Menu Close

GFF Launches 21st anniversary

Watch GFF from your HOME or our first-ever DRIVE-IN!

GIMLI, MANITOBA – MAY 26, 2021. The Gimli International Film Festival (GFF) announced its 21st Festival events today, which will take place over an extended 2-week period in July 2021. For the first time ever, GFF will host a special contactless RBC Sunset Drive-In Theatre, alongside other virtual film screenings and special live-streamed events.

In an effort to offer virtual filmgoers more time to access the best films from the past year, GFF is extending their Virtual Film Festival to a full 2-weeks (an increase from 5 to 14 days). GIFF Online – the Festival’s Netflix-styled film streaming platform, once again fuelled by Red River Co-op – runs Monday, July 12 to Sunday, July 25 and can be watched from the comfort of your bed, shed, yard, or boulevard. Tickets for GIFF Online go on sale on June 1st at Noon on our passes page,

New to the Festival this year, GFF announced plans to offer the first-ever RBC Sunset Drive-In Theatre in the Town of Gimli, pending further public health restrictions. The contact-less RBC Drive-In experience would tentatively run for 5 nights (Wed, July 21 to Sun, July 25) with nightly 10pm screenings. GFF recognizes the severity of Manitoba’s current COVID-19 outbreak and will carefully align our operations with public health orders to ensure the safety of our community and film fans – above all. Tickets for the RBC Sunset Drive-In Theatre can be reserved starting on July 3rd at Noon, with more details on GFF’s Website. Those interested in attending are encouraged to sign-up for GFF’s e-Newsletter to stay informed about Drive-In ticket sales.

In 2021, GFF is also proud to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the RBC $10,000 Emerging Filmmaker Pitch Competition, marking a total $100,000 distributed to Manitoba’s most talented emerging filmmakers. To celebrate this milestone, GFF will be showcasing a Retrospective Screening of the past 10 years of pitch-winning films, including Anak by Joanne Roberts – the 2020 Competition winner.

“Going into my first solo film was the scariest thing I’d ever done, but the Pitch Competition made sure I always had someone I could turn to when I needed help,” said Joanne Roberts. “I had a dream team to work with; every single person has gone above and beyond. I don’t think that any film from this point forward will capture the same kind of magic that this one did, and I am truly grateful. Thank you for making this a highlight of my career and of my life.”

GFF 2021 will also honour Manitoba’s delayed 150th celebration, with a special MB150 Film Retrospective. This special Manitoba Film Retrospective will showcase underrepresented and hidden gems from Manitoba’s filmmaking past, alongside the premiere of a number of new MB- made films commissioned by the Festival for the occasion.

“I think these days it is easy to take for granted Manitoba’s established film industry and artistry of independents working away at their latest creative project,” Said Kevin Nikkel, the director of a new documentary on Manitoba’s filmmaking history. “What I’ve really found fascinating in making my film What We’ve Pulled Off… So Far is the how far back our creativity and cinematic ambition goes as Manitobans. We really do have an amazing cinematic family tree.”

Continuing in the same virtual vein, GFF will also be hosting “Take 5”, a new workshop series presented by Film Training Manitoba and Manitoba Film & Music. The Take 5 sessions will provide industry participants with insider knowledge during five 90-minute panel discussions. Attendees can learn tips and tricks to help advance their filmmaking career, while also adding more depth and skill to Manitoba’s film and TV industry workforce.

GFF will once again offer a number of free live-streamed events, including the virtual GFF Awards Reception, the Manitoba Short Films in Competition, and the 48 Hour Film Competition which will showcase 18 brand new locally made short films. Also being live-streamed for free online is the 2021 RBC $10,000 Emerging Filmmaker Pitch Competition and a special 10th Anniversary Pitch Retrospective Screening, featuring the past 10 years of pitch-winning films.

New this year, GFF will hold a special interactive online VIP Opening Reception in a virtual Town of Gimli, powered by the interactive Gather platform! Explore the virtual city and beach, chat with other Festival-goers, and catch an exclusive concert at the virtual Ship & Plough – all from the comfort of your home! Opening Reception events are only available to Super Pass holders, so get yours starting June 1st.

This year, both GFF Virtual Film Passes and Super Passes go on sale Tuesday, June 1 at Noon and can be purchased on the GFF Pass Page. Patrons who buy a Super Pass will be able to unlock an unlimited number of Virtual Festival Films, while the regular Virtual Film Pass will be limited to 20 program unlocks. The Super Pass also provides access to attend GFF’s Take 5 Workshop Series and includes an invitation to GFF’s VIP Opening Reception.

RBC Sunset Drive-In Theatre Tickets will be made available through a registration process in early July, as detailed here on the site. GFF’s patrons are encouraged to sign-up for the e- Newsletter and follow the GFF Facebook Page, Instagram, and or Twitter to receive updates on the RBC Sunset Drive-In and all other Festival events!

Quick Facts:

Extended runtime from July 12 – 25 (an increase from 5 to 14 days)
GFF’s RBC Sunset Drive-In Theatre | July 21 – 25 | Ticket registration begins July 3 @ noon.
Second anniversary of GIFF Online, fuelled by Red River Co-op. Tickets go on sale June 1
@ Noon CDT.
• GFF will offer a new Virtual Super Pass for 2021, which grants access to unlimited virtual film
unlocks, interactive film industry workshops, and an invitation to the VIP Opening Reception.
• 10th annual RBC $10,000 Emerging Filmmaker Pitch Competition, marking a milestone of
$100,000 distributed to filmmakers.
• VIP Opening Reception in a virtual Town of Gimli, where attendees can explore, chat with
others they encounter and attend an exclusive concert at the virtual Ship & Plough powered by
• Take 5 Film Workshop Series, presented with Film Training Manitoba and Manitoba Film &
• MB150 Film Retrospective, showcasing a variety of classic MB-made films and a selection of
new Manitoba commissioned works.


GFF is Manitoba’s premier film festival and the largest rural film festival in Canada. The festival annually showcases over 100 films from the most promising Manitoban and Canadian filmmakers and an exceptional selection of films and documentaries from around the world. This year, GFF celebrates its 21st annual festival with an extended runtime. — July 12 – 25.

Media Contact
Drew Jensen

Communications Coordinator | 204-792-5840 @gimlifilm