News & Media

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.



July 24, 2016
24 Jul 2016

BEST OF FEST: RAMS! Today at 5:30pm

ramsGFF is excited to announce, that RAMS has been chosen for our Best Of Best Film for 2016!

Catch the encore screening of this popular Icelandic film, 5:30 TODAY at the Gimli Theatre.

July 23, 2016
23 Jul 2016

Saturday at GFF: a jam-packed day of films & events!


Day 4 of the Gimli Film Festival brings an exciting day of films, competitions & special events with a Manitoba focus. Today’s schedule includes:

• Manitoba films & short film series (MTS Stories from Home, NFB Hot House, Manitoba Short Film Showcase)
• Competitions (RBC $10,000 Emerging Filmmakers Pitch & the 48 Hour Filmmakers competition)
• Many guest appearances by filmmakers and industry throughout the day
• F-Wordz & Al Purdy documentary, at 8:00pm: a special event for poetry lovers
• GFF After Hours Concert at the Ship & Plough Gastropub 8pm-2am


Last night, our Raiders double feature drew over 1200 film fans to the shores of Lake Winnipeg, as ideal weather prevailed and Raiders fans enjoyed high adventure on the 35 foot beach screen.

bowie-prince Tonight Gimli beach will be swathed in purple for the Prince & David Bowie Sing-a-long at 10pm. (Note: any change of venue due to inclement weather will be posted at 7pm on the website & social media)  This promises to be a memorable and emotional night for music fans, as the audience is transported into a musical reminiscence under the stars…. Join us!

Then, at 11:30am our late feature on the beach is NUTS!, a documentary directed by Penny Lane, about Dr. John Romulus Brinkley, an eccentric genius who built an empire in Depression-era America with a goat testicle impotence cure and a million watt radio station. NUTS is a form-bending, Sundance Award-winning documentary which explores how “truths” can be invented by crafty storytellers, and what responsibility nonfiction filmmakers have to reveal the tricks of their craft.


The GFF Closing Reception and Awards Gala is at 7:00pm tonight at the Lakeview Resort Conference Centre. We have a number of exciting awards that will be announced at this event!

• The Alda Award for excellence in Circumpolar filmmaking
• The Jack Clements “Livin’ the Dream” Lifetime Achievement award
• RBC $10,000 Emerging Filmmakers Competition Award
• The 48 Hour Film Competition awards

News Bulletin: At noon today, the RBC $10,000 Emerging Filmmakers’ Competition was won by Solmund MacPherdon and Allegra Chiarella for their film pitch “The Debut”.

The 48 Hour Film Contest played to a sold-out house at the Gimli Theatre.  Winners list released soon!

July 22, 2016
22 Jul 2016


Today, two vibrant cultures of Manitoba are in the spotlight!




(10pm) RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK In this classic adventure by Steven Spielberg, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

(l12am)  RAIDERS! THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE In 1982, three 11-year-old boys in Mississippi decided to film a shot-for-shot remake of their favorite blockbuster, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Over the course of seven summers, they risked their lives and their mother’s house, finishing all but one scene. Years later, blood brothers reunite to shoot that scene they could never nail: the airplane sequence. Uproariously funny and achingly sweet, three grown men risk everything to achieve their childhood dream.


  • Wine & a Movie – GRANDMA 8:00pm @ Kris’ Fish & Chips, Tickets $15
  • GFF AFTER HOURS CONCERT at the Ship & Plough Gastropub: – 8:00pm-2:00am. Live music under the big tent at Gimli’s favourite watering hole! $10 cover



July 22, 2016
22 Jul 2016

A Conversation on the Canadian Film Landscape

A Conversation on the Canadian Film Landscape

A Conversation on the Canadian Film Landscape a panel featuring Ryan McKenna (The Heart of Madame Sabali), Jonas Chernick (Borealis), Jay Cheel (How to Build a Time Machine), and Paul Barkin (Hevn).

The great Canadian film industry is something often talked about by filmmakers and cinephiles across the country, but what does it really look like? What are the strengths of Canadian cinema, it’s director, distributors, exhibitors and cast and crews!? How are we viewed on the world stage? In a more regional sense, what are the strengths and challenges for filmmakers and audiences across the country? How does the current system of production, distribution and exhibition work and who does it impact and benefit? What could be improved upon?

In a more regional sense, what opportunities should local filmmakers and producers be taking advantage of? What has worked in other areas of Canada to improve and strengthen the film community and industry, and what could we do in a more regional sense to help grow and strengthen our local creative industry.”

For your exclusive chance to meet the out-of-town filmmakers that are attending the 16th Annual Gimli Film Festival, don’t miss our Filmmaker Panel and Reception on Friday night at 7pm.

Join us at the Lakeview Resorts ‘Banquet Hall C’ for an intimate reception with filmmakers, as well as a tell-all panel with the attending filmmakers about their experiences with the Canadian film industry. How did they get to where they are today, and what has worked for them in building their careers as renowned Canadian filmmakers and producers!!

Don’t miss this one-time-only conversation with Ryan McKenna (The Heart of Madame Sabali), Jonas Chernick (Borealis), Jay Cheel (How to Build a Time Machine), and Paul Barkin (Hevn).

Seats are selling fast! Book your tickets today!s


A Conversation on the Canadian Film Landscape
w/ Ryan McKenna, Jonas Chernick, Jay Cheel and Paul Barkin
Friday, July 22, 7pm @ Lakeview Resort (Banquet Hall C)
$10, free for pass holders* 

July 20, 2016
20 Jul 2016

Borealis moved indoors, Wed July 20 10pm

Due to inclement weather, Borealis will be moved indoors for tonight’s RBC Sunset Beach Screening.

