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GFF announces 2021 Film Lineup & Events!

GIMLI, MANITOBA  – June 24, 2021. Gimli International Film Festival (GFF) is excited to officially announce its 2021 Film Lineup.  The 21st annual GFF is extending its runtime from 5 days to two weeks, with over 100 films streaming on GIFF Online (fuelled by Red River Co-op), and through an all-new RBC Sunset Drive-In Theatre!

The days of the Drive-In are back this summer, with GFF’s nightly 10 pm screenings and one-midnight movie at the RBC Sunset Drive-In, from July 21 to 25!  The RBC Drive-In takes place in Pavilion Park in the Town Gimli, MB, and ticket registration begins at Noon on July 3rd on GFF’s Website.  Please scroll down for the full Drive-In Film Lineup and details.

GFF will also be offering over 100 films available for two full weeks (July 12-25) on the Festival’s film streaming platform, GIFF Online, fuelled by Red River Co-op. The majority of films on GIFF Online will be available INTERNATIONALLY this year, so film lovers from all over the globe can enjoy the Festival. Catch an unlimited number of the hottest films from the past year with the Festival’s new Super Passon sale now! 

New to the 2021 Festival, GFF is spotlighting cutting-edge and form-bending Canadian films through the VISIONS Film Series, as well celebrating MB150 through a special Manitoba Film Retrospective!

GFF is proud to work with two new guest programmers in 2021. Daina Warren has curated a special Indigenous Horror Focus, and Stéphane Oystryk has curated a shorts program Champ libre (Free Range): 9 Short Films by Manitoban Francophones – both are only available on GIFF Online.

Please read on for more details…


GFF Festival Passes are now ON SALE at Earlybird Prices until the end of June!  This summer, GFF is offering an all-new SUPER PASS that provides unlimited film unlocks and access to private events like the Take 5 Sessions & GFF’s Opening Reception in a Virtual Town of Gimli. 

Individual Tickets for GFF 2021 will be available during the Festival (July 12-25) on GIFF Online, for $8 each.


New to the Festival this year is the tentative, contactless RBC Sunset Drive-in Theatre. Drive out to Pavilion Park in the Town of Gimli for five nights of Drive-In Screenings from July 21-25. Ticket registration begins July 3rd at Noon CDT on GFF’s Website, so be sure to register as soon as possible as tickets are expected to go fast.

GFF is continuing to monitor all COVID-19 developments and will closely follow all Provincial guidelines in operation of this tentative contactless Drive-In event.  A final decision to proceed with the RBC Drive-In will be announced on July 1st, and the best way to stay informed about this is to register for GFF’s e-Newsletter.

Indian Road Trip

Drive-in Date: Wednesday, July 21 at 10 PM

dir. Allan Hopkins
2019 | Canada | 89 min
>> Full Details on GIFF Online <<

A pair of cousins (Hank and Cody) are forced to drive a cranky elder (Hetta) across the reserve so she can make peace with her dying sister. It quickly becomes clear that a supernatural force is trying to halt the journey.

Golden Arm

Drive-in Date: Thursday, July 22 at 10 PM

dir. Maureen Bharoocha
2020 | United States| 93 min
>> Full Details <<

A tough lady trucker trains her wimpy best friend to compete in the National Ladies Arm Wrestling Championship.


Drive-in Date: Friday, July 23 at 10 PM

dir. Carlos López Estrada
2020 | United States | 99 min
>> Full Details <<

Over the course of a hot summer day in Los Angeles, the lives of 25 young Angelinos intersect.

Some Kind of Heaven

Drive-in Date: Saturday, July 24 at 10 PM

dir. Lance Oppenheim
2020 | United States | 83 min
>> Full Details <<

A Floridian garden of earthly delights and its discontents, Some Kind of Heaven explores life inside the manicured lawns of meticulously crafted suburban bliss offered by The Villages, the self-described “Disneyworld for Retirees.” 

