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Gimli Film Fest Announces 2020 Lineup

The Gimli International Film Festival will announced its 2020 lineup today, June 30, via a live streamed press conference on GFF’s Facebook Page at 12:00 p.m. CDT.

This year, the Gimli International Film Festival is celebrating its 20th-anniversary exclusively online, and is poised to be the most comprehensive online film festival ever offered in Canada when it goes live, July 21 to 26, 2020, with over 180 films screened in 6 days. Festival passholders and individual ticket buyers across Canada will be able to access over 100 films on GFF’s Netflix-styled streaming platform GIFF Online. Additionally, viewers around the world can tune in to GFF Live Stream – sponsored by RBC – a schedule of over 20 free film screenings, panels discussions and special guest masterclasses!

This year’s Festival is kicking off a day early with Opening Night Films launching Tuesday, July 21. Runar Runarsson’s masterful Icelandic hybrid documentary Echo opens the night, followed by Canadian filmmakers Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn’s complex encounter between two Indigenous women in The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open. Todd Chandler’s documentary Bulletproof will close GFF, with a look at lockdown drills, active shooter training, and the “hardening” of America’s public school system.

Special guests Tim Heidecker & Gregg Turkington will join local hero Guy Maddin for a live conversation as part of GFF Live Stream on Sat, July 25 at 4 pm CDT. Audiences around the world can tune in to watch and ask these comedy icons questions via live chat!  Their live appearance will be featured alongside a screening of Gregg & Tim’s latest feature film collaboration, Mister America.

The 20th annual GFF will also feature a tribute to the late Lynn Shelton, with a screening of her first feature film We Go Way Back, introduced by long-time friend and cinematographer Benjamin Kasulke. The lineup also includes masterclasses with filmmaker Isabel Sandoval (Lingua Franca) and famed Canadian actor and director Megan Follows and boasts panel discussions on found footage and archival filmmaking, activism in documentary cinema and a special Funding for Indigenous Filmmakers panel with reps from Telefilm, the Canada Media Fund, CBC and APTN.



GFF 2020 will also mark the first year that the Festival refuses to acknowledge premiere status, says Festival Director Aaron Zeghers.

“This game of ‘premiere status’ benefits no one but the largest Festivals. By and large it hurts filmmakers, it hurts film festivals and it hurts audiences.” said Zeghers. “Good programming isn’t about one-upping a film festival halfway around the world. It’s about connecting audiences with incredible films that will leave a lasting mark. It breaks my heart to see so many films waiting in purgatory for this pandemic to subside with the hopes of getting a prestigious premiere. Some may be lucky, but many – I think most – will not. And so GFF has decided we’re through with this game. We’re done with premiere status.”

GFF also announced Tuesday that they have officially changed the title of their mentorship program to “The Future is Ours! Mentorship Program” (formerly “The Future is Female*”).  The change aims to make the program more welcoming and inclusive to trans women and non-binary participants, said Zeghers, explaining that the 2020 mentorship program would feature a special panel discussion surrounding Gender Inclusivity in the Feminist Filmmaking Movement.  “We are excited to be able to stimulate this incredibly important and timely discussion, and to use this as an opportunity for everyone involved in the program to talk and listen, to learn about principles of gender inclusivity and to grow our empathy and understanding for one another,” he said, adding that this year’s mentorship program will provide training and mentorship to nearly 80 participants from across Canada – all online!

A major focus of this year’s Festival was also making the event as affordable as possible, in light of many being affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, full festival passes are on sale for only $60 per household until midnight on July 1st.  GFF 2020 will also feature more free programming than ever before!

GFF Live Stream – sponsored by RBC – will present over 20 film screenings (90 films) and special events, available globally for FREE! The live broadcasts will be streamed directly to GFF’s Website, with an additional accessible video stream being available on GFF’s Facebook Page for those requiring closed captions. This will feature a half dozen visionary short film programs, the Winnipeg Film Group’s 48 Hour Film Contest, RBC’s 9th annual $10,000 Emerging Filmmaker Pitch Competition and Dibaajimowin, Treaty One., a special showcase of films by the local Indigenous Filmmakers Association. All events on GFF Live Stream will be live streamed for free, and most will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers, allowing audiences to interact and ask questions via chat.



July 1st is the LAST DAY GFF Earlybird Passes are on sale – for only $60 per household. It’s also the FIRST day GFF will start offering Pre-Festival Programming. GFF’s previous Audience Choice Award winning films nipawistmasowin: We Will Stand Up and I Am Not Your Negro will screen on GIFF Online, free for passholders and also available for individual ticket purchases. Also leading up to the Festival will be the 3rd edition of GFF’s new Manitoba Movie Night, with a screening of Matthew Rankin & Walter Foresberg’s compilation of Winnipeg public access oddities, Kubasa in a Glass.

July 1st to 7th: nipawistmasowin: We Will Stand Up
July 8 to 15th: I Am Not Your Negro
July 15th to 21st: TBA coming soon!
July 20th: Manitoba Movie Night #3 – Kubasa in a Glass

Feel free to download our GFF Media Kit. You can find all Festival news, schedules, ticket sales and how to make the most of your online festival experience at Gimli International Film Festival’s website. Individuals experiencing technical issues are asked to contact our Box Office Coordinator Ryley Livingston: | 204-642-8846.

Thank you for supporting GFF 2020 and the exhibition of independent cinema in Manitoba!



  • Early-bird Passes on sale until Midnight on June 1st, 2020 – only $60 per household!
    Regular priced Passes will be $70

  • Join GFF on Facebook Live | Tues, June 30 @ 12 Noon CDT
    GFF Festival Director Aaron Zeghers, GFF Chair and board member Honourable Janis G. Johnson, GFF Fiction Film Programmer David Knipe, GFF Documentary Film Programmer Vivian Belik, and Short Film Programmer Stephanie Berrington to discuss the Festival’s 2020 Line-up on Tuesday, June 30 at 12:00 p.m. CDT. Visit GFF’s Facebook Page to stream live.
  • GFF Festival Merchandise is on sale now!
    Pick all your favourite goods and purchase online today.
  • GFF’s 2020 Film Lineup is here!
    You can check out the GIFF Online Film Lineup & the GFF Live Stream Film Schedule
  • GIFF Online vs. GFF Live Stream
    GIFF Online : an on-demand, Netflix-styled film-viewing platform for passholders and individual ticket buyers, available during the 2020 Festival
    GFF Live Streama FREE, live-streamed schedule of events on GFF’s website during the 2020 Festival
  • GFF Media Kit
    Download the GFF Media Kit for photos and other materials for GFF 2020!


GFF is Manitoba’s premier film festival and the largest rural film festival in Canada. The festival annually showcases over 130 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 20th annual Festival ONLINE – July 22 to 26.


Amanda Emms, Communications Manager, GFF | (204) 803-8040 (mobile)