Manchester Film Festival is excited to announce the Manchester Experimental Film Festival running from 8th to the 15th of March 2020.

All selected films will screen in a selection of Manchester’s contemporary art galleries, in an expansion of the festivals previous work with the Saul Hey Gallery, who have been screening MANIFF’s Experimental Film selection in previous MANIFF editions.

MANIFF's new format will give experimental films the room to breathe that they deserve, allowing audiences and artists who have specific interest in the form the opportunity to experience experimental films in an environment more suited to the medium.

This will also give experimental filmmakers the chance to present their work to a wider audience of both fans of contemporary art and the general public.

MANIFF director of programming Alan Bailey says ‘over the years at MANIFF it has become clear that experimental films are an art form all of their own and screening them alongside standard narrative short films means the complexity and beauty of experimental filmmaking is lost. Showing these films in a gallery will give audiences the chance to take in what they have seen in a more reflective manner’

Creating a new event to showcase experimental film is going to open new possibilities for the medium in the city of Manchester.

Best Experimental Film


The Manchester Experimental Film Festival will take place from 8th to 15th March 2020.

1. Submission Deadlines
Submissions will be accepted from March 14th 2019.

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

3. Submission Eligibility
- All submissions must have been completed after 1 January 2018.
- - 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. Submission Fee
All FilmFreeway submissions for Manchester Experimental Film Festival are to be paid by credit card. The submission fee is non-refundable.

5. 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 Experimental Film Festival must be borne by the submitting party. Manchester Experimental Film Festival will not accept Cash On Delivery shipments. Manchester Experimental Film Festival will not absorb any fees incurred in British customs. All charges must be pre-paid

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

7. Notification
Manchester Experimental Film Festival endeavours to complete all selection procedures by 10th of August 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.

8. Festival Screenings
Selected films MUST provide a 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.

9. 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 Experimental Film Festival reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. Manchester Experimental 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 ExperimentalFilm 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). 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.