This is a list of the TOP 10 FILMS as chosen by the Gimli Film Festival’s audience in 2019! Congratulations to all of the filmmakers listed below, and thank you dearly for contributing your work to this year’s Gimli Film Festival! To browse all of the incredible films from GFF’s 2019 Line-up, also check out our full film listings here!
nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up
dir. Tasha Hubbard
2019 | Canada | 98 min.
When Colten Boushie died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property with his friends, the Cree man’s death captured international attention. Sensitively directed by Tasha Hubbard, nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands.
dir. Claudia Sparrow
2019 | United States | 88 min.
An Indigenous woman from the Peruvian Andes who cannot read or write, stands up to one of the largest gold producers in the world, US-based Newmont Mining Corporation, who has claimed ownership of her land in order to expand its multi-billion dollar gold mine. In this David vs Goliath story we witness Máxima’s courage as she fights back to protect the one thing worth more than gold: the land and its ability to sustain her and her community.
dir. Danielle Sturk
2018 | Manitoba | 44 mins | G
Danielle Sturk crafts a whimsical documentary history of her family’s St. Boniface truck stop diner, El Toro, located between Canada Packers and the Union Stockyards in the 1960s and 70s. The film rebuilds the walls, stools, and atmosphere of the restaurant, recreating a surreal, rich, and imaginative world, evoking a lost time and place through the lens of memory, nostalgia and love.
dir. Nadine Labaki
2018 | Lebanon / France / United States | 126 min
After running away from his negligent parents, committing a violent crime and being sentenced to five years in jail, a hardened, streetwise 12-year-old Lebanese boy sues his parents in protest of the life they have given him.
dir. Waad Al-Kateab & Edward Watts
2019 | United States / United Kingdom / Syria | 100 min.
For Sama is both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria. Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as Waad wrestles with an impossible choice– flee to protect her daughter’s life or stay and continue the struggle for freedom.
Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project
dir. Matt Wolf
2019 | USA | 87 mins | PG
Marion Stokes was secretly recording television 24 hours a day for 30 years amassing 70,000 personal VHS tapes. As television networks were disposing their archives into the trash she was storing everything that was said and shown on television. This film skillfuly digs into the inner world of a radical Communist who would eventually pay the price for dedicating her life to this visionary and maddening project.
dir. Jamie Kastner
2018| Canada | 114 mins | PG
When the authenticity of a $20,000 painting by Canadian Indigenous art legend, Norval Morriseau, gets called into question it unravels an ominous art forgery ring that stretches across Ontario. Owner Kevin Hearn soon discovers some very unsettling truths about his painting and the authenticity of 3000 Morriseau paintings collectively worth $30 million. A story with wild and surprising twists and turns, this documentary considers questions of cultural appropriation, exploitation and an artist caught between two worlds.
dir. Penny Lane
2019 | United States | 95 min.
With unprecedented access, Hail Satan? traces the rise of The Satanic Temple: only six years old and already one of the most controversial religious movements in American history. The Temple and its enigmatic leader Lucien Greaves are calling for a Satanic revolution to save the nation’s soul. But are they for real?
Urban Eclipse: Rising Tides of Kekekoziibii (Shoal Lake 40)
dir. Jesse Green & Vanda Fleury-Green
2019 | Manitoba | 77 mins
The Shoal Lake aqueduct is a major artery piping drinking water to homes in Winnipeg. But its history speaks to a dirty truth for Kekekoziibii, the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation who was displaced, isolated and robbed of its own drinking water. Filmmaker Jesse Green travels back to his home community interviewing people about the impacts of the aqueduct in the 100 years since it was built.
Into Invisible Light
dir. Shelagh Carter
2018 | Canada | 99 mins | PG
Confronted by odd directive from her late husband’s estate, Helena Grayson is inspired to reawaken a long-buried desire to write. When she’s unexpectedly drawn into an encounter with an old flame she is further challenged to explore her creative voice. Conceived under the sway of both love and art Into Invisible Light is a story of forgiveness, second chances and the revitalizing power of art.