The Gimli Film Festival (GFF) will celebrate its 20th anniversary by launching The Manitoba Project, a year-long project focused on engaging Manitoba filmmakers and exploring the province’s history through film. GFF’s 20th anniversary coincides with Manitoba’s 150th celebration in 2020 and as such The Manitoba Project will serve to thoughtfully celebrate both milestones.

As part of this project, GFF would like to recognize that we are situated on Treaty 1 Territory, and that the lands on which we hold our annual festival have been home to the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples for far longer than 150 years, as well as being the homeland of the Métis Nation.  We hold this special project in the spirit of collaboration and reconciliation with the Indigenous peoples, and we encourage all local Indigenous filmmakers to please participate in this project, helping us to define and reflect on our collective history.

The Manitoba Project is comprised of three distinct initiatives as follows…

1 // The Manitoba Project’s Film Production Fund

This special GFF 2020 film commission project will help create new cinematic visions by Manitoba’s best filmmakers, in an effort to celebrate GFF’s 20th anniversary & Manitoba 15o!

The Manitoba Project’s Film Production Fund will offer grants of $5,000 to $10,000 to commission at least eight new filmmakers currently living in Manitoba. These films will celebrate and reflect on Manitoba’s collective past, present and future. The films created through this project will reflect the diversity of Manitoba’s communities and heritage and will premiere as the Opening Night Films at GFF 2020. In collaboration with the Winnipeg Film Group, Video Pool Media Arts Centre and more, this commission project will create a diverse collection of historically important Manitoba-made, locally-relevant documentaries. The final collection of films will screen as the opening night film series at the 2020 Gimli Film Festival. The collection will then be distributed across Canada and internationally as a single film program.

The deadline to apply for this program has now passed.

2 // Hindsight 2020: a Manitoba Film Retrospective

As part of The Manitoba Project, GFF will be presenting Hindsight 2020, a retrospective of Manitoba’s best films from across the years.  This project will celebrate Manitoba cinema through a special collection of film screenings at the 2020 Festival. A committee will select a number classic-but-overlooked Manitoban films to screen and where necessary, provide high-definition 4K restorations of the films. It will also engage local guest curators to program historically relevant programs of Manitoba-made films for exhibition at the 2020 Festival. The selected films will screen at GFF 2020 as part of a special Manitoba 150 film retrospective.

More details will be rolled out throughout the remainder of 2019 and in 2020.  For more information or to propose possible retrospective films, please contact us at:

3 // Manitoba Speaks! – Public Outreach Projects

Manitoba Speaks! is comprised of a diverse series of outreach initiatives aimed at impacting the general public and fostering their appreciation of Manitoba’s history and cinema. The keystone project here is the Manitoba Home Movie Project, which will allow anyone from the public to get digital copies of their family’s historical home movies, whether they are on Super 8 film, old video tapes, or any other popular format. The captured historical footage from this Project can be made copyright free (with permission from the owner) for all Manitobans to view and use. The goal of this project is to archive images of Manitoba’s history before they are lost to the sands of time!

Manitoba Speaks! also includes a number of career development opportunities for those looking to learn filmmaking skills, including workshop & filmmaking series, a mini-residency program for woman-identified filmmakers, and residency programs for local filmmakers and artists!


The Manitoba Project has been generously funded by…

Thomas sill foundation logo  

The Manitoba Project has been generously supported by our community partners…

         Video Pool Logo 2019