Manitoba Film Series 2020

The Gimli Film Festival is proud to present our annual overview of the best in Manitoban cinema.  As Manitoba’s premiere film festival for emerging and established filmmakers alike, we work hard to provide local filmmakers a platform to showcase their work to a diverse and engaged audience.

Generously sponsored by the Manitoba Liquor Mart & Lotteries.



6 Tons of Steel: Building Bloody Saturday
dir. Erika MacPherson
2019 | Canada | 44 mins
Watch on GFF On Demand | July 22 – 26, 2020


An Indigenous apprentice Ironworker in a city that for a hundred years suppressed the memory of its formative struggles learns his trade building a monument to the streetcar tipped over during the bloody climax of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike. He is joined by a colourful cast of fellow workers; activists; an anarchist; community organizer; a chorus; a labour historian; and a Winnipeg born, Chinese-Metis veteran octogenarian Ironworker with fifty-plus years of labour history. In this affecting documentary, intersecting characters embark on a journey to reveal the enigmatic and evocative strike story as the streetcar monument takes shape.

dir. Barry Lank
2019 | Canada | 84 min
Watch on GFF On Demand | July 22 – 26, 2020

From the beer joints of Texas the Karaoke bars of Honolulu, Almost Almost Famous explores how three incredibly talented singers became some of the world’s top tribute artists. Ted would be happy to play the young Elvis forever but he’s getting older. Meanwhile Lance’s dream is to break through with his own rockabilly band, The Lovers. Along the way, Jackie Wilson lookalike, Bobby Brooks runs into a story twist that’s almost almost too crazy to be real. Through all of this, road manager, Marty Kramer, has to keep their feet on the ground, the music centre stage, and the crowds clamouring for more. Find out who will break through and who will break down in this documentary from Manitoba documentarian, Barry Lank.


Ruthless Souls
dir. Madison Thomas
2019 | Canada | 84
Watch on GFF On Demand | July 22 – 26, 2020
**Available to stream in Canada

Ruthless Souls follows Jackalope “Jackie” Cambell, a tough as nails Ojibwe artist born and raised in the strange land of Winnipeg, Manitoba. On the one year anniversary of her partner’s tragic death due to complications from gender affirming surgery, she’s back at work, she only drinks and smokes up “on the regular” instead of a “concerning amount daily.” It’s all gotta go up from here, right? Wrong.

Jackie finds out that her best friend Rooney has dumped her long time partner Tay. The problem? Tay is Jackie’s only other friend. The three have been each other’s pillars of supports since they were kids growing up in Winnipeg’s often turbulent North End. Jackie was so sure that she had just experienced the worst year of her life, but the year unfolding in front of her might just give it’s predecessor a run for it’s money. Jackie must now navigate the fallout of Rooney and Tay’s relationship while also trying to wrangle her own spiraling mind, especially when the ghosts of the past seem to be lingering.


take good careTake Good Care of Each Other: The Fred Penner Story
dir. Aaron Floresco
2019 | Canada | 44
Watch on GFF On Demand | July 22 – 26, 2020

For over 40 years iconic Manitoban children’s performer Fred Penner has been using his engaging music and public speaking skills to help children make sense of the world. Best known for his long running television series “Fred Penner’s Place” and hit song “The Cat Came Back”, he still performs today only now it’s often to children-of-all ages. Through interviews with Fred’s family, friends and career collaborators we gain an unprecedented insight into Fred’s key role in the growth of the children’s performer movement that exploded during the early 1980s. We meet the adult followers of Fred Penner and discover how he has impacted their lives. And we go behind the scenes to spend time with the man himself.


dir. Milos Mitrovic / Fabian Velasco
2019 | Canada | 78
Watch on GFF On Demand | July 22 – 26, 2020

A tenuously linked group of nobodies trudge through their woeful existence in dreary Winnipeg. A sickly middle-aged man in a failing marriage, a stand-up comedian whose sets are met by utter indifference, a stoner couple who share only trivial exchanges, and a young loner unsympathetic to his caring mother are each living lives lost in translation, detached from their surroundings and the people around them. – VIFF



Twentieth Century, The
dir. Matthew Rankin
2019 | Canada | 90
Watch on GFF On Demand | July 22 – 26, 2020
**Available to stream in Canada

Toronto, 1899. Aspiring young politician Mackenzie King (Dan Beirne) dreams of becoming the Prime Minister of Canada. But his romantic vacillation between a British soldier and a French nurse, exacerbated by a fetishistic obsession, may well bring about his downfall. In his quest for power, King must gratify the expectations of his imperious Mother, the hawkish fantasies of a war-mongering Governor-General, and the utopian idealism of a Que?be?cois mystic before facing one, final test of leadership. Culminating in an epic battle between good and evil, King learns that disappointment may be the defining characteristic of the twentieth century!