Staff


 

Gimli Film Festival Staff

Leona Johnson
Festival Director

Leona joined the Gimli Film Festival as Festival Director in 2014. After graduating from the University of Manitoba, her career focused on management and leadership in not-for-profit organizations including CBC Manitoba, Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, Manitoba Children’s Museum and Special Olympics Manitoba. Leona and her family have been Gimli summer residents since the 1980s before moving permanently to Gimli in 2013.

 

 

 

Aaron Zeghers
Festival Manager

Zeghers is a filmmaker, film programmer and the Festival Manager for the Gimli Film Festival.  As a film programmer, Zeghers is the founder and co-director of the Winnipeg Underground Film Festival and the Open City Cinema on-going film screening series. He also worked previously as the Senior Film Programmer for the Gimli Film Festival from 2014-17. As an experimental and documentary filmmaker, Zeghers’ films have screened at festivals and venues around the world including International Film Festival Rotterdam, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Festival du nouveau cinéma, DOXA Film Festival, and New York’s Mono No Aware. Zeghers has also toured widely with his work, performing his expanded cinema performances in Rotterdam, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Chicago, Vancouver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Toronto and more.

 

David Knipe
Senior Film Programmer 

David Knipe is a film programmer, writer, and filmmaker with a bachelor’s degree in Film Studies from the University of Manitoba. In addition to programming for the Gimli Film Festival, he is the Winnipeg Film Group’s Cinematheque Operations Manager, Programmer of the Gimme Some Truth Documentary Festival, and a co-organizer and programmer of the first annual Afro Prairie Film Festival. He is consumed with the need to share his passion for films with others, and is motivated by the belief that film is the pre-eminent art form of the 20th and 21st centuries, and that the shared communal experience of watching a film together with other people, whether in a traditional cinema or in more liminal, loosely-defined spaces such as rooftops or alleyways, is the defining experience of personal, social, and political transformation through art that we can have.

 

Vivian Belik
Film Programmer

Vivian Belik has previously worked as a programmer at the Available Light Film Festival and has been involved with the Hot Docs Film Festival, Regent Park Film Festival, and Doc Now Festival in Toronto. She has an MFA in Documentary Media Studies from Ryerson University and has since directed two short documentaries and is currently producing a feature length documentary through Telefilm’s Talent to Watch program. She’s originally from Winnipeg, a city she largely credits for shaping her taste in film and art, and now spends a large part of the year in the Yukon.

 

 


Cleo Curtis

Communications & Logistics Manager

Cleo Curtis is a communications manager and filmmaker. She graduated from the Creative Communications program at Red River College (2015) as well as the University of Winnipeg (2012).  As a communications manager, Cleo has worked with numerous non-profits in Winnipeg. As a filmmaker, her work has screened at festivals throughout Canada including the Gimli Film Festival in 2015. At the 2017 Gimli Film Festival, she was a finalist in the RBC $10,000 Pitch Competition.  Joining the Gimli Film Festival team in 2018 and she is excited to combine her love of filmmaking with her background in communications.

 

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