Psycho Goreman

Drive-in Date: Saturday, July 24 at Midnight

dir. Steven Kostanski
2020 | Canada | 92 min
>> Full Details <<

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.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Drive-in Date: Sunday, July 25 at 10 PM

dir. Irvin Kershner
1980 | United States | 124 min
>> Full Details <<

The epic saga continues as Luke Skywalker, in hopes of defeating the evil Galactic Empire, learns the ways of the Jedi from aging master Yoda. But Darth Vader is more determined than ever to capture Luke. Meanwhile, rebel leader Princess Leia, cocky Han Solo, Chewbacca, and droids C-3PO and R2-D2 are thrown into various stages of capture, betrayal and despair.

Opening Night Films

GFF is kicking off its 21st annual Festival with the World Premieres of FRIENDLY MANITOBA: a New Collection of MB-made short films, commissioned by the Gimli International Film Festival in celebration of MB150!  This live streamed Opening Night Screening will be available for free on the GFF’s Website Homepage at 7pm on Monday, July 12 and also available on GIFF Online for the duration of the Festival!

GFF Passholders can also access a special Opening Night Film Screening of The Truffle Hunters, one of the most highly anticipated documentaries from the past year, available only on GIFF Online from July 12-13.


MB150 Manitoba Film Retrospective

GFF is kicking off its 21st annual Festival with the World Premieres of FRIENDLY MANITOBA: a New Collection of MB-made short films, commissioned by the Gimli International Film Festival in celebration of MB150!  This live streamed Opening Night Screening will be available for free on the GFF’s Website Homepage at 7pm on Monday, July 12 and also available on GIFF Online for the duration of the Festival!

GFF Passholders can also access a special Opening Night Film Screening of The Truffle Hunters, one of the most highly anticipated documentaries from the past year, available only on GIFF Online from July 12-13.


Visions Film Series

Sponsored by Farpoint Films, the brand new VISIONS Film Series spotlights innovative and offbeat voices in Canadian film and media arts, curated by Stephanie Berrington.  The series explores the creative, experimental, and devised realm of cinema, as Canadian filmmakers try to redefine what storytelling in film means to them. 

Jump into a catalog of films that will change the way you see and think about Canadian cinema!  



This year marks an important milestone of $100,000 total invested in emerging filmmakers through the RBC $10,000 Emerging Filmmaker Pitch Competition! 

In addition to our 10th annual RBC $10,000 Pitch Competition, GFF is also celebrating the past 10 years of pitch-winning films with a special 10-Year Pitch Competition Retrospective. Pitch-winners from the past 10 years will be invited back to screen their pitch-winning films via a special live streamed event at 3pm on Saturday, July 24th, available for free on GFF’s Homepage.

RBC Pitch Competition Retrospective Lineup:

  • MARK – Director Justina Neepin (2012 winner)
  • Black Rainbow – Director Kyle Sanderson (2013 winner)
  • Crash Site – Director Sonya Ballantyne (2014 winner)
  • Annabelle – Director Kevin Tabachnik (2015 winner)
  • The Debut – Director Allegra Chiarella (2016 winner) 
  • If it Ain’t Got – Directors Miles Crossman & Nicole Baldwin (2017 winners)
  • Palm House (Eternal Youth) – Director Erika Ulrich (2018 winners)
  • First Session – Director Matthew van Ginkel (2019 winner)
  • Anak – Director Joanne Roberts (2020 winner)


TAKE 5 MB Film & TV Sessions

GFF is proud to present the brand-new Take 5 MB Film & Television Sessions, presented by Manitoba Film & Music and Film Training Manitoba. These five workshops will help filmmakers hone their existing skills while developing new techniques to further advance their filmmaking journey, and are available for free to anyone with a GFF Super Pass!

Register HERE and access all five Workshops for just $20! OR Purchase your GFF Super Pass and access Take 5 for free!

VIP Opening Reception

Explore a brand new, virtual, and interactive Town of Gimli for GFF’s 2021 VIP Opening ReceptionONLY GFF Super Pass holders will be able to explore this virtual world, talk with other Festivalgoers, and attend interactive special events!  


