The 18th annual Gimli Film Festival (GFF) is gearing up to go in one week! This year, GFF will screen 59 Manitoba films that showcase the amazing talent coming out of the prairies.
“The film community in Manitoba is extremely supportive and consistently produces captivating and dynamic cinema that we can’t wait to share with our film fans,” says GFF Festival Director Leona Johnson. “With the Festival only a week away, we’re looking forward to welcoming all of our guests to Gimli.”
Many local filmmakers will be in attendance including Guy Maddin whose film Archangel will be screening on Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Aspire Theatre. Maddin will receive the Alda Award this year recognizing his dynamic career that started with the release of Tales from the Gimli Hospital in 1988. Elise Swerhone will receive the Jack Clements “Livin’ the Dream” Award for her outstanding contributions to the Manitoba film industry.
Other Manitoba filmmakers in attendance include director Andy Blicq for his film A Song for John Ramsay, and Cam Patterson director of Aboard the Namao, a documentary on the state of Lake Winnipeg. John Barnard director of Bachman, Shelagh Carter director of Before Anything You Say, Katharina Stieffenhofer director of From Seed to Seed, and Dave Barber co-director of Tales from the Winnipeg Film Group will also be in attendance.
This year, GFF will present two new distinct awards celebrating Manitoba film excellence. The first award for Best Manitoban Director is presented by the Directors Guild of Manitoba and will be announced at the Awards Reception on Saturday evening. Nominees include Shelagh Carter for her feature-length film, Before Anything You Say, Erin Hembrador for her short-film Piece of Mind, and Ryan Steel for his short film The Birdwatcher.
Also new this year is an award for Best Actor and Best Actress in a MB Short Film presented by ACTRA Manitoba during the Manitoba Short Films in Competition program alongside Manitoba Film & Music’s Audience Choice award for best Manitoba Short Film.
GFF continues to be a destination for filmmakers. This year, the festival welcomes two Icelandic filmmakers: Karna Sigurðardóttir (690 Vopnafjörður) and Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir (The Swan). Canadian directors Kathleen Hepburn (Never Steady, Never Still), Simon Plouffe (Those Who Come, Will Hear) and Christy Garland (What Walaa Wants) will also be attending the festival to introduce their films along with Transformer producer Paul Kemp. All of these filmmakers will be on hand to introduce their films and answer audience Q & As.
Film fans can see the full festival program or purchase their passes and tickets online at gimlifilm.com, through the GFF APP or at the GFF Box Office. The GFF Box Office is open next on Saturday, July 21 and will be open for the duration of the festival.