2021 Feature Films

This is a list of all of GFF’s 2021 Feature Films!  For browsing all of GFF’s 2021 Films, also check out our Official Film Guide!


About Endlessness

dir. Roy Anderson
2019 | Sweden / Germany / Norway / France | 78 min
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With About Endlessness, Roy Andersson adds to his cinematic oeuvre with a reflection on human life in all its beauty and cruelty, its splendour and banality

All Light, Everywhere

dir. Theo Anthony
2020 | United States | 105 min
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All Light, Everywhere is an exploration of the shared histories of cameras, weapons, policing and justice. As surveillance technologies become a fixture in everyday life, the film interrogates the complexity of an objective point of view, probing the biases inherent in both human perception and the lens.

Barbara James

dir. Winston Washington Moxam
2020 | Canada | 80 min
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Barbara James is a thirty-something, single, hip and opinionated pregnant Black woman. One day, she wakes up and realizes that her unborn baby has stopped moving. On this particular day, Barbara James decides she must sort out her past, present and future. She must come to grips with 30 years of mistakes, miscalculations and misinterpretations, all bound up in a reality she has never faced before. Dealing with a judgmental mother, an irresponsible father who abandons her, an overly protective best friend, no money, no career, no place of her own and a ghost who haunts her, she must decide whether or not to keep her child.

Brown Town Muddy Water

dir. Jesse Green
2015 | Canada | 78 min
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Brown Town Muddy Water honours the ancient relationship between Indigenous people and the meeting place known as The Forks. This television special chronicles musicians who shaped Winnipeg’s main street in the 1960’s like the late Percy Tuesday, Errol Ranville and Billy Joe Green. For the emerging urban Aboriginal community, echoes of home sounded through music, dance, story and gatherings. Peoples lived experiences of emergence, segregation, racism, camaraderie and resistance are as resilient as the downtown streets of Winnipeg. The professional musicians that grew up on this notorious strip paved the road to success for forthcoming generations of Indigenous artists.

The Corruption of Divine Providence

dir. Jeremy Torrie
2020 | Canada | 93 min
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When a fifteen year old Stigmatic Metisse is kidnapped from a small French Canadian town three different religious factions vie for control over her upon her eventual return.Set in the harvest months of the western Canadian prairies in St. Michel, Manitoba The Corruption of Divine Providence explores what happens when a messenger from God tests the character of humanity.

Dead Man’s Switch: a Cryptomystery

dir. Sheona McDonald
2021 | Canada | 78 min
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Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous and sometimes nefarious world of cryptocurrency, Dead Man’s Switch is a feature length documentary, a cautionary tale, about the short life & mysterious death of QuadrigaCX CEO, Gerald Cotten.

Dropstones

dir. Caitlin Durlak
2021 | Canada | 57 min
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On a remote island off the coast of Newfoundland, Dropstones is an intimate portrait of a matriarch and her desire to raise her boys into ‘two good men’ in the only place she knows how to. Beginning in the dead of winter we find ourselves in the home of Sonya and her two boys, Sean and Luke. Having recently returned to the island to escape an abusive husband, she has found herself living in the place she once saw considered a ‘hole’ and was desperate to leave. Sonya’s two sons are feeling anxious as they spend many days inside waiting out a snow storm. Itching to get outside on their skidoos, and look to their mother for guidance and technology to keep their minds idle. Meanwhile, Sonya’s live-in boyfriend, Daniel, is under employed and struggling to define his masculinity all while navigating his new role as a parental figure. Sonya’s home life is in stark contrast with her work life, where she serves wealthy tourists at a restaurant in a five star hotel. The hotel becomes a stand in for the economically prosperous world, outside of the island. In act two, summer has arrived and with it a renewed growth of activities, work and freedom. The boys are embraced by the traditions of youth Sonya grew up with; building forts with stolen wood, catching cod by hand with their uncle and beginning their first jobs cutting cod tongues. For Sonya summer means working full time, while trying hard to balance exhaustion. 

Everything in the End

dir. Mylissa Fitzsimmons
2021 | United States | 80 min
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Stranded in a small Icelandic village during Earth’s final days, a Portuguese man seeks solace in the brief human connections he encounters.

Fauna

dir. Nicolás Pereda
2020 | Canada / Mexico | 70 min
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The latest feature from Mexican-Canadian auteur Nicolás Pereda is a sly, comedic take on how violence in Mexico has infiltrated popular imagination.

Golden Arm

dir. Maureen Bharoocha
2020 | United States| 93 min
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A tough lady trucker trains her wimpy best friend to compete in the National Ladies Arm Wrestling Championship.

