allen, Cut;  Best Sound and Best Actress:  Lasha Mowchun, Quilted Windowpane Pantyhose; and Best Actor:  Skye Pelletier, Remotion.

The RBC $10,000 Filmmaker’s Competition was won by Solmund MacPherson and Allegra Chiarella for their film pitch on “The Debut”, an intriguing animated short film about colours and ‘being blinded by a passion for music’.

Whimsical GFF poster, one of the most popular designs ever!

This year’s indigo and lemon poster design by UK children’s book author Gillian Johnson encapsulated the spirit of GFF with a scene of tiny Vikings seated on Gimli beach watching film by moonlight.  This design proved to be a best-seller, with the first order of our 2016 merchandise selling out before the festival even started.

Overall, the 2016 Gimli Film Festival marked a year of expansion and change. Not only do the RBC Sunset Beach Screenings continue to draw thousands to Lake Winnipeg’s shores, but the eclectic, intelligent selection of indoor screenings and one-of-a-kind film series continue to build GFF’s reputation as one of the most unique film festivals in Canada.



Visit and our social media pages for festival recap and many photos/videos of 2016 GFF:

-Subscribe to us on Facebook

-Follow us on Twitter #gimlifilm

-Visit our YouTube Channel:

-Check us out on Instagram

“See you under the stars next July for the 17th edition of GFF!”

July 24, 2016
24 Jul 2016

The 2016 Gimli Film Festival Closing Reception & Awards

reception1Numerous awards were handed out at 2016 Gimli Film Festival’s Closing Reception on Saturday, July 23 at the Lakeview Resort Conference Centre.


Festival founder Janis Gudrun Johnson presented the Alda Award to Tantoo Cardinal at yesterday’s closing ceremonies.  Accepting the award on behalf of Cardinal was Tina Keeper (Cree activist, producer and actress).

Arguably the most widely recognized native actress, Tantoo Cardinal is a passionate women’s advocate and environmentalist who has appeared in over 50 films, including Legends of the Fall, Dances With Wolves, Black Robe, Loyalties, Luna, Spirit of the Whale, Unnatural & Accidental, Marie-Anne, Sioux City, Silent Tongue and Mother’s & Daughter’s. Her impressive television credits include recurring roles on the series: Blackstone, Arctic Air, The Guard, North of 60 and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.  Tantoo has received the Outstanding Achievement Award from Toronto Women in Film and Television as well as an International Women in Film Award for her lasting contribution to the arts.  She was inducted into the CBC/Playback Hall of Fame, received the Sir Peter Ustinov Award with the Banff Television Festival, and received The Sun Hill Award for Excellence in Native American Filmmaking. Additionally, Cardinal was made a Member of the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honours, recognizing her contributions to the growth and development of Aboriginal performing arts in Canada.

At last night’s awards, Cardinal was described as “deeply honest… an incredible leader who has pushed many boundaries often as a lone trailblazer establishing and developing opportunities for Indigenous women.”  Now, Cardinal will add the Gimli Film Festival’s Alda Award to her long list of recognitions.

The Alda Award –a word which means ‘wave’ in Icelandic is awarded annually in celebration of outstanding filmmakers from the circumpolar nations (including Canada, the United States, Russia, the Baltics and all four Nordic countries). The Alda symbolizes the close relationship which has evolved between GFF and the circumpolar world.


The Jack Clements “Livin’ the Dream” award, established in 2015 to recognize Clements’ huge contribution to the rich history of film in Manitoba, was awarded to Claude Forest at last night’s closing ceremonies.

Claude Forest’s company Multimedia Risk has been serving the film community since 1990.  He co-founded the Manitoba Motion picture Industry association and was a founding member of the Canadian Film and Television producers Association. 
He was also co-founder of the Winnipeg chapter of the Documentary Organization of Canada.

This year’s “Livin’ the Dream” Jack Clements Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by Norma Bailey, GFF board member, to Forest whose family was in attendance at the reception.  Forest’s acceptance speech described the birth and evolution of Multimedia Risk, and the essential role it has played in the Manitoba film industry for over two and a half decades.


Solmund MacPherson and Allegra Chiarella won yesterday’s RBC $10,000 Filmmaker’s Competition for their film pitch on “The Debut”, an intriguing animated short film about colours and ‘being blinded by a passion for music’. Thanks to RBC’s Emerging Artists program, MacPherson and Chiarella will now have the chance to bring their filmmaking vision to life.


This year’s 48 Hour Film Contest, organized by Winnipeg Film Group, played to a sold-out audience and packed Gimli Theatre yesterday afternoon!  Winners were as follows:

Best Film:  Julie Epp, Contents of the Heart

Best Director: BJ Verot, Flashkick: A Kumite Revenge Story

Best Cinematography:  Vincent Allen, Cut

Best Sound:  Lasha Mowchun, Quilted Windowpane Pantyhose

Best Score:  Julie Epp, Contents of the Heart

Best Actor:  Skye Pelletier, Remotion

Best Actress:  Lasha Mowchun, Quilted Windowpane Pantyhose

Audience Choice: BJ Verot, Flashkick: A Kumite Revenge Story


A number of fabulous raffle prizes were also drawn at last night’s reception.

  •   Icelandair: two return airline tickets from anywhere Icelandair flies was won by Ross Bailey
  •  A Deluxe BBQ courtesy of RONA Gimli was won by Sarah Goodman
  •  A two night stay at Hecla Resort courtesy of Lakeview Resorts was won by Louise Evans
  •  A lake tour with Lake Winnipeg Adventures was won by Doug Kozlowski
  •  A 2017 Gimli Film Festival Package was won by David Churko
  •  A day trip to Sand Hills Casino with Exclusive Bus Lines was won by Jaelee Guenther

Sunday –the final day of the 16th Annual Gimli Film Festival—promises to be excellent day in Gimli with cooler temperatures and a full slate of films on the agenda, including a re-screening of the Best of Fest pick (to be announced later today), and the final RBC Sunset Screening, The Goonies!, on the beach at 10pm.