GASPING - ENGLISH PREMIERE
Director: Greg Hemphill
The premiere screening outside of its Native Scotland, ‘Gasping’ follows A family man (Frankie Boyle), who tries to clean up his act, stumbling upon a series of obstacles of an increasingly surreal nature in this comedy about what happens when the universe comes together to destroy you.
INTO THE SURF - UK PREMIERE
Director: Tom Evans
Greg Austin (Mr Selfridge) plays a strong central performance in this story of two brothers growing apart. The film delivers a beautiful meditation on guilt, regret and the weight of words unspoken. Stunningly shot and produced, it resonates long after the end titles.
Director: Nick Flügge
Ed Caruana (The Search for Sunshine) and Christopher Sciueref (Exodus, 300: Rise of an Empire, Skyfall) play opposite one another in this quirky and punching comedy about a one-to-one boxing lesson, which leads to a confrontation that proves to be more than both men had bargained for. An offbeat exploration of masculinity and the way it is measured that is as poignant as it is laugh out loud funny.
Director: Alexander Thomas
An exciting young British cast that features,Laya Lewis (Skins), Vicky McClure (This is England, Broadchurch), Winston Ellis (The Dark Knight, Pirates of the Carribean), Kieran Hardcastle (The Is England) and Tom Cowling '71 all star in ‘Beverley’ which follows a mixed race girl's struggle to carve out a sense of identity in a confusing, shifting cultural landscape - 1980 Leicester. A move from the decaying, poverty-stricken, urban environment to the relative comfort and theoretical safety of white suburbia does not provide the hope and opportunities Bev may have wished for. A familiar enemy is ever present - a threat that extends beyond her own safety, as she must also protect her brother and sister. By asserting her will and using her guile Bev tries to shape her new environment into something palatable, but the result is the opposite of what she is trying to achieve. Strong and brave filmmaking that is beginning to send waves through the short film circuit which will ultimately catapult Alexander Thomas as a director to watch out for.
Director: Nida Manzoor
Cheryl Burniston is brilliant as Cleo in this action-comedy about a ‘Kick Ass’ schoolgirl, who regains consciousness to find herself lying on the ground with no memory of who she is, only to be confronted by Daisy, the school bully, who issues a cryptic ultimatum. Darkly comic and poignant throughout this is the first of many to come from newcomer Nida Manzoor.
CART - INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE
Director: Mohammed Salman
A simple cart is the star of this film about a family and community that relies upon a wheelbarrow to survive. A cute portrait of dependency and the importance of life’s essentials.
DEL CIEGO DESERT - UK PREMIERE
Director: François Leduc
At Del ciego desert, two gunfighters who are both plagued with a squint duel in order to avenge the massacre of their own families in this darkly comic farce.
UNBELIEF - INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE
Director: Fabien Martorell
Tobin Bell, alias the in-famous ‘Jigsaw’ from the Saw series, gives a mesmerising turn alongside Andrew Howard (Limitless, Taken 3) in this based on a short story by international best-selling author Michael Marshall Smith. Adapted to the screen by the original author ‘Unbelief’ tells the story of two men meeting in a park on cold Christmas the night in New York City. One man has come to kill and one man has come to die…the inevitable must happen but not before a fascinating personal exchange that explores the soul of the two men’s existence in this Christmas film with a difference.
8 ARANAS- UK PREMIERE
Director: Daniel Lecanda
An obsessive-compulsive man is obligated to go through an experiential therapy on a woman in order to cure his arachnophobia. An unflinching and belly laughing delight that takes farce to another level.
SAMMA SOM DU - INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE
Drama/Coming of Age/Mystery
Director: Philip da Silva
The day has arrived for Tanja (Happy Jankell - Portkod1321/1525, Jordskott) and her mum (Annika Hallin - The Girl with The Dragon Tatoo trilogy, Morden, Wallander) as they prepare for the big operation. What will life be like with only one arm? Can you continue your life as usual and still be accepted for who you are? Tanja runs away from the hospital in a panic, tying her arm to her body with a belt and hiding it under her shirt. She needs to be convinced that nothing will change…
TALL TALES 2
Director: Jon Turner
An excellent animated short about why children have to be quiet on trains.
COYOTE AND THE ROCK - UK PREMIERE
Director: Aron Gander
In a story about generosity, we follow the adventures of Coyote (the wolf-man), Iktome (the spider-man), and Iya (the rock). They take us into the spectacular and magical world of Native American folklore.
THANK YOU STAN
Director Tony White
British Academy award winning director Tony White brings you a personal animated tribute to the later great soccer legend, Sir Stanley Matthews, on the 100th anniversary of his birth.
THE LOOKING PLANET
Director: Eric Law Anderson
During the construction of the universe, a young member of the Cosmos Corps of Engineers decides to break some fundamental laws in the name of self-expression.
