And the winners are!


And the winners are!

Manchester Film Festival, powered by Metrolink has come to a close with a screening of Katie Says Goodbye, the moving tale of a young women struggling to escape her mundane existence in the American Southwest. The film was followed by a Q&A with star of the film and Oldham’s own Olivia Cooke.

A packed weekend that kicked off on Thursday saw over ninety films screen in the city’s Odeon, Printworks and included a host of guests including Karen Allen, Timothy Spall and Bronwen Hughes. This year’s three strands Rising Star, Be Who You Are Say What You Feel and Women in Film made for a wide array of films that left the Jury with much to discuss on the Jury Select Panel.

Along with the 'Jury Select' panel was a heated 'Women In Film' panel and a screenwriting talk with Elan Mastai, writer of ‘What If’. There was also time for music as Blake Reid, subject of the documentary No Roads In thrilled fans with a stunning live performance in the Printworks.

The festival ended with a tongue in cheek 'Oscar' style awards ceremony that saw Dublin set Cardboard Gangsters scoop the prestigious Film of the Festival and the Best Actor award for star John Connors. There were also big wins for Creedmoria which won the audience award and best director for Alicia Slimmer.  Olivia Cooke won the coveted Best Actress prize and Erin Cipolletti picked up Best Screenplay for Josephine Doe.

After a hugely successful year that has seen the festival grow and reach a new level Programming Director Alan Bailey was left to reflect that ‘it’s been amazing, the films we have had this year have proven just how strong independent film can be when given a platform’, whilst Festival Co Founder Neil Jeram-Croft said ‘this year has been a triumph, a huge thanks to the filmmakers, sponsors, volunteers and film fans who came out in force the festival – next year is going to be even better’.


Best Screenplay - Josephine Doe
Best Edit – My Life as a Film
Best Score – No Roads In
Best Animation – A Little Grey
Best Production – Creedmoria
Best Music Video – Peaceful Life
Best Experimental – Running Through Life
Best Actress – Olivia Cooke (Katie Says Goodbye)
Best Actor – John Connors (Cardboard Gangsters)
Best Student Film -  Among the Dead
Best Cinematography – The Journey is the Destination
The Radisson Blu Edwardian Best Documentary – Das Wassup
Audience Pick – Creedmoria
48 Hour Film Challenge - Be Myself
Best Uncomissioned Screeply - Protest by Olivia Moore
Staff Pick – Happy
Best International Short – A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud
The City Suites Best UK Short – The Last Laugh
Best UK Film – The Last Laugh
Best International Film (Foreign Language)– When The Sun Shines
Best Director – Alicia Slimmer (Creedmoria)
Best Feature Film – Cardboard Gangsters
Film of the Festival – Cardboard Gangsters

Special Jury Mentions also went to the following films.

Outstanding Screenplay: Card Board Gangsters and Planet Ottakring
Outstanding Edit - Hunter Gatherer and No Roads In
Outstanding Score - Creedmoria and The Journey Is the Destination
Outstanding Animation - I am Dyslexic, Magic Box and Crack'd
Outstanding Production - The Black Prince and The Journey Is the Destination
Outstanding Music Video - Schoolboy Q "John Muir" and Fireball
Outstanding Experimental Film - The Copyist and Dominio
Outstanding Actress - Stef Dawson (Creedmoria) and Laura Kjaer (When the Sun Shines)
Outstanding Actor - Elias Munk (When the Sun Shines) and Ben Schetzner (The Journey Is the Destination)
Outstanding Student Film - My Cousin Klara and My Life as a Film
Outstanding Cinematography - Cardboard Gangsters and No Roads In
Outstanding Documentary Short - Mama Rwanda and Julian Price
Outstanding Documentary Feature - My Life as a Film and No Roads In
Outstanding  UK Short - Cautionary Tales and One Last Dance
Outstanding International Short - Fils (Son) and Democracy in the Drivers Seat
Outstanding UK Film - Stanley a Man of Variety and The Interrogation of Olivia Donovan
Outstanding International Film (Foreign Language) - Public Intimacy and Land of Exodus
Outstanding Director - Bronwen Hughes (The Journey Is the Destination) and Mark O'Connor (Cardboard Gangsters)
Outstanding Feature Film - When the Sun Shines and Katie Says Goodbye


Manchester Film Festival 2017 announces Full Line-up of films as well as confirmed appearances and Q and A’s from Timothy Spall, Karen Allen, Stef Dawson, bronwen hughes and olivia cooke.


Manchester Film Festival 2017 announces Full Line-up of films as well as confirmed appearances and Q and A’s from Timothy Spall, Karen Allen, Stef Dawson, bronwen hughes and olivia cooke.

The Manchester Film Festival, powered by Metrolink, announces the full line up of the 2017 official selection. This year’s three main strands are RISING STARS, BE WHO YOU ARE SAY WHAT YOU FEEL and MANIFF’s annual WOMEN IN FILM.

