Gimli International Film Festival Staff 2022
With a strong background in the performing arts, arts administration and project management, Alan Wong strives to foster a healthy, robust artistic and cultural community as the Executive Director of the Gimli Film Festival. Alan holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Brandon University and a Certificate in Arts & Cultural Management from the University of Winnipeg and has over 20 years of experience in arts and culture. He started off his career as a performer in music and theatre. He has performed with Manitoba Opera, Rainbow Stage, the Gilbert & Sullivan Society, Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre, and Mortal Coil Theatre Co., to name a few. Alan is also a film & television actor and can be seen in such movies as the recent Nobody, Disney’s Tron: Legacy, and the sci-fi TV show, Fringe. He altered his focus to filmmaking and arts management in 2011, and since then, his short films have won festival awards and have been screened across North America. Alan spent three years with Manitoba production company, Buffalo Gal Pictures in various roles, learning from renowned film and television producer, Phyllis Laing. Having spent time freelancing in Manitoba’s robust production industry, he is very well connected to many different facets of the arts and media landscape. Alan served on the executive of the Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba from 2016-2020 and was instrumental in facilitating their annual events. In addition to running the Gimli Film Festival, he is the founder of the FascinAsian Film Festival, as well as the President of ACTRA Manitoba, the local branch of the union for film, television and radio performers.
International Feature Film Programmer
David Knipe is a film programmer, writer, and filmmaker with a bachelor’s degree in Film Studies from the University of Manitoba. In addition to programming for the Gimli Film Festival, he is the Winnipeg Film Group’s Cinematheque Operations Manager, Programmer of the Gimme Some Truth Documentary Festival, and a co-organizer and programmer of the first annual Afro Prairie Film Festival. He is consumed with the need to share his passion for films with others, and is motivated by the belief that film is the pre-eminent art form of the 20th and 21st centuries, and that the shared communal experience of watching a film together with other people, whether in a traditional cinema or in more liminal, loosely-defined spaces such as rooftops or alleyways, is the defining experience of personal, social, and political transformation through art that we can have.
Canadian Feature Film Programmer
Stephanie Berrington is an arts manager, curator, and actor from Winnipeg. Steph got her start in film programming in 2014 through an outdoor, bike-powered screening series called Cinema Out of the Box, while she was completing a master’s degree in English, Film, and Cultural Studies at McGill. After moving back to her hometown in early 2016, Steph got involved with the Winnipeg Film Group, making popcorn in the Cinematheque Box Office before joining the WFG’s distribution department to oversee acquisitions and festival submissions. In 2019, Steph moved to Ottawa where she currently manages community and business partnerships for the Canadian Film Institute, the International Film Festival of Ottawa (IFFO), and the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF). She can occasionally be seen on big screens at festivals across the world, including Berlin and Slamdance, for her acting work.
Documentary Film Programmer
Shira Newman is an emerging filmmaker from Winnipeg Manitoba. She has a degree in Film Studies and Religion from the University of Manitoba and studied Film Production at Concordia in Montreal. When she returned to Winnipeg she began work on her own short films most notably “The Blessing”, a gothic horror exploring postpartum depression using Jewish folklore, which played here at GFF as well as other festivals including the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. Over the last ten years, she has worked in the film industry doing everything from art direction to script supervising and has been teaching filmmaking and screenwriting to kids and youth through the Engaging Fusion Program of the Winnipeg School Division. She is thrilled to be programming shorts at this awesome festival on the Prairies.
Short Film Programmer
Stephanie Poruchnyk-Butler is an arts administrator with a love of the moving image. She has worked in film and video in various capacities, most recently as the Digital Programming Intern at VUCAVU.com, and previously as the Distribution Coordinator at the Winnipeg Film Group. Stephanie is the creator of several independently published zines, as well as a co-founding member of the feminist arts collective, Sappho Zine (2012-2016). Sharing the joy of collaborative art-making with people of all ages delights her, and she has been developing, facilitating, and leading art workshops for over eight years. Stephanie is thrilled to join the GIFF team as Short Film Programmer.
Scott Fitzpatrick is a visual artist and film programmer from Winnipeg, MB, whose film and video work has screened at underground festivals and marginalized venues worldwide. He studied film at the University of Manitoba and began conducting lo-fi moving image experiments in 2010. His films have received awards from the WNDX Festival of Moving Image, Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival, Festival du Nouveau Cinema, FLEX Florida Experimental Film and Video Festival, the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, and in 2018 he was the recipient of the 2018 Winnipeg Film Group Manitoba Film Hothouse Award. In addition to producing his own work, Scott presents the work of others through the Winnipeg Underground Film Festival and Open City Cinema, and has curated work for the Gimli Film Festival, Antimatter Media Art, Forthwith Festival, Send + Receive, San Diego Underground Film Festival, MIRE International Film Labs Meeting, and the PRISME Festival.
Gary has been a resident of the Gimli area since 2003 and loves the Gimli area and all it has to offer. Gary holds a Bachelor of Recreation Studies Degree and a Master of Arts/Recreation Degree from the University of Manitoba. Gary has worked with troubled youth, been the Director of Active Living at the University and the Manager of Operations at Evergreen School Division. Gary has two teenage boys who are the pride of his life!
Stacha Penner grew up immersed in Manitoba’s arts and culture scene. She has a strong background in classical ballet, having studied at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and later working as a teacher and choreographer at various schools across Manitoba. While studying business and administration at the University of Winnipeg, Stacha began honing her communications skills in the non-profit and music sector. She has written several articles for the Projector and This Magazine and produces a horror podcast with her co-host Elisha Corsiga. Stacha is currently studying creative communications at RRC Polytech and aspires to support Manitoba’s art sector with her skills. Stacha is very excited to join GIFF this summer as the Communications Coordinator.