The ONLY film festival in the world to be nominated alongside Glastonbury, Altitude, Latitude, V, Download, Creamfields, Wireless, Isle of Wight, Reading and Leeds, at the UK FESTIVAL AWARDS 2017.

Manchester Film Festival is a truly independent film festival, committed and dedicated to sharing great stories from both new and established international and domestic filmmakers from the world of independent cinema. The organisation is proud of its honest and transparent roots and will continue with the original ethos of selecting films purely from open submissions.

MANIFF 2017 Highlights video

The Manchester Film Festival 2018 follows on from three impressive editions in 15, 16 and 17. Over the 4 day weekend #17 Manchester once again attracted crowds of film critics, filmmakers, distributors, fans and of course the industry professionals of our established Jury Select, who witnessed an eclectic mix of diverse films to savour and remember. The north- west themed opening night was packed to the rafters with the ODEON cinema looking more reminiscent of a premier league football ground than the city’s largest multiplex, with filmmakers from every corner of the globe mixing and milling in the crowds of film fans looking to get their first chance to catch the films of the festival. With strands from ‘Women in Film’ to ‘Rising Stars and ‘Be who you are say what you feel’ MANIFF17 went from opening night through to closing awards with a glow of world premieres, filmmaker panel discussions and special guests that included Timothy Spall, Karen Allen, Olivia Cooke, Stef Dawson, Bronwen Hughes, James Nesbitt and many more writers, directors, producers and actors from the world of stage and screen. The 2017 event proved yet again Manchester’s commitment to be one of the most filmmaker centric festivals in the world with every film session being represented with a filmmaker Q and A… A testament to MANIFF’s hospitality for all its selected filmmakers. This personable approach not only makes the festival a great experience for filmmakers but also reflects these efforts with sell out audiences who come out in force, hungry for insights of behind the scene information. From amazing cinema screens to all out after parties the Manchester Film Festival is fast becoming the go to film fest of the UK and it’s now ready for #18.

Submit now to “the next Sundance” – ‘I LOVE Manchester’ and be a part of one of the most vibrant film festivals in the world.

For screenplay submissions please go to

“The Manchester Film Festival is an extraordinary experience — a gathering of filmmakers and fans with the pure intention of celebrating the creativity of film.” Bronwen Hughes, Director, The Journey is the Destination

"Really, I expect this festival be the next Slamdance, so it was a real honor to be selected!" Ryan Michael, Director, Josephine Doe

"MANIFF Rocks!" Stef Dawson, Actress, Creedmoria

"Undoubtably the best festival I’ve been to – and I’ve been to a lot over the last year. Some festivals get it spectacularly wrong with the screenings, the programming, the general atmosphere etc whereas you got everything spot on. The films I saw were excellent and the people I met were lovely." Paul Hendy, Director, The Last Laugh

“Thanks to the Manchester film festival for giving a voice to something that would not really be seen anywhere else.” James Raue, Director, Psychoanalysis

"This really was the best festival experience I've ever had!" Erin Derham, Director of 'Buskin' Blues'

"I had an absolute ball at ManIFF 2016!" Rachel Viollet, Director, Dennis Viollet - A united Man

“The most fun festival we’ve ever been to. And we’ve been to a lot!” Cornelia Moore, Director, West of Redemption

“Thanks to the Manchester Film Festival for taking a chance on our film, just to have us here and for us to be involved. We’ve had such a good time meeting all the other filmmakers and getting to watch and be inspired by their films.” Jonny Moore, Director, Made in Taiwan

"Tele-port me back to ManIFF, anytime! An amazing time with great memories and great friends made along the way" - Mary -Lyn Chambers, Director Debris

“I must congratulate you on your choice of strategy with the submitting procedure, since you had this independent feeling on many of your films. Coming to this festival had interesting perspectives. This will absolutely become a, in the best sense, “larger festival in the many years to come”. Leif Mohlin, Producer, There Should be Rules.

“I feel like this is going to be a bigger and important festival, as the years go on, an amazing early life to a festival with massive international potential.” Larry Estes, Producer, West of Redemption

"The most communicative and informative film festivals I have ever had the pleasure of attending" - Nicholas Gray, Director, The Paper Store

"The festival and all its staff are just as passionate about film as the filmmakers themselves, absolutely fantastic!" Nicholas Moss, Director, Break

All films in the official selection will compete for awards in the following categories with the prestigious Bee's being awarded to the winners at our annual closing night awards event.

Film of the festival

Best Dramatic English Language Feature Film
Best Dramatic Foreign language Feature Film
Best International Dramatic Short
Best UK Dramatic Short
Best Director
Best Screenplay
Best Actress
Best Actor
Best cinematography
Best edit
Best Documentary Short
Best Documentary Feature
Best Experimental Film
Best Music Video
Best Student Film
Best Score
Staff Pick
Audience Award
Best Animation
Best Production Design
Un-commissioned Screenplay Competition

As well as awards we will be creating amazing prize packages with our sponsors.

MANIFF is looking for independent feature-length and short films from around the world from any genre.