New to 2017 the RISING STARS strand will showcase emerging talent from behind and in front of the independent camera with closing night film KATIE SAYS GOODBYE starring OLIVIA COOKE spearheading a line-up of films that include UK premieres THE JOURNEY IS THE DESTINATION starring BEN SCHNETZER, CREEDMORIA starring STEF DAWSON, CARDBOARD GANGSTERS starring JOHN CONNORS, WHEN THE SUN SHINES starring ELIAS MUNK and a string of films from first time filmmakers that include U.S feature JOSEPHINE DOE by Ryan Michael, U.K micro budget feature ACROSS THE RIVER by Warren Malone and first time director JOSHUA LOCY’s HUNTER GATHERER, starring ANDRE ROYO.

The festival’s second strand of 2017, BE WHO YOU ARE SAY WHAT YOU FEEL inspired by the Dr Seuss quote of “…because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind” will champion the vast selection of films that portray themes of acceptance and freedom. Highlights within this strand include the Brazilian feature PUBLIC INTIMACY, UK premiere THE BLACK PRINCE starring JASON FLEMYNG, STANLEY A MAN OF VARIETY starring TIMOTHY SPALL, documentary feature DAS WASSUP and an array of short films such as LIGHTNINGFACE starring OSCAR ISAAC and Ben Price’s TAUBMAN starring JACK P SHEPHERD.

The Manchester Film Festival will once again tie in with Manchester’s WONDER WOMAN season to celebrate a selection of 30 plus films by female directors, with the headlining films being Hollywood legend KAREN ALLEN’s debut A TREE, A ROCK, A CLOUD, the world premiere and opening night film, in association with the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, ALFIE BOE – ON THE WHEELS OF A DREAM by Lisa Edwards and IN SEARCH OF PERFECT CONSONANCE by Oscar winner and MANIFF15 Alumni RUBY YANG.

The full official selection (below) includes everything from experimental and documentary to animation and music video that will feature legendary names such as JONATHAN PRYCE, CILLIAN MURPHY and HELEN MIRREN to up and coming actors and filmmakers from the world of independent cinema. The eclectic mix will be showcased over the four day weekend 2nd – 5th  March at the ODEON PRINTWORKS Manchester where the festival will take over the top floor of the multiplex cinema as the festival hub to create a vibrant and personal festival atmosphere for filmmakers and film lovers alike. TIMOTHY SPALL, KAREN ALLEN, STEF DAWSON, BRONWEN HUGHES and OLIVIA COOKE are among several confirmed guests. 


MANIFF2017 Opening and Closing night films announced!

MANIFF2017 Opening and Closing night films announced!

The Manchester Film Festival gears up for its third edition by announcing the opening and closing night films of the 2017 official Selection. The World premiere of ALFIE BOE – ON THE WHEELS OF A DREAM will open MANIFF2017 on March 2nd at an Evening Gala Event presented by the Radisson Edwardian at ODEON MANCHESTER. Directed by Lisa Edwards the film follows Tony award winning English Opera singer Alfie Boe, as he tries to break through the stereotypes of the music industry and tear down all barriers to allow him to sing any genres of music. We follow him on tour in the US, UK and Canada as he attempts to find a broader audience without alienating the fans he already has. This documentary is a powerful character driven piece that takes us behind the scenes of Great Britain's favourite tenor, as he risks everything to follow his heart and live his dream. Programming director Al Bailey said “With Alfie’s roots being in the North West of England, It’s a great fit for our opening night film. Having the world premiere in Manchester is fantastic!”

The headlining film will be supported at the Gala Event with more North West flavoured short films that include Luke Losey’s ONE LAST DANCE starring legendary North Wales born actor Jonathan Pryce, TAUBMAN directed by Manchester based filmmaker Ben Price, starring Jack P Shepherd and Paul Hendy’s poetic comedy THE LAST LAUGH featuring a depiction of late local comedian Eric Morecambe.

The closing night gala, which includes the festival’s annual awards ceremony and its quirky Worker Bee awards, takes a similar vein with Wayne Roberts’ feature film KATIE SAYS GOODBYE, the TIFF hit stars Oldham born actress Olivia Cooke, whose rising star knows no boundaries, with her upcoming Stephen Spielberg blockbuster READY PLAYER ONE set to catapult her into the A list Hollywood stratosphere.  Al Bailey continued “Although MANIFF is very much an international film festival, it’s massively important that we champion local filmmaking identity and our opening and closing night Galas do exactly that, Olivia Cooke is sensational in KATIE SAYS GOODBYE and it will be a great end to what will be a festival crammed full of exciting stories from the world of independent cinema.”  

MANIFF seems to be a rising star in its own right as it has already garnered an industry nod with its nomination as the only film festival in the world within the coveted 2016 UK Festival Awards, and the 2017 festival’s programme has promised to be jammed packed with rising and established names from international and domestic cinema. MANIFF17’s main theme of THE RISING TALENT OF INDEPENDENT CINEMA, not just from the UK but from around the world, will offer a line-up of some 90 plus films that will be showcased in Manchester from 2nd to the 5th March, with premieres, guest appearances and an Indie fest atmosphere for film lovers to saviour. The full line up of films will be announced at an invite only Press Event at ODEON MANCHESTER on TUESDAY 17th January.  


