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Emerging Filmmaker Wins $10,000 at Gimli Film Festival

July 26, 2020 8:16 AM | Entertainment

Joanne Roberts

Joanne Roberts won the 9th Annual RBC $10,000 Emerging Filmmaker Competition at the Gimli Film Festival. (HANDOUT)

An emerging Manitoba filmmaker has $10,000 to hone her craft for the big screen.

Joanne Roberts was awarded the prize Saturday as part of the 9th annual RBC $10,000 Emerging Filmmaker Pitch Competition at the 2020 Gimli Film Festival.

Roberts had three minutes to pitch her short film to a jury of industry professionals during a live-stream event. Following each pitch, the jury had five minutes to ask questions before deliberating to select a winner.

“I’m so grateful that I get a chance to make this film,” said Roberts. “It means a lot to me and I know it will mean a lot to people who are struggling with this issue. I can’t wait to shed light on this unspoken territory and break barriers in film.”

Her film, “Anak,” follows the story of Mia. She sits in a session with her therapist Jane and discusses the relationship she has with her mother, who has just moved in with her under the false pretence that she would also go to therapy. Having grown up with an unspoken set of rules that shaped their relationship, Mia recounts key moments of her life to Jane as her mother continuously distracts her through messages on her phone.

Roberts was awarded $10,000 in production funds through the RBC Emerging Artists Project, a mentorship with industry professionals from the National Screen Institute — Canada, a one-year membership with On Screen Manitoba, a $5,000 gift certificate courtesy of William F. White International and a premiere screening of Anak at next year’s Gimli Film Festival.

In total, 24 emerging Manitoban filmmakers submitted for the top prize, while five finalists were selected to make pitches.