Please note: The Gimli Film Festival has suspended all in-person events at our 2021 Festival, aside from our contactless RBC Drive-In Theatre. All the Special Events listed on this page are virtual!

If you have any questions regarding events, ticketing, passes or where to pickup your merch, please reach our to Ryley Livingston, Box Office Coordinator at or at (204) 671-0271 during regular business hours.

GFF 2021 Special Events:

**listed in chronological order**

6:30pm, Monday, July 12
VIP Opening Reception

A VIP Opening Reception in the virtual town of Gimli, accessible through the online platform Gather. Invitations to the VIP Opening Reception can ONLY be obtained through purchasing a Super Pass.

7pm, Monday, July 12 
Opening Night Live Stream
FRIENDLY MANITOBA: MB150 Commissioned Films

GFF is proud to present the first-ever collection of short films commissioned by the Gimli Film Festival, in celebration and reflection of MB150. Eleven short films by local filmmakers were commissioned by GFF in late 2019, with the support of MB150the Canada Council for the Artsthe Thomas Sill Foundation and the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba. The films were initially destined to screen as part of the 20th annual GFF in 2020. But fate had other plans…

FRIENDLY MANITOBA presents a diverse and eclectic vision of Manitoba’s collective self-consciousness, as told by a motley crew of Manitoba’s finest. Who will complete their films to premiere at this year’s Gimli Film Festival? Well you’ll have to tune in to find out, because WE don’t even know at this point.

The completed films will kick-off the 21st annual Gimli Film Festival via free live stream on GFF’s Homepage on Monday, July 12, 2021 at 7pm. The films will also be available to Passholders and Individual Ticket Buyers on GFF On Demand for the entire duration of the Festival, July 12-25.

1pm, Thursday, July 15
Take 1: Working with Funders

Participants will learn strategies on how to successfully engage with funders for their projects, in Part 1 of the Take 5 Sessions.

Topics covered will include: getting your project on their radar & preparing strategic creative pitch documents, the dos and don’ts of submissions and the future of financing. 

Available with your GFF Super Pass, or through Registering Online for ONLY the Take 5 Sessions.

1pm, Friday, July 16
Take 2: Getting your Project Seen

For any content creator, making the content is just half the battle. In this session, participants will learn strategies on marketing their film according to their goals, with or without distributors, and will learn from examples of productions that have gone on to succeed. 

Topics covered will include: Which film festivals to target and how to find the right fit, prepping a project for the Canadian and global marketplace, how to create awareness to advance traffic to drive digital distribution rentals or sales. 

Available with your GFF Super Pass, or through Registering Online for ONLY the Take 5 Sessions.

7pm, Friday, July 16
VISIONS Series Kick-Off
Free Live Stream of Isiah Medina’s Inventing the Future

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, this catalog of films will change the way you see and think about Canadian cinema!  

The Visions Series Kick-Off will feature a screening of Inventing the Future, dir. Isiah Medina (99min), available for FREE on GFF’s Homepage at 7pm on Friday, July 23, 2021.

7pm, Saturday, July 17
Manitoba Shorts in Competition 

GFF is proud to present the best made-in-Manitoba short films once again in our annual Manitoba Shorts in Competition program, sponsored by Johnston Group.  This collection of 10 short films represents a diverse collection of creative voices from Manitoba, as selected by this year’s Manitoba Shorts Jury: Sardé Hardie, Danielle Sturk & Jennifer Smith.1. Screening of MB Short Films (91 min)

The Manitoba Shorts in Competition will Premiere via Free Live Stream on Saturday, July 17th on GFF’s Website Homepage!  Join us for a screening of all the selected films, and stick around for a post-screening Q&A with the filmmakers and the live announcement of the Audience Choice Award for Best Manitoba Short Film (sponsored by Eagle Vision) and the Jury Prize for Best Manitoba Short Film (sponsored by Manitoba Film & Music).

The Manitoba Shorts in Competition will also be available to all passholders and individual ticket buyers on GFF On Demand from July 19-25th. 

Thanks to Johnston Group, the official sponsor of GFF’s Manitoban and Canadian short films! 

1pm, Tuesday, July 20
Take 3: The Business of Screenwriting

Any Manitoba content creator hoping to advance their career will benefit from attending this session. The panelists will provide a 360-degree view that includes writers, producers, broadcasters and distributors to show the trajectory of script to screen as it pertains to optioning, development, greenlighting, production and delivery.

Topics covered will include: the relationship between writers and producers in development and when to break up and to move on, the role of the writer in pitching the project, how your script going into production is the sweet sorrow of handing off control and how to capitalize on the success of projects that you have had produced.

Available with your GFF Super Pass, or through Registering Online for ONLY the Take 5 Sessions.

1pm, Wednesday, July 21
Take 4: How to Maximize your Production Values 

Hear from production designers, sound editors, music supervisors and post-production advisors on how to make your project look and sound great. 

Topics covered include: Creating a space, a visual medium requires sound, post-production strategies, upcoming trends.  

Available with your GFF Super Pass, or through Registering Online for ONLY the Take 5 Sessions.

1pm, Friday, July 23
Take 5: The Masterclass

The Take 5 series would not be complete without a once-in-a-lifetime special masterclass with a veteran of the film and television industry. This moderated discussion will include a Q & A to give all participants the opportunity to get your questions answered by a special guest that has achieved industry success at the highest level.

Available with your GFF Super Pass, or through Registering Online for ONLY the Take 5 Sessions.

12pm, Saturday, July 24 
RBC $10,000 Emerging Filmmaker Pitch Competition

Emerging Manitoba Filmmakers pitch their projects to a panel of professionals in front of a live audience during this year’s Festival. Participants will describe their story idea, justify their budget, describe their ideal cast and crew and talk about their overall vision for the project.

In 2021, the filmmaker(s) behind the winnipeg project will receive:

RBC - Logo

3pm, Saturday, July 24
10-Year Pitch Competition Retrospective

In 2021, GFF & RBC celebrate the 10 years of RBC Pitch Competition Winners with a special Retrospective Screening of the past 10 years of Pitch-winning Films!

The 10-Year Pitch Retrospective takes place via FREE live stream on Saturday, July 24 at 3pm, available for FREE on GFF’s Website Homepage. The Retrospective will also be available for the duration of the Festival (July 12-25) to passholders and ticket buyers on GFF On Demand.

  1. MARK, dir. Justina Neepin | 2013 | Manitoba
  2. Black Rainbow, dir. Kyle Sanderson | 2014 | Manitoba
  3. Crash Site, dir. Sonya Ballantyne | 2015 | Manitoba
  4. Annabelle, Kevin Tabachnik | 2015 | Manitoba
  5. The Debut, dir. Allegra Chiarella | 2017 | Manitoba
  6. If It Ain’t Got, dirs. Miles Crossman & Nicola Baldwin |2018 | Manitoba
  7. Palm House (Eternal Youth), dir. Erica Ulrich | 2019 | Manitoba
  8. First Session, dir. Matthew Van Ginkel | 2020 | Manitoba
  9. Anak, dir. Joanne Roberts | 2021 | Manitoba
RBC Pitch Competition 2020 - Joanne Roberts winning prize

7pm, Saturday, July 24
GFF Awards Reception

The 2021 Gimli Film Festival Awards Reception offers an opportunity for GFF and our partners to recognize some of the outstanding films, filmmakers and actors we get to experience as part of our Festival. The Awards Reception also allows us to recognize volunteers who contribute to GFF and those professionals achieving great things in the film industry at large. Tune in to find out which film was voted “Best of Fest” and more.