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Announcing the Finalists of the 2020 RBC $ 10,000 Emerging Filmmaker Pitch Competition

On Screen Manitoba, RBC and the Gimli Film Festival are pleased to announce the finalists for the 9th Annual RBC $ 10,000 Emerging Filmmaker Pitch Competition. This year the competition saw 24 submissions from emerging Manitoba filmmakers. An independent pre-selection jury chose 5 projects to move on to the live pitch competition, which takes place during the Gimli Film Festival.

This year the competition will be broadcast via  GFF Live Stream on Saturday, July 25th at 12 Noon CDT. For full schedule click here.

2020 Finalists :

  • BLAKE VERMETTE – Standing Still
  • CHELSEY MARK – The Callback
  • RIVA BILLOWS and RYAN STEEL – Summer, 2017

The RBC $ 10,000 Emerging Filmmaker Pitch Competition will open with the premiere screening of the short film First Session by the 2019 competition winner Matthew van Ginkel .

Each finalist has three minutes to pitch their short film idea to a jury of industry professionals and an online live audience followed by five minutes of questions from the jury. The jury will select one filmmaker who will receive $ 10,000 in production funds from RBC, a mentorship with Elise Swerhone of the National Screen Institute, a one-year membership with On Screen Manitoba, a $ 5,000 Equipment Rental Grant Certificate from William F. White International and the premiere screening of their film at the 2021 Gimli Film Festival.

“In this challenging time, where we have all had to make adjustments in our work and personal lives, the RBC $ 10,000 Emerging Filmmaker Competition at the Gimli Film Festival plays an important role in opening the door for emerging talent in Manitoba,” said Nicole Matiation, Executive Director of On Screen Manitoba. “With the media production industry starting up again, there is real opportunity in Manitoba for people interested in a media production career. Our industry offers employment in many areas from accounting, to wardrobe, to carpentry, to design and much more – On Screen Manitoba looks forward to connecting with experienced and emerging professionals interested in exploring new career opportunities.”

“It’s more important this year than ever to get money into the hands of artists and that’s what we accomplish through the RBC $ 10,000 Emerging Filmmaker Competition. Gimli Film Festival is proud to be part of a competition that fosters emerging filmmakers’ talents and connects them to Manitoba’s film community in relevant and lasting ways, ”says Aaron Zeghers, Gimli Film Festival Director. “Congratulations to all our 2020 pitch finalists, we can’t wait to see where you take us.”

“While this year may look a little different than others, what remains unstoppable is the thrilling pace of creative ideas and artistic expression of Manitoba’s filmmakers. The RBC $ 10,000 Emerging Filmmaker Competition at Gimli Film Festival spotlights and rewards storytelling at its best. Within a couple captivating minutes, you are left inspired by the filmmakers’ passion and moved by the stories they tell, ”shared Aaron Martyniw, RBC Vice President Commercial Financial Services. “RBC is deeply committed to supporting Manitoba’s thriving film industry. We recognize that right now, more than ever, we all need to rally around our storytellers. That is what Gimli Film Festival has been doing for 20 remarkable years.

On Screen Manitoba, RBC and the Gimli Film Festival would like to thank the National Screen Institute – Canada and William F. White International for the generous prizes they provide for this competition. Manitoba’s screen-based media community values ​​their support and looks forward to continued partnership.


The RBC Emerging Artists Project helps artists bridge the gap from emerging to established, and supports organizations that provide the best opportunity to advance their career trajectory. RBC supports arts organizations and artists in a range of genres including visual art, music, theater, performance, literature and film. 

The Gimli Film Festival is the largest film festival in Manitoba. Over the past 20 years, our audience, sponsors and partners have supported and shaped the festival into what it is today. We showcase fiction feature films, documentaries and short films from Manitoba, Canada and the world.

On Screen Manitoba is the provincial media production industry association. It leads the development of a dynamic media production industry that is recognized for its world-class creative and technical talent, an industry that employs over 2000 Manitobans and has contributed over $ 1.2 billion to the Manitoba economy over the past ten years.



Maryam Decter                                                           Amanda Emms
Programs and Membership Manager                        Communications Manager
On Screen Manitoba                                                     Gimli Film Festival