This year, unlock more films than ever with the GFF Super Pass. For $80, access unlimited film unlocks on GIFF Online, as well as access to the Take 5 Sessions and an invitation to GFF’s VIP Opening Reception in a Virtual Town of Gimli. Regular Passes are limited to 20 film screenings, while Super Pass holders are granted access to unlimited film unlocks! Earlybird offer expires at the end of June, so buy yours today!

Film Lineup Highlights

The Truffle Hunters

(International and Documentary Feature)

dir. Michael Dweck / Gregory Kershaw
2020 | Italy / United States / Greece | 99 min
>> Full Details on GIFF Online <<

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.

Kimmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy

(Documentary/Canadian Feature, IBPOC Directors, Indigenous, & Social Justice)

dir. Elle-Maija Tailfeathers
2021 | Canada | 125 min
>> Full Details on GIFF Online <<

Kímmapiyiipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy is an intimate portrait of survival, love and the collective work of healing in the Kainai First Nation in Southern Alberta, a Blackfoot community facing the impacts of substance use and a drug-poisoning epidemic. 

Mogul Mowgli

(International Feature/Fiction Feature Film & IBPOC Directors)

dir. Bassam Tariq
2020 | United Kingdom / United States | 89 min
>> Full Details on GIFF Online <<

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

(International/Fiction Feature Film, IBPOC Directors, Women-Driven, & 2SLGBTQ+)

dir. Caru Alves De Souza
2020 | Brazil | 99 min
>> Full Details on GIFF Online <<

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.

Dead Man’s Switch: a Cryptomystery

(Canadian Feature Film, Documentary, Women-Driven)

dir. Sheona McDonald
2021 | Canada | 78 min
>> Full Details on GIFF Online <<

On November 30th, 2018, the 30-year old CEO of Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, traveled to India to open an orphanage and celebrate his honeymoon. Nine days later he was allegedly dead from Crohn’s Disease and $215 million dollars in cash and cryptocurrency were suddenly missing. When his widow, Jennifer Robertson, announced his death to the world via a post on the Quadriga exchange website a month later, creditors, journalists, regulators and cryptocurrency enthusiasts alike jumped on the story.

Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street

(International Feature, Documentary, Social Justice, Women-Driven)

dir. Marilyn Agrelo 
2021 | United States | 107 min
>> Full Details on GIFF Online <<

A look at the history of the long-running children’s TV show, “Sesame Street.”

About Endlessness

(Fiction Feature, International Film, Nothern Lights)

dir. Roy Anderson
2019 | Sweden / Germany / Norway / France | 78 min
>> Full Details on GIFF Online <<

With ABOUT ENDLESSNESS, Roy Andersson adds to his cinematic oeuvre with a reflection on human life in all its beauty and cruelty, its splendor and banality.

Inventing the Future

(Canadian Feature Film, IBPOC Directors, VISIONS, & Social Justice)

dir. Isiah Medina
2020 | Canada | 98 min
>> Full Details on GIFF Online <<

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. Created by ex-pat Winnipegger Isiah Medina, and based on the best-selling book Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work.

Over My Dead Body

(Part of Shorts #2: Daughters Rising)

dir. Meital Cohen Navarro
2020 | United States | 25 min

When a young Jewish Persian-American woman tells her parents that her fiancé is Muslim, they make her choose between him and them.

Pitoc e icinakosian 

(Part of Shorts #2: Daughters Rising)

dir. Gerry Ottawa & Jos-Onimskiw Ottawa-Dubé
2021 | Canada | 6 min

A brother uses his love of film to celebrate the life of his young two-spirited sister as she moves through love, life, and family.


Media Contact:

Drew Jensen | Communications Coordinator | 204-792-5840 | @Gimlifilm
Extended, two-week runtime July 12-25


The Gimli International Film Festival takes place in Manitoba, Treaty 1 territory and the traditional lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.

Acknowledging this truth is important, yet only a small part in cultivating strong relationships with Indigenous communities. Please see the resource links below for more history and perspectives: