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 and 2018.

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 from open submissions.

The 5th edition of the the Manchester Film Festival took place at the Odeon, Great Northern from the 2nd-10th March 2019.

Over 150 films in a line-up made up of narrative and documentary features, narrative and documentary shorts, experimental films, music videos, animations and VR screened in cinema at the Odeon in Manchester’s historic Great Northern Warehouse.

For the first time the festival took place over a week, testament to the events growth over its short history and the strength of films submitted. After five years the festival has developed a reputation among the independent filmmaking community as a warm, welcoming festival with a personal touch and party vibes.

MANIFF2019 saw the festival continue its policy of not branding and stranding its official selection, allowing films to stand side by side, free from genre barriers. For the first time the festival hosted repertory screenings with a selection of films that celebrate 5 editions of MANIFF featuring prestigious alumni of past festivals.

Head of Programming Al Bailey says, “this year’s line-up was the perfect example of what we set out to achieve five years ago – a showcase of the most eclectic independent films from around the world and the strength of the selection shows the reputation that the festival has and continues to gain.

Along with the films and post-screening Q&A’s MANIFF2019 hosted filmmaker studios, in which those involved with the making of this year’s selection discussed their work in-depth in front of an audience. These took place at the famous Manchester Studios (Old Granada Studios), further cementing the festivals connection to Manchester’s rich creative and cultural history.

MANIFF2020 will once again be a week long taking place 1st-9th March with all films being screened in a cinema, with filmmaker studios, post-screening Q&A's and much more happening over the week.

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

"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 Feature
Best Foreign Language Film
Best International Film
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
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:


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 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 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 2020 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.


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 2020 festival (March 7th - 15th 2020). 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 2020 festival, and for other non-commercial uses related to the promotion of the 2020 festival. I hereby agree to indemnify MANIFF, in the event that such rights have not been properly transferred.

Overall Rating
  • Bhulla Beghal

    An all-round brilliant film festival.
    They put a lot of value into the filmmakers by organising a packed schedule of workshops, nightly networking at different venues in Manchester, a filmmakers lounge, offers on accommodation, contacts to local press, allocating you a volunteer to welcome you and be around for the week.
    Their was excellent, as was the standard of films being screening.
    I loved it, I was in a complete bubble for the week. Definitely one of the best film festivals that I've been a part of.

    August 2019
  • Jessie Barr

    Love the Manchester Film Festival! Although we were unable to attend the festival in person everyone involved that we corresponded with was kind, and thoughtful. It's a wonderfully curated and organized festival. We connected with so many people through social media about our film and were so happy to hear it resonated.

    August 2019
  • Spectacular festival for my first lengthier short experimental film Official Selection. Excellent communication and reception. The production team even helped me create my first DCP. An absolute dream of a festival for a first-time filmmaker.

    July 2019
  • Christian Holtappel

    Had a wonderful experience with "Home" at MANIFF 2019, especially with the opportunity to talk about the film in front of a live audience at the Filmmakers Workshops. Great to see a healthy turnout at the many short film screenings, too. Hopefully we'll be back again someday!

    July 2019
  • Takayuki Ogawa

    It was a honor to be part of this festival. Communication was very clear and friendly. It was a pity we couldn't attend the festival.

    July 2019