Rain location is: George Johnson Middle school,  55 3rd Ave Gimli

Time remains the same, 10pm.  See you there!


July 20, 2016
20 Jul 2016

Are you Ready? The 16th Annual Gimli Film Festival takes flight!

beach_setup(Winnipeg, Manitoba; July 20, 2016) – The 2016 Gimli Film Festival is poised and set to launch. A phenomenal film lineup, a classy Opening Night reception, and numerous special industry events have filmmakers and fans flocking to the beautiful lakeside community of Gimli from July 20-24.

Passion for film has been propelling the Gimli Festival since the year 2000. This year, the festival boasts expansion in many directions.

A broader view: socially and environmentally relevant films from across the globe

The 2016 GFF lineup includes an insightful Social Justice film series sponsored by the Mauro foundation, an amazing Environmental film series, Next Wave Docs a series of boundary-pushing documentaries, Coming Home: Indigenous films from around the world, and The Final Frontier: inspiring docs about human ingenuity.

Examples of a few films guaranteed to expand your horizons:

IXCANUL | Jayro Bustamante | Guatemala / France | Spanish w/ English subtitles
On a Guatemalan coffee plantation on the side of a volcano, a sharp young Mayan woman, Maria, is unsure if she wants to continue with her family’s traditions or take a step into the wider world.

UNDER THE SUN | Vitaly Mansky | Russia | Korean w/ English subtitles
Over the course of one year, this film follows the life of an ordinary North Korean family whose daughter was chosen to take part in one of the famous Korean “Spartakiads”. The ritualized explosions of color and joy contrast sharply with pale everyday reality, which is not particularly terrible, but rather quite surreal.

ICE AND THE SKY | Luc Jacquet | France | Documentary
Ice and the Sky is a French documentary film directed by Luc Jacquet about the work of Claude Lorius, who began studying Antarctic ice in 1957, and, in 1965, was the first scientist to be concerned about global warming.

Greater diversity in cultures

The multicultural flavour of films at GFF has increased! This year’s festival includes a French series, a Ukrainian series, an Icelandic series sponsored by Pharmasave Gimli, and a Circlumpolar series (films from the regions of north: Norway, Denmark, Finland, Russia, Greenland and Northern Canada) also sponsored by Pharmasave Gimli.

A special Solveig Anspach Retrospective , sponsored by alliance Française du Manitoba & Cinémental, will pay homage to the acclaimed Icelandic/French director Solveig Anspach, who left the world far too early in 2015 after a long battle with breast cancer. Two of Anspach’s films that will be screened at GFF are:

LULU IN THE NUDE (LULU FEMME NUE)  | France | Drama | French w/ English subtitles
Following a botched job interview, Lulu decides not to return home, leaving her husband and their three children in the lurch. Three decisive encounters will help Lulu rediscover an old acquaintance she’s not seen for years: herself.

QUEEN OF MONTREUIL | France | Drama | French/Icelandic w/ English subtitles
It’s early summer and Agathe is back in France, at home in Montreuil. She has to get over her husband’s death and return to her work as a film director.

Deeper Roots here at home

This year’s Canadian and Manitoban selection of films is undeniably rich, with many outstanding home-grown dramas and docs on the menu. Saturday –the festival’s busiest and heaviest-attended day—is dedicated to Manitoba focused films and filmmaking events this year.

Two competitions that cultivate the spirit of emerging filmmakers, are taking place on Saturday.

The 48 Hour Film Contest

This increasing popular and intensely exciting contest, organized by Winnipeg Film Group, puts forth the challenge to write, shoot, edit, score and complete an original short film in two days! Teams must produce these shorts in what can only be described as a roller-coaster 48 hours of ‘team collaboration’, ‘grueling pace’, ‘sleep deprivation’, and ‘high-pressure filmmaking’.

The finished products? A collection of incredibly creative short films, to be screened on Saturday, July 23 at the Gimli Film Festival. Over 20 sponsors provide high value prizes for Best Film, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editor, Best Sound, Best Actor, Best Actress and People’s choice, with five films selected to be broadcast on Shaw TV.

The RBC $10,000 Emerging Filmmakers Competition

Emerging Manitoba Filmmakers with fabulous ideas for a short dramatic film have been invited to compete for the money, mentorship with National Screen Institute and a $1,000 equipment gift certificate to William F. White International. Five finalists have been chosen, and strive to present a winning pitch for their film.

Please join us on Saturday, July 23 as we premiere last year’s winning film, Annabelle by Kevin Tabachnick, and then watch as the five finalists of this year’s competition pitch their amazing film ideas to a jury in front of a live audience!


GFF Opening Reception at Johnson Hall, 5th floor of Waterfront Centre – 7:00-10:00pm

RAMS by Grímur Hákonarson – 7:00pm. This Icelandic film is the first official screening of the 2016 GFF! Held in the Lutheran Church Theatre.

Borealis by Sean Garrity (RBC Sunset Beach Screening): – 10pm. A Manitoba-made film will have the honor of being our first screening under the stars on Gimli Beach.


Festival Passes & Tickets are now on sale! – Purchase your passes on website at , or drop by the GFF Box Offices:

Box Office phone: 204-642-7790

Lakeview Conference Centre, 10 Centre St., Gimli (Tara`s Corner, Room J)

41 Centre St., Gimli (beside Pharmasave)

We invite you to experience our incredible festival in 2016! …See you under the stars July 20-24, 2016 for the 16th edition of GFF.