The Gimli Film Festival returns with a range of classic and cutting-edge films

Projectors are on and popcorn is popping for the first time since 2019 when the Gimli Film Festival – make this the Gimli International Film Festival, more on that later – welcomes moviegoers back to the theaters of the lakeside community.

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Gimli International Film Festival
Wednesday to Sunday in four theaters and performances on the beach at sunset in Gimli
Visit for a full schedule and festival passes

70 films will be screened in Gimli by the end of the event on Sunday evening.

Getting the festival band back together and recruiting volunteers to keep things running smoothly was a challenge that managing director Alan Wong says they managed to overcome.

“It’s very challenging and it’s been very hectic this year, but I’ve heard that a lot from arts organizations and festivals,” says Wong, who took the job in early 2022 after attending the festival as a fan and filmmaker. “The patrons are dying to come back, but the partners, the vendors, everyone you have to work with to get a festival going, everyone’s either been so busy this year or had resource issues or staffing issues, so that’s it Operation ‘It’s not as smooth as it was before the pandemic.’

The festival begins on Wednesday evening with a screening of tapean Icelandic mockumentary released earlier this year that has been described as a female performance art version of This is spine Beat.

It is one of two films from Iceland that are part of the 2022 festival along with the other quake (Skyalfti)a 2021 drama focusing on a young mother’s diagnosis of epilepsy and her lost memories and being screened at the Gimli Lutheran Church Theater on Thursday evenings at 21:45.

It also signals a return to the festival’s sandy foundation, its nightly beach performances, which take place on Gimli Beach and emanate from an 11-metre screen set up in Lake Winnipeg and aimed at viewers seated on lounge chairs or stretched out on beach blankets relax.

“There is a lot of preparation behind it. We have a team of really dedicated volunteers building the scaffolding (that holds the screen),” says Wong, adding that rain in Gimli on Monday prolonged the construction process. “It’s always a logistical challenge. We have to have the permits for that. We have to have the manpower to set it up in the water.”

Four must-see films

Shows start at 10pm and Wong says of Wednesday night’s opening film: Pour one wayis an ideal relaunch of the popular series, and not just because Gimli Beach has seen its share of Wilson volleyball over the years.

“Throw away, was one of my first decisions,” says Wong. “Not just because it’s a classic – and who doesn’t love Tom Hanks? — but it also touches on some of those themes of isolation and survival that we’ve become all too familiar with in recent years.

This week’s other beach performances are: Lilo & Stitch (Thursday night); Mamma Mia! (Friday); Life of Pi: Shipwreck with Tiger (Saturday) and 9 to 5 (Sunday).

The 1980 comedy starring Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dabney Coleman might not be your classic beach show, but it does set the stage for another GIFF film. Still working 9 to 5a 2022 documentary exposing the inequality in the workplace that was the subject of the comedy remains a fact of life for women 42 years later.

“It goes back and interviews all these stars and filmmakers and it talks about (9 to 5) and its impact on society and the state of women’s labor rights today,” says Wong of the new documentary, which will be screened at the Gimli Theater on Thursday at 4:15 p.m.

The festival introduced virtual screenings for the 2020 and 2021 editions after the COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions prevented audiences from attending film screenings in cinemas.

This attracted spectators from afar to see what the festival had to offer and prompted the organizers to add International to the festival’s name.

<p>Life of Pi will be screened on Saturday as part of the beach screenings, again taking place alongside the festival itself, newly renamed the Gimli International Film Festival, so named because online versions in 2020 and 2021 have been so popular around the world.</p>
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<p>Life of Pi will be screened on Saturday as part of the beach screenings, again taking place alongside the festival itself, newly renamed the Gimli International Film Festival, so named because the online versions were so popular around the world in 2020 and 2021 .</figcaption></figure>
<p>Virtual screenings remain in 2022, with 20 of the festival’s offerings viewable through August 7 with the purchase of a $50 GIFF Online Pass.			</p>
<p>Individual tickets, which cost $15, or festival passes, which sell for $150, are available at and at the GIFF box office at Gimli’s Lakeview Resort at 73 1st Ave.  Day passes ($30) are also on sale, although Friday and Saturday passes sell out.			</p>
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<p>Twitter: @AlanDSmall			</p>
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alan small

Alan Small has been a journalist with the Free Press for more than 22 years in various capacities, most recently as an arts and life reporter.

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