Only available on GFF On Demand, July 12-25!

There is a long tradition of francophone filmmaking in Manitoba. Ever since Father Léon Rivard captured the first moving images in the province, an ever growing crop of francophone creators have enthusiastically adopted the cinematic medium to express themselves and share visions of their prairie home.

Curated by Stéphane Oystryk, this collection of nine films represents the wide range of work being created by contemporary Manitoban cinéastes who choose to see the prairies through a francophone lens. Yet, as singular and stylistically varied as each of these films may appear, shared themes and tropes emerge, as if emanating from a deeper shared consciousness. These are films about living between two worlds, dealing with loss, finding one’s place and confronting the weight and expectations of tradition. As bold as they are vulnerable, these are films that speak to the uniqueness and vitality of Manitoba’s francophones.

Champ libre (Free Range): 9 Short Films by Manitoban Francophones:

Only available on GFF On Demand, July 12-25!

En trois-temps

dir. Carole O’Brien
2002 | Canada | 24 min

An examination of the numbing effects of death on a young girl’s spirit. We meet her three times in her life, moments when death randomly appears. Time plays with her memories as she struggles to understand. She learns acceptance is key.


dir. Alain Delannoy
2012 | Canada | 9 min

Fraction is a hand drawn animated short film written, directed and animated by Alain Delannoy. Without spoken language, the film follows the story of an elderly artist who, caught in a battle of time, struggles to complete his body of work.

Au pays des esprits

dir. Rémy Huberdeau
2010 | Canada | 4 min

Au pays des esprits / Home of the Buffalo is an operatic quest between father and child, between two genders and among colonial & Indigenous territories. Visual storytelling that features National Film Board archival footage from the prairies circa 1920.


dir. Danielle Sturk
2014 | Canada | 9 min

Mouvement, featuring performer Kristin Haight in a choreography by Rachel Browne, is inspired by Frida Kahlo’s painting the “Wounded Deer”. This short film is an excerpt of the feature documentary A Good Madness – The Dance of Rachel Browne that captures the essence of the woman and power of the dance she created, exposing her unwavering desire to create dance to the exclusion of all else. Rachel Browne (1934–2012) was founder of Canada’s oldest professional modern dance company, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers.

Bon Voyage

dir. Ryan McKenna
2009 | Canada | 6 min

Franco Manitobans on the ‘fast’ track to extinction. Irreverent homage to the city of McKenna’s birth.

Un jour au camp Franco-survie

dir. Jacquelyn Hébert
2013 | Canada | 9 min

Un jour au camp Francosurvie is a short experimental documentary that follows a group of youths aged 18-24 during their time at a French language summer camp in Maskwa, Manitoba. Images of the Canadian wilderness are juxtaposed with a discussion about growing up bilingual and what that means for them.


dir. Damien Ferland
2018 | Canada | 8 min

Damien Ferland finds himself in Quebec and wonders if he actually counts as a francophone.

City of St. Boniface

dir. Dominique Rey
2004 | Canada | 11 min

Ruins, railways, bridges, well-kept lawns. The city of St. Boniface is a study in contrasting tempi, motion and stillness, noise and silence.

Tabula Rasa

dir. Matthew Rankin
2012 | Canada | 10 min

In the aftermath of the 1950 Winnipeg flood, Fernand drifts through the submerged ruins of St-Boniface while Marie-Oiseau prays for a miracle. Filmed in a giant water tank, this micro-epic stars Martin Dubreuil, Sarah Gravel, Marie-Ginette Guay and Grimes.