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 purely from open submissions.

MANIFF 2017 Highlights video

The Manchester Film Festival 2018 took place from the 1st-4th March at Odeon Great Northern with an added preview screening at HOME on the 26th February 2018. After four successful editions the festival now finds itself with an identity of honesty, making friends, having fun and sharing stories. MANIFF’s belief is to be straight forward and break away from the generic film festival format of branding and stranding…

This year’s edition had over 100 films that featured UK and world premieres from a vast list of starry international names such as Sean Penn, Jodie Foster, Nicholas Cage, Shia Labeouf, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Faye Dunaway, Warren Beatty, Billy Bob Thornton, Danny Glover, Pierce Brosnan, Kate Bosworth, Dan Mirvish, Slash, Taylor Hackford, Henry Rollins, Tom Arnold, Adrian Lyne, Chad Smith, John Badham, William Shatner, Michael Anthony, Stef Dawson, Kevin Smith, Penn Jillette, Paul Stanley, Katherine Tate, Tituss Burgess, Alex Hassell, Vic Reeves, Conlith Hill, Joe Dempsie, Sean Astin, Lenny Henry, Jane Horrocks, and the last ever film from the late Sir John Hurt. To add to the eclectic nature of the festival local talent such as Nico Mirallegro, Denise Welch, Rob James Collier and John Thomson, to name just a few, were also included in the mix of unseen story driven indie films from both established and debutant directors.

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

"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. I couldn't recommend MANIFF more strongly to anyone who submits their work to a film festival." 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

"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:


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

2. Submission Eligibility
- All submissions must have been completed after 1 January 2017.
- 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 Experimental Films and 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 4th of January 2019 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 2019 festival (March 7th - 10th 2019). 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 2019 festival, and for other non-commercial uses related to the promotion of the 2019 festival. I hereby agree to indemnify MANIFF, in the event that such rights have not been properly transferred.

Overall Rating
  • Daniel Berk

    Manchester is a great festival. It really helped get my film increased exposure. Friendly people and excellent supportive audiences. Five stars.

    June 2018
  • Angie Shyr

    This was my first festival and I'm grateful to Maniff for making it an indelibly most memorable experience and welcome! From all accounts far and wide including my own, there was a special comradery among the filmmakers, incredible student-volunteer assistants and Maniff team including the 2 directors/founders. Organized to the hilt, supportive all the way to the Moon and artistically wonderfully curated. I made amazing connections and we're all still in touch.

    March 2018
  • I had an absolute blast attending the festival. A purely Filmmaker led Film festival. That fact made me enjoy every second, because you know every person you meet there shares exactly the same passion as you.

    March 2018
  • Monica Lawson

    My film made its European premier at this festival and it was a truly great experience. Staff are helpful and there is no shortage volunteers enthusiastic to help filmmakers find their way. For a festival 4 years young, to attract such a high level of talent for workshops & discussions, I can only see them growing more over the years! the screenings as well are well attended and the quality of the films remarkable. Its a great honor to be a part of this festival. Not to mention that Manchester is fun! If you get in, this is a festival that is certainly worth the trip.

    March 2018
  • Mailuki Films

    The best place to have a World Premiere. See you next year with new films.

    March 2018