Our Standard Festival Participation Agreement (Terms and Conditions), which all submitted films are also expected to follow is as follows:


The 4th Manchester Film Festival will take place from 1st to 4th March 2018.

1. Submission Deadlines
Submissions will be accepted from March 9th 2017.
The early deadline is June 13th 2017, the regular deadline is 5th September 2017, the extended deadline is 5th December 2017. Early entry is encouraged but in no way guarantees acceptance.

2. Submission Format
Films must be submitted via online screener.

3. Submission Eligibility
- All submissions must have been completed after 1 January 2016.
- Manchester Film Festival requires at least a Greater Manchester premiere for all films.
- Works-in-progress and films with distribution are accepted.
- Films must not have received more than 50% of their funding from a studio or broadcaster.
- All films not in the English language are required to have subtitles.

4. Premiere Status
- Manchester Film Festival requires at least a Greater Manchester premiere for all films and they may not have been screened publicly online. All films may have screened at other festivals but just not have screened in the Greater Manchester Region.
- There is no Premiere policy for Experimental Films and music videos, they may have screened at other Festivals and/or online.

5. Film Classification
All films screened during the Manchester Film Festival receive an age rating that is decided by the Manchester City Council.

6. Submission Fee
All FilmFreeway submissions for Manchester Film Festival are to be paid by credit card. The submission fee is non-refundable.

7. Shipping
All shipping and postage costs, if the film is selected for the Festival, for all DCPs and additional materials sent to and returned from Manchester Film Festival must be borne by the submitting party. Manchester Film Festival will not accept Cash On Delivery shipments. Manchester Film Festival will not absorb any fees incurred in British customs. All charges must be pre-paid

8. Selection of Films
Submissions are reviewed and selected under the following criteria:
- Quality of narrative and production values
- Independent nature of the production

9. Notification
Manchester Film Festival endeavours to complete all selection procedures by 1st of January 2018 and inform all submitting parties, in writing, if their film has been successful or not after that time. Successful submissions will receive a Filmmaker Festival Pack that will include important information on shipping the DCP to the Festival, press and publicity, guest accreditation, contact information and how to make the most of participating in the Festival.

10. Festival Screenings
Selected films MUST provide a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) or video file (.mov or .mp4).in order to be screened at the Manchester Film Festival. The film title MUST be clearly labelled on the hard drive.
A selected DCP or video file must be received at Manchester Film Festival no later than TWENTY days prior to its scheduled screening date.

11. Scheduling
Screenings are scheduled during the Festival at the discretion of Manchester Film Festival. Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, Manchester Film Festival reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. Manchester Film Festival will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in scheduling.
No film may be withdrawn from the festival programme after its selection.


By submitting to the Manchester Film Festival I confirm that I have read and accept the terms and regulations of MANIFF. I will provide the festival with any additional information required pursuant to these rules and regulations. I authorize the MANIFF to exhibit my film, and if selected, I confirm that an exhibition copy will be available in a required format for screening during the 2017 festival (March 1st - 4th 2018). I certify that I hold all necessary rights for the submission of this film/video to the MANIFF and that all rights and clearances have been made. This film is not subject to any litigation nor is threatened by any litigation. I hold MANIFF harmless from damage to, or loss of any or all materials en route to, from or otherwise at the festival. I assume all legal responsibilities therein. By Agreeing to these terms, I transfer to MANIFF the right to use excerpts of the submitted film, its stills, and trailers, for the purposes of publicity and marketing of the film at the 2018 festival, and for other non-commercial uses related to the promotion of the 2018 festival. I hereby agree to indemnify MANIFF, in the event that such rights have not been properly transferred.

Overall Rating
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    Elias Plagianos

    I was unable to attend but our Producer attended the entire festival and could not be more enthusiastic about every aspect of the festival. Highly recommended!

    June 2017
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    Michael McKinley

    First let me say what a lovely time I had. As a filmmaker spending 4 days in attendance, I found a diverse array of films to enjoy, and special filmmaker events to participate in. That being said, the Manchester festival also had just the right amount of "chill vibe" as well!

    From Neil and Al at the helm, and everyone on down (Abigail, Luke, and Joanna- thanks for everything!) MANIFF is both an efficiently executed event, and wonderfully warm as well. I say this not just because our film HAPPY was awarded "Staff Pick", but because the reception was genuine. The accommodations provided were pretty sweet too! I am only remiss in not writing this review sooner.

    May 2017
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    Lawrie Zidyana

    Due to an emergency I could not attend the festival but my friends did and they said it was excellent. Communication with the organise was the best I have had - I even got technical help with my DCP. In the future I hope to enter future projects and attend in person.

    April 2017
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    Sebastien Bellaval

    A big festival hidden in a young one. Very happy and proud to have been part of their debut. Everything was already very professionnal.

    March 2017
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    Jonny and Leo Moore

    A genuinely passionate and friendly group of people, who take the time to watch each and every film and judge them on their own merit. Truly supportive and just plain fun to be a part of. Superb setting too. Thanks Al and Neil :) !

    March 2017