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Manchester Film Festival poster
Manchester Film Festival poster

Celebrating 10 years of the Manchester Film Festival

Home » To do & see » Celebrating 10 years of the Manchester Film Festival

Manchester International Film Festival turns 10 this year. Known as ‘an annual celebration of international cinema, showcasing a diverse range of films from established and emerging filmmakers’, the festival hosts directors from all over the globe. Growing year-on-year, the festival now conducts screenings for upwards of 6,000 attendees each year. From local shorts to worldwide firsts, the festival is host to many cinematic greats that any film buff would enjoy.

As one of the leading festivals in the north, MANIFF’s focus is on making a week-long event as entertaining for all their attending guests as possible. Whether they are budding film directors, big recognisable film stars, or simply film fans coming to support the filmmakers that they love. It’s the bustling atmosphere, paired with the stunningly real ‘Manc’ location that gives new meaning to the phrase ‘This is Manchester, we do things differently here.’

This year the festival will host 45 feature films and more than 100 short films. Northwest shorts is a returning category, showcasing some of the latest and greatest talents in the northern region. Juliette Holmes, a member of the awards panel, says: “The addition of the Northwest shorts category is a great way of celebrating stories and filmmakers from the region. It is a really popular screening, as so many local filmmakers attend to show their support to colleagues. There’s always a chance you’ll see a familiar face”.

Industry professionals like Luke Bather have attended and featured in recent years festivals, coming away with awards. He says: “MANIFF has always been brilliant, not only for being able to see amazing shorts and features but also for the people that I’ve had the chance to meet simply through attending the festival!”

From start to finish, the festival hosts evening events for their filmmakers to connect and unwind following the stresses a launch can bring. The festival is known for its positive energy that doesn’t stop when the screenings fade to black, with festival director Neil Jarem-Croft reflecting on fond memories: “From a 3-day festival to the 10-day extravaganza that we have now. What has been most enjoyable over the years has been meeting so many talented filmmakers and sharing their films with an audience”.

Kicking off the festival will be the UK premiere of The Convert, starring Guy Pearce.
The Convert is directed by Lee Tamahori and tells the story of a preacher who arrives at a British settlement in 1830s New Zealand. His violent past is soon drawn into question and his faith put to the test, as he finds himself caught in the middle of a bloody war between Maori tribes.

One of the highlights of this year’s festival is the UK premiere of The Trap, marking the directorial debut of Lena Headey. Other The world premieres hosted at the event include UK films Of God’s Men, Straight Through Crew, The Can and Die Before you Die.

The closing night also promises to be a cinematic treat with the screening of the latest Rose Glass film, Love Lies Bleeding, starring Kirsten Stewart, Katy O’Brian and Ed Harris.
The film sees Stewart star as Lou, a reclusive gym manager who falls hard for Jackie (O’Brian), an ambitious bodybuilder who’s heading to Las Vegas to pursue her dream. Their love soon leads to violence as they get pulled deep into the web of Lou’s criminal family.

The festival runs from March 15-24 at Odeon, Great Northern. Forfull details of the films and tickets visit MANIFF’s official website. Here’s to the next 10 years!

Reece Donlan
Written by
Reece Donlan

Reece is a freelance journalist based in Manchester.

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Reece Donlan Written by Reece Donlan