Published May 06, 2020Manitoba's beloved Gimli Film Festival was set to celebrate its 20th anniversary this year, but that was threatened by the social distancing measures put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Rather than give up, festival organizers have put together a unique online festival experience, thereby opening it up to all of Canada.
The fest will still take place from July 22 to 26, but it will exist far outside the confines of Gimli, MB, by spreading across the world wide web.
"GFF has a message for COVID-19, and that message is… 'You can't stop us,'" Aaron Zeghers, GFF Festival Director, said in a statement. "For the first time, all of our regular film programming will be available to audiences across Canada, and we are making it more affordable than ever before."
The fest has been split up into two options. There's GFF On Demand, a Netflix-style paid streaming service that will offer access to over 130 films for ticket-holders and pass buyers. Then there's GFF Live Stream, a five-day selection of streaming titles presented by RBC on the GFF website.
"GFF's free Live Stream program will provide audiences across the globe with a free, live film-viewing experience that is so craved for during this time of social distancing," Kristjan Harris, Chair of GFF's Programming Committee, added. "Audiences will be able to ask filmmakers questions in online Q&As, attend panel discussions and masterclasses with keynote guests — all online and hosted live."
Tickets for GFF On Demand will be available on June 1 at a cost of $60 per household. They will be available to anyone in Canada and will allow viewers to unlock up to 20 film programs per pass. Stay tuned for more information on the festival lineup as it becomes available.