Goodnight Goodnight

dir. Mackenzie Reid Rostad
2020 | Canada | 37 min
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With overconsumption of electric light, the resulting light pollution, and the subsequent loss of the night sky have effectively rid our lives of context. By suppressing natural temporalities and obscuring our place within the solar system, we are left with a distorted sense of permanence—the permanence of our structures, institutions, and relationships.

Goodnight Goodnight is a mid-length experimental documentary exploring hydroelectricity, romance and, alienation.

Grandma Hófí

dir. Gunnar B. Guðmundsson
2020 | Iceland | 95 min
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A pair senior citizens grow tired of the conditions in their retirement home and decide to rob banks so that they can afford to buy a small apartment.

Hey, Happy!

dir. Noam Gonick
2001 | Canada | 76 min
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On the outskirts of Winnipeg after the fall of Western civilization, a pornography-merchant sets out to seduce 2000 men.

Indian Road Trip

dir. Allan Hopkins
2019 | Canada | 89 min
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When two unruly Native con-artists are forced to drive a cranky elder across the reserve so she can make peace with long estranged and dying sister, it quickly becomes clear that a supernatural force is trying to halt the journey.

Inventing the Future

dir. Isiah Medina
2020 | Canada | 98 min
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By imaginatively creating positive visions for the future and harnessing the power of technology, this film explores what a post-work world might look like. Based on the best-selling book Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work.

Ken Leishman: The Flying Bandit

dir. Norma Bailey
2005 | Canada | 47 min
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Family man – escape artist – bank robber! Ken Leishman was the man who masterminded both the biggest gold heist and the biggest jailbreak in Canadian history.

Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy

dir. Elle-Maija Tailfeathers
2021 | Canada | 125 min
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Community members active in addiction and recovery, first responders and medical professionals implement harm reduction to save lives. This work is contextualized within the historical and contemporary impacts of settler colonialism; Kímmapiyiipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy draws a line between the effects of colonial violence on Blackfoot land and people and the ongoing substance-use crisis.

Last and First Men

dir. Jóhann Jóhannsson
2020 | Iceland | 70 min
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What can we learn from the voice speaking to us from two billion years away? Last and First Men juxtaposes the seminal speculative science fiction story by Olaf Stapledon, a haunting musical score by the late celebrated Icelandic composer and musician Jóhan Jóhannson (The Theory of Everything, Sicario, Arrival) and filmed images of futuristic, brutalist, otherworldly stone monuments erected during the communist era in the former Yugoslav republics, shot in 16mm black and white by renowned cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen (Victoria, Rams). Narrated by Tilda Swinton, the film beckons us into a world of surreal and phantasmagorical monuments where a future race of humans finds themselves on the verge of extinction, and where the monuments – once intended as symbols of Unity and Brotherhood – remain as lone, abandoned beacons beaming their message into the wilderness. While the story of crumbling future civilizations is told, the spectral presence of an entity attempting to communicate with us emerges. Poetic, tragic and hopeful, Last and First Men represents Jóhann Jóhannson’s final and most personal work – an allegory of remembrance, ideals and the death of utopia.

The Life of Jo Mennel

dir. Paul Yule
2019 | South Africa | 88 min
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From the war in Vietnam to Fidel Castro, from David Hockney to Nelson Mandela, from Francis Bacon to Salvador Allende. His exceptional capacity to be both storyteller and subject offers an unusual and brilliant perspective into the complexity of our times. Today, finally back in his native South Africa, Jo makes sense of his life’s journey, and offers a fascinating and radical way forward.

Mayor

dir. David Osit
2020 | United States | 89 min
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Mayor follows Musa Hadid, the Christian mayor of Ramallah, during his second term in office. His immediate goals: repave the sidewalks, attract more tourism, and plan the city’s Christmas celebrations. His ultimate mission: to end the occupation of Palestine.

Rich with detailed observation and humor, Mayor offers a portrait of dignity amidst the madness and absurdity of endless occupation while posing a question: how do you run a city when you don’t have a country?

Moffie

dir. Oliver Hermanus
2020 | South Africa / United Kingdom | 104 min
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A young man in 1981 South Africa must complete his brutal and racist two years of compulsory military service while desperately maintaining the secrecy of his homosexuality.

Mogul Mowgli

dir. Bassam Tariq
2020 | United Kingdom / United States | 89 min
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A British Pakistani rapper is on the cusp of his first world tour, but is struck down by an illness that threatens to derail his big break.

