(Winnipeg, Manitoba; July 25, 2015) – Numerous awards were handed out at 2015 Gimli Film Festival’s Closing Reception on Saturday, July 25 at Johnson Hall.
ALDA AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN CIRCUMPOLAR FILMMAKING
In recognition of 15 years of Gimli Film Festival success, founder Janis Gudrun Johnson presented the inaugural Alda Award to Sturla Gunnarsson at today’s closing ceremonies. Gunnarsson is the Iceland-born Canadian filmmaker who wowed audiences at this year’s Festival with his documentary “Monsoon”.
The Alda Award –a word which means ‘wave’ in Icelandic—has been generously donated by Janis G Johnson and will be an annual award at GFF, in celebration of outstanding filmmakers from the circumpolar nations (including Canada, the United States, Russia, the Baltics and all four Nordic countries). With the increasing importance of the Arctic and our northern regions in the world today, the Alda is representative of the close relationship which has evolved between GFF and the circumpolar world.
Gunnarsson was one of the filmmakers to attend the very first Film Festival in Gimli in 2000. Born in Iceland but living in Canada since the age of seven (first in Vancouver and later in Toronto), Sturla Gunnarsson has produced work in film that is truly universal in its appeal, having won awards internationally that include an International Emmy Award, a Genie, Prix Italia, and Prix Villes de Cannes.
Gunnarsson’s 2015 film about India’s vast weather system, the monsoon or ‘soul of India’, was one of the most popular hits at the Gimli Film Festival this year. The visually stunning documentary was filmed over the course of India’s 2013 monsoon season in ultra-high definition 4K, with Gunnarsson following the monsoon on its annual journey.
In regards to the Alda Award, Janis G Johnson, GFF founder, explained: “From the beginning, it has been one of our goals to carve a niche for the GFF as the Canadian film festival with a strong circumpolar component. There is just so much we can share with our northern neighbours! For example, the small town of Tromso in Norway holds a film festival in mid-January and attracts international attention and large crowds. We can do the same in Gimli in summer, and are well on our way.”
“LIVIN’ THE DREAM” LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The inaugural Jack Clements “Livin’ the Dream” award has been established by his friends in his memory to recognize Clements’ contribution to the rich history of film in Manitoba. Jack Clements started his career as a sound engineer, eventually formed John Aaron Productions with Kim Johnston, and went on to produce many award-winning films such as The Last Winter and For The Moment starring Russell Crowe.
The GFF is pleased to announce Michael Scott as the first recipient of the Jack Clements “Livin the Dream Award. Michael became the executive producer of the new National Film Board office in Winnipeg in 1975 and then became a partner in CREDO Entertainment. Michael mentored a generation of exceptional filmmakers who went on to create a thriving Manitoba Film Community.
RBC $10,000 EMERGING FILMMAKERS COMPETITION AWARD
Kevin Tabachnick is the recipient of year’s 2015 RBC $10,000 Emerging Filmmaker Competition! His pitch “Annabelle” was deemed to be #1 at today’s competition which took place at Gimli Theatre. Tabachnik’s film is told through the eyes of Annabelle, a dying dog, and was inspired by his work in Winnipeg’s inner city.
MFM Audience Choice Manitoba Short Film Award for $1000
At the Manitoba Short Films screenings, James McClellan won the Manitoba Film & Music Audience Choice Manitoba Short Film Award for $1,000.00 for his short film called “Period Piece”. McLellan accepted his award from MFM’s Louise O’Brien-Moran.
48 HOUR FILM CONTEST, WINNIPEG FILM GROUP:
The following awards were handed out at the exciting 48 Hour Film Contest screenings, organized by Winnipeg Film Group.
Best Film, Best Director, Best Editor: “Meteorite Before Prom Night” BJ Verot and Ian Bawa Best Cinematography: “The Island”, Trevor Kristjanson, Kevin Tabachnick and Chaz Beaudette Best Sound: “What Happened After”, Nicola Baldwin Best Actress: Lorraine James from “Cuddle Me” Best Actor: BJ Verot from “Meteorite Before Prom Night” Audience Choice: 1st Place: “Meteorite Before Prom Night” BJ Verot & Ian Bawa, 2nd Place: “The Island”, Trevor Kristjanson, Kevin Tabachnick and Chaz Beaudette
Great prizes given to all the winners for studio time, workshops, and valuable industry services.
A number of fabulous prize draws were also drawn at tonight’s reception.
Women’s Electra Townie 7D Step-through Bike (value $565) was won by T. Kubalcik. Men’s Electra Ticino 8D Bicycle (value $1200) was won by M. Charlet. 2016 Gimli Film Festival Package (value $300) was won by T. Mitchell. RBC Prize Package $500 Gift Card and two 2015 TIFF tickets Sept 10-20 won by G. Hollinger.
The grand prize of a Trip for 2 to Iceland (courtesy Icelandair) was won by B. Hnatyshyn.
Sunday –the final day of the 15th Annual Gimli Film Festival—promises to be another balmy day in Gimli with temperatures in the 30s and a full slate of films on the agenda in air conditioned theatres, including a re-screening of the Best of Fest pick (to be announced Sunday morning), and the final RBC Sunset Screening, Dr. Strangelove, on the beach at 10pm.