Manchester Film Festival is proud to be a BIFA qualifying festival.

Manchester Film Festival is a truly independent film festival, one that champions cinema from around the globe and doesn’t put barriers on the films it screens. The organisation is proud of its honest and transparent roots and is committed to screening the best stories from around the world, right in the heart of one of the UK’s most vibrant cities.

After a fully virtual 2021 edition we look forward to welcoming filmmakers to Manchester in 2022 for an in-person and in-cinema celebration of independent film.

All films will be screened in a cinema with full surround sound and crystal-clear visuals and all attending filmmakers are invited to take part in post-screening Q&A’s, red carpet interviews and nightly after parties. Meeting and networking with other film creatives and industry professionals in a relaxed atmosphere is a key aspect of the festival but so is connecting with audiences and film enthusiasts.

MANIFF has developed a reputation amongst the independent film community as an exciting place to showcase their work, an event that brings filmmakers together for a weeklong celebration of independent cinema.

For an idea of what to expect in 2022 when we hope to once again host a physical festival please take a look at our photos, videos and archive from previous years.

The sixth edition of MANIFF took place at the Odeon Cinema, Great Northern Warehouse from the 7-15th March 2020 and screened over 170 films across the week. 2020 was the second year in a row that the festival ran for over a week, testament the growth and development of the event over the previous years.

With industry representation from Altitude, Curzon and One Bright Dot, the festival continued to develop its ties with key industry professionals and the 2022 event will see this grow even further.

Alongside the films MANIFF2020 hosted a selection of industry panels at Manchester’s newest cultural hub, Cultureplex, these panels were designed to offer advice to independent filmmakers about a range of subjects and included: From Dream to Funding, Screenwriting, Creating Original Content with Brand Partners, Sales and Marketing for Independent Film and Planning for Post. MANIFF2022 will once again deliver panels that filmmakers will find insightful and useful to their careers.

MANIFF2022 will see industry panels, nightly after parties, daily film screenings in a multiplex cinema, red carpet interviews, Q&A’s and overall good times.

MANIFF understands the current situation is uncertain but we hope that by March 2022 some normalcy will have resumed and we plan on putting on an event that everyone involved will remember - one that is a real celebration of cinema and filmmakers. Of course this may change given the current crisis.

Here at ‘MANIFF’ we are looking to the future and these uncertain times have made it clear we are going to have to rely on the digital age more than ever in the world of independent film. As well as our physical festival we will give filmmakers the chance of screening their films to a worldwide database of film fans and professionals. A showcase that will not only facilitate filmmakers’ appearances who can’t travel to the event but also a broader audience to enjoy and critique the premiering work.

‘MANIFF’ LIVE digital screenings will be a vital part of sustaining not only the film festival industry but bring the international community together to celebrate and support the world of independent cinema and the filmmakers that share their brilliant work year on year.

MANIFF2022 will be open for submissions for films completed from January 1st 2018.

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

"A very well organized and intelligently curated festival. Screenings were well attended, staff and interviewers were highly professional, and, in addition to a host of very interesting filmmakers, there appeared to be a great deal of community engagement, sponsors, volunteers, and audiences. One of the most vibrant festivals I have attended, with many events and opportunities for filmmakers to interact. Highly recommended." Herbert Golder, Director of Ballad of a Righteous Merchant

"MANIFF screens in an Odeon cinema on huge screens with wonderful audiences. The nightly parties are beyond fun which makes networking a breeze." Michele Noble, Director of Reclamation: The Rise at Standing Rock

"This is a top-notch festival with high-quality films being programmed. Great communication from the festival. Very well organized events that made for easy and relaxed networking with fellow filmmakers and participants." Leah Patterson, Director of Bridget and Iain

"Simply and truly, this was the best festival I've attended in any capacity. The city, staff, vendors, students volunteers, fellow filmmakers, and everyone else I came across have made a lasting impression on my life." Sean Hartofilis, Director of Covadonga.

"Wow. What an unbelievably fun time it was at 2018 MANIFF. I watched great films, had inspiring conversations, got to ask questions to every guest, and felt the nonstop good, fun energy. The location, drinks, and food were on point too." Matthew Castellanos, Director of Yoshua.

“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

"Undoubtedly 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." 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 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

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 Feature
Best UK Short
Best Director
Best Screenplay
Best Actress
Best Actor
Best Cinematography
Best Edit
Best Documentary Short
Best Documentary Feature
Best Music Video
Best Student Film
Best Score
Staff Pick
Best Animation
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:


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

2. Submission Eligibility
- All submissions must have been completed after 1 January 2018.
- 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.

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

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

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

6. 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

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

8. Notification
Manchester Film Festival endeavors to complete all selection procedures by 10th of January 2022 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

UPDATED 9th July 2020 - COVID-19 - Due to the unprecedented and ongoing problems presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. We reserve the right to change the festival to a geo-blocked virtual online festival if it is not possible to host the event in a physical venue.


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 2022 festival (March 10th - 13th 2022). 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 2022 festival, and for other non-commercial uses related to the promotion of the 2022 festival. I hereby agree to indemnify MANIFF, in the event that such rights have not been properly transferred.

Overall Rating
  • Eric Jungmann

    Manchester Film Festival was fantastic. Such a thorough "virtual" experience, and some truly wonderful films were screened as part of the 2021 program. Thrilled to have been included with my film, "BODY OF THE MINED".

    July 2021
  • Liam White

    We were chuffed that our film DOUGHNUT was selected for Manchester Film Festival to kick off its festival run in our hometown. Neil and the organisers did a great job of making it an open and inclusive space in spite of the pandemic-related restrictions, and it was amazing to be able to chat to other filmmakers, and about the process around making DOUGHNUT in the post-screening Q&A. The questions were great and there was a lovely atmosphere.
    Looking forward to submitting our next short for the 2022 edition, and crossing all fingers and toes that we get to attend in a physical environment.

    June 2021
  • Jeneffa Soldatic

    Manchester Film Festival was a wonderful experience, even during a pandemic. Their communication was clear, up to date, and the platform they used was so easy to navigate. Thank you for producing a wonderful festival. I highly recommend this festival. You can not compare the level of communication and support that they showed us filmmakers. A top festival.

    April 2021
  • Really well organised Festival with some fantastic hosts. It was an honour to be included in a roster of great films. Will definitely look to enter again in the future.

    April 2021
  • Sergine Dumais

    Manchester Film Festival did such a wonderful job, moving the festival online. It was the best online festival we attended this year. Great people. Great festival. We hope to be back in person very soon!

    April 2021