MANIFF Nominated at UK Festival Awards.

The Manchester Film Festival is proud to announce its nomination as the only film festival on the planet to be included in the 2016 UK Festival Awards. MANIFF will be rubbing shoulders alongside major domestic and international festivals such as Glastonbury, Altitude, Latitude, V, Download, Creamfields, Wireless, Isle of Wight, Reading and Leeds, at the prestigious awards ceremony in London on the 28th November. Many thanks to the Film Festival Awards industry panel for our nomination and fingers crossed for the results at what will be an amazing night for our staff and associates who have worked tirelessly to build MANIFF into one of the UK's best film festivals. 


MANIFF Catches up with Psychoanalysis director James Raue


MANIFF Catches up with Psychoanalysis director James Raue

We catch up with the director of the award winning mockumentary PSYCHOANALYSIS to see how he's been getting on since the films world premiere at MANIFF 2016.


Paul Symmonds is the country's top suicide prevention specialist. But when five of his clients commit suicide within a one week period his reputation is thrown into question.
He arranges for a documentary crew to follow him around as he attempts to prove his clients were actually murdered by a rival psych who wants the top spot for himself.


MANIFF -  How important are film festivals for independent filmmakers? 

James Raue - Film Festivals are incredibly important for independent filmmakers. But the festival game has completely changed in the last few years. Now, everyone has the opportunity to make a film so it's much harder to make it into the huge festivals. Those festivals don't really seem like a home for independent filmmakers anymore as you need big names behind you to even be considered. There was a recent article written showing just how little of their programs are selected from those who pay submission fees, very unsettling. BUT we're in an exciting time where newer festivals are popping up that still program from blind submissions and are genuinely finding independent gems. The industry is slowly realising this is where the new talent is and hopefully film festivals will once again become the great hubs for artists that they once were.

MANIFF -  How was your MANIFF experience? 

JR - MANIFF was amazing. My very first film festival I've attended as a filmmaker and it was the perfect place for my premiere. Everybody from the volunteers up to the programmers and directors were incredibly friendly, down to earth people who genuinely love films and filmmakers. The screening facilities were state of the art, the town was vibrant and the hospitality wonderful. My girlfriend saw snow falling from the sky for the first time (rare in Australia), so it's been the highlight of our festival travel so far.

MANIFF - How was the process of directing a film for the first time? 

JR - It was difficult, but not as difficult as everyone makes it out to be. As long as you trust your crew to do their jobs and build the best cast around your script then you'll be fine. I think more writers should direct. It's not some magical skill, it's merely having a vision, selling everyone else on that vision and then letting your team run with it and make it into a film. The most difficult thing about it is the pressure, because you're in charge of the ship, you have to deliver or everyone hates you forever.

Interview with James Raue at MANIFF 2016 

MANIFF -  Where did the idea for the script come from? 

JR - I've been surrounded by psychologists my entire life. I grew up when TV psychologists like Dr Phil were becoming popular, so any little problem and psychology was seen as a way to fix it. So I hated psychologists. Then my girlfriend became a psychologist and I was able to see things from the other side of the couch. I saw the pressure they're under and the stakes in their lives if they fail with a client. I also saw the dark sense of humour they need to develop in order to deal with mental illness each day. So when time came to think up an idea for a feature, I was immediately drawn to that world. I wanted to come up with a character who was both comedic and tragic at the same time, so a psychologist who thinks he's the best in the world, but all his clients keep killing themselves was the thing that came to mind.

MANIFF - Why and when did you decide to make psychoanalysis into a mockumentary?  

JR - When I came up with the idea I was making sketches with friends and they were all mockumentary in nature. One of us would come up with a crazy character and then the other would interview them on camera. So that was just the natural way I envisioned showcasing that character. I wanted a director to be able to directly question why he thinks he's the best psychologist in the world when all the evidence points against it. I also new that in order to make the film for USD 10,000 I wouldn't be able to light any shots or set up complex blocking, so the documentary format was perfect

MANIFF -  What is the future for psychoanalysis? 

JR - So far we've screened at festivals across the UK and the US. We've won lots of awards so far and have been astounded at the reception such a small film is getting. We're now waiting to hear about when our L.A premiere will be as well as our Australia premiere and release.

MANIFF - Finally, is there anything you’re working on?    

JR - Yes! I wrote a feature film called, The Pretend One, about an imaginary friend who's trying to become real in order to win the love of the woman who created him. It was directed last year by Tony Prescott and is currently in post production. You can watch the trailer here... 

I'm also talking to several production companies and agents about my next feature, Chasing Shadows. A comedy-drama about an elderly man who believes his wife has been abducted by aliens and his skeptical daughter who must try to convince him that her mother has simply divorced him and moved on. The script was recently trending on The Blacklist website and has been compared to Nebraska and Safety Not Guaranteed.

We wish James continued success with all his exciting projects and to keep up to date with James visit and for Psychoanalysis visits

Our third addition will take place at the vibrant Odeon Printworks, AMC Manchester Great Northern Warehouse and the Greater Manchester Chamber of commerce.