News & Media

June 11, 2016
11 Jun 2016

Sneak Peek: Opening night films at the 2016 GFF

Wednesday, July 20th, is opening night at the 16th Annual Gimli Film Festival!  This year, we’ll be featuring both an outdoor beach film AND an indoor screening on the Wednesday night, to kick off our exciting 2016 lineup.


borealisOur first film shown under the stars this year will be Borealis, directed by Manitoba filmmaker Sean Garrity and written, produced and starring Jonas Chernick.

In this emotionally-layered journey, an unemployed gambler takes his estranged teenage daughter on a dangerous road trip up to Churchill, MB to show her the magnificent Northern Lights before her vision disorder renders her completely blind. With a volatile bookie in hot pursuit, Jonah (Jonas Chernick) and his daughter Aurora are forced to finally confront each other, their tragic pasts, and their respective love of poker and weed.

Of special note: Borealis will have a second indoor screening on the Friday evening of GFF, with writer/producer/actor Jonas Chernick in attendance at the film; as well, Chernick will be offering an acting workshop on the Friday during the day of the festival. (-details and registration to be released soon!)

OPENING NIGHT INDOOR FILM: ‘RAMS’, the Manitoba premiere of this award-winning Icelandic film!

ramsWinner of the Un Certain Regard prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, as well as the Best Narrative Feature at the Hampton’s Film Festival, RAMS is a film that straddles the line between absurdity and tragedy.

Icelander Grímur Hákonarson directed this stunningly shot drama, which focuses on two Icelandic sheep farmers whose decades-long feud comes to a head when disaster strikes their flocks. In a secluded valley, estranged brothers Gummi and Kiddi live side by side tending to their prized ancestral sheep stock, despite not having spoken in 40 years. When a lethal disease suddenly infects Kiddi’s sheep, all the animals in the area are culled to contain the outbreak, with many farmers abandoning their land. However, these brothers don’t give up so easily! Each tries to stave off the disaster in his own fashion: Kiddi by using his rifle, and Gummi by using his wits. As authorities close in, the brothers must unite to save their special breed -and themselves- from extinction.

Stay tuned in coming weeks, as we release more films in our excellent 2016 GFF lineup!

June 6, 2016
06 Jun 2016


scaffoldWould you like to part of the most innovative film festival in Manitoba, which draws over 10,000 film-goers to the town of Gimli each summer?

Are you passionate about film and the impact of GFF in the community of Gimli, and Manitoba?

GFF needs dynamic people to fill the following positions for the 2016 festival:

GFF Box Office Coordinator (Job description at

Apply to the Festival director by email (include resume):

April 10, 2016
10 Apr 2016

Latest News:

Festival tops 10,000 in attendance!

Read the wrap-up on GFF 2016: Indoor screenings record, festival highlights… 10000 attend GFF

Manitoba Films Shine Bright at GFF

Amazing made-in-Manitoba films at the 2016 Gimli Film Festival!…


February 24, 2016
24 Feb 2016

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS – Gimli Film Festival 2016

CallforSubmissionsOur call for submissions has been extended to May 15, 2016.

Click here for more details

The Board of Directors, headed by GFF Chair & Founder Senator Janis Johnson, along with the new Executive Director Rick Kemp are pleased to officially announce the 2016 dates for the Gimli Film Festival.  This year’s festival will take place on the beach and streets of Gimli, Manitoba on July 20-24, 2016.

Exciting new announcements and Calls for Submission will be posted on this website and our social media pages in the coming weeks. Please stay in touch by following us on Facebook, Twitter and by frequenting this website. The 2016 Gimli Film Festival will be hot, sunny & sensational!!

February 18, 2016
18 Feb 2016

GFF Announces 2016 Dates: Gimli Film Festival – July 20-24, 2016

The Board of Directors, headed by Chair Senator Janis Johnson, along with the new Executive Director Rick Kemp are pleased to officially announce the 2016 dates for the Gimli Film Festival.

This year’s festival will take place on the beach and streets of Gimli, Manitoba on July 20-24, 2016. Exciting new announcements and Calls for Submission will be posted on this website and our social media pages in the coming weeks.

Please stay in touch by following us on Facebook, Twitter and by frequenting this website. The 2016 Gimli Film Festival will hot, sunny & sensational!!


September 21, 2015
21 Sep 2015

Join us for Nuit Blanche Gimli – Sat, Sept 26!

Check out a number of free events throughout Gimli. GFF presents the free film screening of:

Ken Leishman: The Flying Bandit
9:45 pm – 10:45 pm, Sat., Sept 26
Lady of The Lake Theatre
NIHM, Waterfront Centre
#108 94-1st Ave., Gimli

Flying Bandit Photo

Family man. Escape artist. Bank robber. Ken Leishman: The Flying Bandit tells the amazing story of the man who masterminded both the biggest gold heist and the biggest jailbreak in Canadian history. A 1960’s character who became a Canadian folk hero.
2005 | Documentary | 60 mins
Director & Co-Script Writer: Norma Bailey – Gimli Filmmaker

Read more

September 15, 2015
15 Sep 2015

GFF searches for new Festival Director

2015 beach twilight Eric Roberts cropped







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!

Following the announcement that Leona Johnson will resign as Festival Director of the Gimli Film Festival, Chair Janis Johnson and the Board of the Gimli Film Festival are conducting a search for a new Festival Director, who will oversee operations and ensure that the policies and strategic plans of the Board are implemented.

The responsibilities of the Festival Director are listed below. Interested parties are invited to send their resume by September 30, 2015 to

Read more

August 26, 2015
26 Aug 2015

Record crowds enjoy a 2015 GFF weekend

The 15th Annual Gimli Film Festival was a memorable five-day Festival. The rain showers on Thursday did not dampen the spirits of film goers as indoor attendance hit an all-time high of 3926 throughout the Festival. Hot, humid weather dominated the last three days of this year’s Festival, causing the total beach attendance at the RBC Sunset Screenings to swell to over 6,000 people. When a rain storm hit the beach halfway through Sunday’s film, Dr. Strangelove, it resulted in a record breaking tear down. In total, over 10,100 attended this year’s dynamic lineup of films and events.

Most Talked-About Films at the Festival
A number of indoor films attracted very large crowds.

  • Amy, is a sad, riveting, and brutally honest film about the life of Amy Winehouse that examines the complex balance between art and celebrity.
  • Red Army, a documentary about the USSR hockey team also included an in-depth panel discussion with three NHL hockey players from that era.
  • Monsoon is Sturla Gunnarrson’s visually striking, award-winning documentary about India’s weather system.
  • Iris, the story of 93-year-old fashion diva Iris Apfeld of New York played to rave reviews for three packed screenings… we are now looking for our Gimli maven.

Read more

July 26, 2015
26 Jul 2015

Best of Fest: “Amy” documentary – encore screening 7:30pm tonight!

amyBest of Fest is based on ticket sales, sell outs, and buzz around Festival!  An encore screening of one of the Festival’s most popular film will be offered on the last day of Festival… this year it’s Amy!

This year’s was a close race between the documentaries “Iris” and “Amy”…. documentaries about two very different women, each distinct & talented, who touched thousands of people in their own way.

Amy starts at Gimli Theatre at 7:30pm Sunday, July 26.

July 26, 2015
26 Jul 2015

Awards presented at the 2015 GFF Closing Reception

(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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.