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 is proud to announce funding for 11 of Manitoba Filmmakers to create new works that celebrate, reflect upon and reconcile Manitoba’s past, present and future! The commissioned films include new short works by filmmakers Karen Asher, Jaimz Asmundson, Erica Daniels, Marc Greene, Erin Hembrador, Mike Maryniuk, Eric Plamondon, Ryan Steel, Elena Sturk Lussier and filmmaking duo Sara Bulloch and Johanna Reimer-Henteleff. The project also includes a new live-narrated feature film WHAT WE’VE PULLED OFF… SO FAR: A short history of film in Manitoba by local documentary filmmaker Kevin Nikkel.

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. The collection will then be distributed across Canada and internationally as a single film program. The project is funded by Manitoba 150, Canada Council for the Arts, the Thomas Sill Foundation, the Manitoba Arts Council and supported by a variety of other community partners including the Winnipeg Film Group and Video Pool Media Arts Centre.

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, as well as providing training and development for emerging and mid-career Manitoba Filmmakers.

The cornerstone project as part of Manitoba Speaks! is the launch of the Manitoba Home Movie Archive!  This project will provide free home movie digital transfers to any Manitobans who have historically relevant home movie images of Manitoba!  Interested members of the public can apply to receive free home movie transfers of film or digital video tapes so long as they agree to make these historical images public domain and publicly accessible online via and the Gimli Film Festival website.

As part of Manitoba Speaks!, GFF will also present The Future is Female* Winter Retreat in late-March 2020, which is an extension of our incredibly popular Future is Female* Mentorship Program.  Over the course of a weekend, 10 participants will workshop and develop their creatives projects, with mentorship from Canadian filmmaker Jasmin Mozaffari, who wowed GFF audiences in 2019 with her breakout feature film Firecrackers!

Also included as part of Manitoba Speaks! is a special paid Media Artist Residency, presented in collaboration with Video Pool Media Arts Centre.  Interested media artists are eligible to apply with a installation or performance-based project that reflects on Manitoba’s history by the end of March.  The selected artist will receive $3,000 cash and free membership and access to Video Pools facilities and equipment!  The final media artwork will be presented as part of the 2020 Gimli Film Festival.

More public outreach projects through Manitoba Speaks! will be released in the coming months!  Stay tuned to our Facebook or subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with all things GFF!


The Manitoba Project has been generously funded by Manitoba 150, Canada Council for the Arts, the Thomas Sill Foundation, the Winnipeg Foundation, and the Manitoba Arts Council 

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The Manitoba Project has been generously supported by our community partners The Winnipeg Film Group, Video Pool Media Arts Centre, ACTRA Manitoba & IATSE 856

Video Pool Logo 2019