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Five shows to check out at the Gimli Film Festival this week

More than 100 films will be screened at the 17th annual Gimli Film Festival from July 26-30.

This image released by IFC Films shows Kristen Stewart in a scene from "Personal Shopper."

This image released by IFC Films shows Kristen Stewart in a scene from "Personal Shopper."

It’s arguably one of the best excuses to go to Gimli (not that you need one). The popular film festival gets underway Wednesday, with more than 100 features, documentaries and shorts from Manitoba, Canada and around the world screening between July 26-30 at five venues. Get your feet wet by checking out the free, daily sunset screenings at Gimli beach, or dive in and get a festival pass, starting at $75. Tickets to individual shows sell for $10 a pop. If you’re making the one-hour drive north of the city this week, keep these five film fest picks in mind:

1. I Am Not Your Negro

Friday, July 28 at 5:30 p.m. Gimli Theatre

July 27 at 3 p.m. Gimli Lutheran Church Theatre

Academy Award nominee for best documentary feature, I Am Not Your Negro started as unfinished manuscript from famed American novelist James Baldwin, re-envisioned into a powerful documentary on social justice and civil rights by filmmaker Raoul Peck. The film intimately shares the lives and assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr, Malcom X and Medgar Evers. Its critical acclaim includes a People’s Choice Award for Best Documentary film in the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

2. My American Cousin

Friday July 28 at 5: 30 p.m.

Lutheran Church Theatre

British Columbian cottage country in the ‘50s sets the stage for this classic Canadian film following 12-year-old Sandy Wilcox who longs for some summer fun. Her wish is granted when her cool cousin Butch pulls up unexpectedly from California in a Cadillac convertible. Sandy swoons over his James Dean-esque swagger and Butch introduces her to rock music, prompting an unforgettable summer. Bonus: filmmaker Sandy Wilson will attend the screening, which costs $5 as part of the festival’s Canada 150 celebrations.

3. Picture of Light

July 26 at 8 p.m.

Lady of the Lake Theatre

Back in 1994, before smartphones and Snapchat, a team of Canadians wrestled with society’s obsession with technology. This documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Peter Mettler tracks a treacherous journey to Churchill, Man. to capture the ephemeral beauty of the northern lights. A self-proclaimed poetical essay, Picture of Light is a visually satisfying think piece dealing with the tensions between nature/technology, and science/mythology. In short, it takes the phrase “pics or it didn’t happen” to a whole new level.

4. Personal Shopper

July 28 at 3 p.m. and July 29 at 10 p.m.

Gimli Theatre

Stylish, seductive and spooky are a few words to describe this 2016 psychological thriller. Kristen Stewart plays Maureen, a personal shopper for a celebrity in Paris. After Maureen’s twin brother dies suddenly of a heart attack, she tries to connect with him in the spirit world. “Success” isn’t quite the right word for the sinister haunting that follows. Personal Shopper is sure to bring on the goosebumps, described by festival programmers as a “sharply intelligent spin on the ghost story.”

5. Dim the Fluorescents

July 28 at 10 a.m. at Gimli Unitarian Church

July 30 at 12:30 p.m. at Lady of the Lake Theatre

Selling out has never been so funny. To stay afloat, two struggling artists are forced to pour all their creative energy into acting out role-playing demonstrations for corporate training seminars. Their big break comes in the form of a hotel conference gig, prompting the pair to embark on their most ambitious production to date. Things are looking up until ensuing tensions threaten the production and their friendship. It’s a strangely funny, feel-good flick that will leave you smiling.

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