My Name is Bagdhad

dir. Caru Alves De Souza
2020 | Brazil | 99 min
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Baghdad is a 17-year-old female skater, who lives in Freguesia do Ó, a working-class neighborhood in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. Baghdad skateboards with a group of male friends and spends a lot of time with her family and with her mother’s friends. Together, the women around her form a network of people who are out of the ordinary. When Baghdad meets a group of female skateboarders, her life suddenly changes.

The Nature of Nicholas

dir. Jeff Erbach
2003 | Canada | 97 min
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A surreal fable set on the Canadian Prairie, The Nature of Nicholas is the tale of a young boy wrestling with an attraction to his best friend while tormented by visions of his dead father.

Night Falls

dir. Ariane Bilodeau
2021 | Canada | 30 min
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A historian with a gift of clairvoyance roams in streets of an old City of Lights. He sees in the Falls of Shawinigan a meditation on the human history and it’s loss of meaning.

No Ordinary Man

dir. Aisling Chin-Yee / Chase Joynt
2020 | Canada | 84 min
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No Ordinary Man is an in-depth look at the life of musician and trans culture icon Billy Tipton. Complicated, beautiful and historically unrivalled, this groundbreaking film shows what is possible when a community collaborates to honour the legacy of an unlikely hero.

One of Ours

dir. Yasmine Mathurin
2021 | Canada | 90 min
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After a Haitian-born youth is racially profiled at an Indigenous basketball tournament, he wrestles with his shaken sense of belonging in his Indigenous adoptive family while attempting to heal from his past.

Psycho Goreman

dir. Steven Kostanski
2020 | Canada | 92 min
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Siblings Mimi and Luke unwittingly resurrect an ancient alien overlord. Using a magical amulet, they force the monster to obey their childish whims, and accidentally attract a rogues’ gallery of intergalactic assassins to small-town suburbia.

Riders of Justice

dir. Anders Thomas Jensen
2020 | Denmark | 116 min
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Markus returns home to care for his daughter when his wife dies in a tragic train accident. However, when a survivor of the wreck surfaces and claims foul play, Markus suspects his wife was murdered and embarks on a mission to find those responsible.

The Rossellinis

dir. Alessandro Rossellini
2020 | Latvia / Italy | 99 min
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Revered as one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century, Roberto Rossellini left an indelible mark on cinema and an enormous inheritance of family conflict. The Rossellinis is a compelling look inside a complicated cinema dynasty forced into group therapy by one of their own. As the first grandson of a genius, suppressed by the weight of lofty expectations and his struggle with addiction, Alessandro Rossellini doesn’t feel he’s lived up to the name. So at age 55, he picks up the camera and travels around the world, trying to reconcile with the family he loves but could never find his place in. With never-before-seen archival footage and an absorbing conversation with his famed aunt, actress Isabella Rossellini, this family drama offers an abundance of compelling insights into their relationships, revealing old secrets and tragic moments in their lives. On the surface, the Rossellinis are a family born of spectacle, fame and wealth—but here, they ironically yield a rare example of tender authenticity in the world of film

Some Kind of Heaven

dir. Lance Oppenheim
2020 | United States | 83 min
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A Floridian garden of earthly delights and its discontents, Some Kind of Heaven explores life inside the manicured lawns and meticulously crafted suburban bliss offered by The Villages, the self-described “Disneyworld for Retirees.” Every day is supposed to be a good one for the 120,000+ senior citizens of The Villages. Whether residents are interested in synchronized swimming or cheerleading, tai chi or golf cart parades, this large community of healthy retirees offers a utopian vision of a (retired) American Dream: wide, safe streets, picture-perfect landscaping, and countless activities all in service of their residents’ golden years. While most residents have bought into the community’s blissful optimism, we meet a small group of residents – a married couple, a widow and a bachelor – living on the margins of the marketing fantasy, struggling to find footing inside the dream.

Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street

dir. Marilyn Agrelo 
2021 | United States | 107 min
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A look at the history of the long-running children’s TV show, Sesame Street.

The Strongest Man in the World

dir. Halya Kuckmij
1980 | Canada | 29 min
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This film tells the bittersweet story of strongman and magician Mike Swistun who, for thirty days in 1923, was the strongman with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Born in Olha, Manitoba, Swistun was a Ukrainian farm boy, who, for a short moment in time, achieved fame and fortune only to lose it. Narrated by the Ukrainian Hollywood actor Jack Palance, this film won the prestigious Genie Award.

