Reel Pride Film Festival is the annual project of The Winnipeg Gay and Lesbian Film Society, Inc., a non-profit community group formed in 1985 to bring LGBTTQ* film to Winnipeg audiences. We are now the oldest LGBTTQ* film festival in Canada. From the beginning the group’s activities have been carried out by volunteers. Since 1985, nearly a thousand films that otherwise might not have been seen in a Winnipeg cinema have been screened. From 1985 to 1989, the Society organized film nights – monthly film screenings advertised through mail-outs. The first film festival, a joint project of the Society and Plug In Gallery, was produced in 1987 and titled "Counterparts: International Festival of Gay and Lesbian Films." Five further "Counterparts" festivals were organized by the Society, at about 18-month intervals. The name "Reel Pride" was adopted in 2000, reflecting the recognition that our community included more than just Lesbians and Gays. Reel Pride has occurred every year since then, and it adopted a Fall timing in 2002. In 2004, the Canadian LGBTTQ* Short Film Competition was added to the program. 2019 was the 25th film festival, and the anniversary marked a return to the Gas Station Arts Centre, our home since 2010.Much has changed since 1985. Winnipeg cinemas still only rarely show independent LGBTTQ* films, but more and more they are available through a variety of home-viewing options. Reel Pride screenings remain, however, one of the few opportunities to see great LGBTTQ* films with an audience. While this year might look a little different with digital screenings — just as it was in 1985 behind the scenes, Reel Pride’s board, committees, sponsors and tireless volunteers proudly collaborate to bring every edition of Canada’s oldest and high-calibre LGBTTQ* Film Festival to life.
Reel Pride Film Festival takes place on Treaty 1 land, the territory of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Dakota, Dene, Métis, and Oji-Cree Nations. We stand in solidarity with our racialized community members in the fight for equality. Reel Pride Film Festival aims to support and empower diverse individuals through sharing stories that showcase the vibrancy of our community.
Barb Burkowski, President
Rose Murego, Vice-President and Chair of Programming
Ron Lambert, Short Films Chair