The Gimli Film Festival runs July 25-29. (Dave McKnight)
Beaches, stars, industry schmoozing.... The Gimli Film Festival is like Cannes with more Icelandic beer.
The 2012 edition showcases 130 features, documentaries and shorts. Organizers have mixed made-in-Manitoba films with world cinema, added some timely and topical docs, as well as offering 19 series of thematically-linked short works (one group rather piquantly titled "When Familial Love is Strained").
There's also a new program of genre flicks, with sci-fi, horror and retro rock'n'roll, as well as the ever-popular (and free!) beach series, where movies are projected onto an 11-metre screen that rises out of Lake Winnipeg.
Here is a sneak peak of some of the features being shown at this year's festival.
Path of Souls: When a young scientist (Adam Beach) dies, his grieving widow (Laura Harris) starts out on a journey of discovery. Visiting sacred sites, she explores the crossover between traditional Anishinabe teachings and modern quantum physics.
There's some clunky writing - it's hard to talk casually about subatomic particles - but writer-director Jeremy Torrie (Cowboys and Indians) pulls off some beautiful location shooting, including scenes in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. And Beach's short but crucial scenes really highlight his star quality: He's one of those radiant actors you just have to watch whenever he's onscreen.