Sugar Daddy

dir. Wendy Morgan
2020 | Canada | 101 min
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Darren, is a new age music composer and performer who is trying to break into the record industry. As the film begins, she is fired from the job that pays her rent, so she starts working as a “paid dinner companion” for older dudes. No sex, she proudly proclaims, but that doesn’t stop Darren from arguing with her feminist friends over whether she is allowing herself to be treated as a commodity. She reacts very harshly to her friends’ criticisms, and does not handle her roommate’s crush on her with aplomb. Sugar Daddy is a compelling portrait of a creative young woman trying to find her place in the world.

Summertime

dir. Carlos López Estrada
2020 | United States | 99 min
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Over the course of a hot summer day in Los Angeles, the lives of 25 young Angelinos intersect.

Superior

dir. Erin Vassilopoulos
2021 | United States | 97 min
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On the run, Marian returns to her hometown to hide out with her identical twin sister, Vivian, and in doing so alters the trajectory of both their lives.

Sweet Thing

dir. Alexandre Rockwell
2020 | United States | 91 min
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For Billie and Nico, life with their father is a roller-coaster ride of playfulness and unease. When he is in the grip of alcohol, tears flow and their apparently idyllic family life collapses. Their mostly absent and irresponsible mother is not much help either. But their friendship with Malik, a boy of Billie’s age, frees them from their shackles. Together they embark on a journey full of intense moments of freedom. The colourful, emotional world of the three young people is depicted in kaleidoscopic black and white imagery, which opens space for their own notions of childhood. Alexandre Rockwell’s tale portrays a profound sense of solidarity and deep love: for cinema and Billie Holiday, and also for risk and adventure.

Test Pattern

dir. Shatara Michelle Ford
019 | United States | 82 min
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Test Pattern follows an interracial couple whose relationship is put to the test after a Black woman is sexually assaulted and her white boyfriend drives her from hospital to hospital in search of a rape kit.

Threshhold

dir. Coraci Ruiz
2020 | Brazil | 77 min
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Threshold is an autobiographical documentary made by a mother that registers the gender transition of her adolescent son, accompanying him and the conflicts, certainties and uncertainties that pervade him in a deep search for his identity.

Tove

dir. Zaida Bergroth
2020 | Finland / Sweden | 100 min
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The movie centres on the life of Tove Jansson, showing both her personal relationships, and the creation of the popular Moomin books.

True Confections

dir. Gail Singer
1991 | Canada | 95 min
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A witty teen tests men, morals and manners as her family tries to marry her off in 1958 Canada.

“It’s a winningly offbeat little charmer from Canada in which Leslie Hope keeps slipping into her own fantasy world, as her Jewish parents browbeat her for not settling down with a nice young man. The familiar Jewish neuroses get another airing, but are enlivened by some nicely surreal touches from director Gail Singer and the Walter Mittyesque daydreaming of Hope. The performances from the largely unknown cast are also spot on”

– BBC Radio Times, February 2000

The Truffle Hunters

dir. Michael Dweck / Gregory Kershaw
2020 | Italy / United States / Greece | 84 min
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Deep in the forests of Northern Italy resides the prized white Alba truffle. Desired by the wealthiest patrons in the world, it remains a pungent but rarified mystery. It cannot be cultivated or found, even by the most resourceful of modern excavators. The only souls on Earth who know how to dig it up are a tiny circle of canines and their silver-haired human companions—Italian elders with walking sticks and devilish senses of humor—who only scour for the truffle at night so as not to leave any clues for others. Still, this small enclave of hunters induces a feverish buying market that spans the globe. With unprecedented access to the elusive truffle hunters, filmmakers Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw (The Last Race, 2018 Sundance Film Festival) follow this maddening cycle from the forest floor to the pristine restaurant plate. With a wily and absurdist flare, The Truffle Hunters captures a precarious ritual constantly threatened by greed and outside influences but still somehow protected by those clever, tight-lipped few who know how to unearth the magic within nature.

What We’ve Pulled Off… So Far

dir. Kevin Nikkel
2021 | Canada | 80 min
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Documentary on history of film in Manitoba.

You Were an Amazement on the Day You Were Born

dir. Cooper Battersby / Emily Vey Duke
2019 | United States | 33 min
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You Were an Amazement on the Day You Were Born is a visually stunning film that follows a woman through a life characterized by damage and loss, but in which she finds humor, love, and joy. With a score that follows the span of Lenore’s life, from her birth in the early 70s to her death in the 2040s, the film takes us from moments of harrowing loss to those of poignancy and dark humor. Her life is told through voice over, narrated by performers who range in age from nine to sixty-nine, and is beautifully illustrated with images of animals (including humans), insects and landscapes.