Director: Jacob Frey
Multi award winning story about a boy named Jake who spends most of his time playing video games indoors until his mum decides to give him a present.
WITHOUT A DOUBT - UK PREMIÈRE
Director: Gerald Guthrie
'Without a Doubt' is a digital animation that illustrates one variation of the 17th century philosopher Rene Descartes' view of the world. This time-based visual metaphor draws together Descartes' understanding of geometry, expressly the invention of the Cartesian co-ordinates (X,Y,Z), and his most famous statement, 'I think, therefore I am,' to create an introspective dimension within our own understanding.
PLUS THE BEST OF LA MIAFF
Manchester Film Festival is also proud to present a selection of short animated films from the Montreal International Animation Film Festival. The films to be shown are:
House of Unconciousness
CARING FOR THE RECENTLY DECEASED - UK PREMIERE
Director: Henry Davies
An all-star British cast featuring, Sue Johnston (The Royle Family, Downton Abbey), David Schofield (Gladiator, An American werewolf in London), Alex Ferns (Joyeux Noel), Melanie Walters (Gavin and Stacey, Submarine) Philip Philmar (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeny Todd), and Abigail Thaw (The Inbetweeners 2, Black Mirror) tell the hilarious and darkly moving story of suburban housewife Marjoram and her dying well served husband Glyn, who after finally passing away returns from the dead. The down trodden wife quickly finds a way to adjust to her new way of life, while Glyn finally steps into a role that suits him.
ONE WORD - WORLD PREMIERE
Director: Caleb Shaffer
Manchester born filmmaker Caleb Shaffer tells the relevant and emotional story of Sammi, a teenage African refugee, whose daily life is dominated by scenes of racism and rejection. Struggling to adapt to his new life, an opportunity for self-expression, which initially causes him to freeze with fear, is turned into the most powerful weapon against his bullies. An outstanding lead performance by unknown Joshua Okusanya will leave you wilting and sadly reflecting on a modern day observation of acceptance and understanding.
THE SPLIT - WORLD PREMIERE
Director: Ed Rigg
Mick, played by Edward Hogg (Anonymous, Jupiter Ascending), doesn't believe in fate and parallel universes. But a foul weather encounter with an esteemed professor is about to set him on a path which will make him wish he did. A stirring and brilliantly acted tale that depicts well-intended actions which bring unintended results.
Directors: Sonya Quayle Neil Mooney
Renowned British actress Gwen Taylor (Life of Brian) is ‘Margaret’ who with her beloved ‘Frank’ (Ricky Tomlinson-The Royle Family, Raining stones) on her side, has created a haven in her cosy home, where she offers comfort and advice with her tarot readings. A superbly acted, bittersweet film about hanging on to a warm and colourful past.
Director: Olly Williams
The new short film from Olly Williams, writer director of 2008s multi award winning short ‘The Black Hole’. Jack Doolan ( Cemetery Junction) stars as an uptight getaway driver, waiting outside a bank robbery, who has three nerve-shredding minutes to get through before his crew returns. All he has to do is focus. A funny, inventive and deftly crafted short story that will have you hooked from start to finish.
WHAT IF - WORLD PREMIERE
Director: Riza-Rocco Avasar
Part sci-fi fantasy, part cautionary tale about one young man’s visit to a modern day supermarket. A subtle brief about the oppressive experience of a mind that is unable to make a decision.
THE ANSWERS - EUROPEAN PREMIERE
Director: Michael Goode
Immediately after his death, the victim (Daniel Lissing- When Calls the Heart) of a car crash gets answers to every question he's ever had about his life, including the most important one of all - what did it all mean? A seamless and original short film that blends humour with a beating heart, beautifully.
EL HUECO - UK PREMIERE
Directors: Daniel Martín Rodríguez and Germán Tejada
A grief-stricken husband, who attempts to buy the plot next to his wife’s grave, goes to extreme lengths to ensure that he will be the one whom she spends eternity with, in this surreal comedy about jealousy and obsession.
BIS GLEICH - UK PREMIERE
Director: Benjamin Wolff
An unspoken connection between two elderly neighbors, who share a daily ritual but who have never actually met, deepens when they face the inevitable...together. Beautiful heartfelt story telling executed with patient perfection.
EVERYTHING WILL BE OK - UK PREMIERE
Director: Patrick Vollrath
A divorced father (Simon Schwarz- Silentium, North Face) picks up his eight year old daughter, Lea. It seems pretty much like every second weekend until after a while Lea can’t help but feel that something isn’t quite right with her increasingly agitated father. This powerful peace will have European cinema talking throughout 2015, about one of the most emotionally enthralling endings you are likely to see for a long time.
THE LAST LITTLE SHOW AT THE END OF THE WORLD - UK PREMIERE
Director: Rhys Edwards
The Last of the Entertainers invites us into his world and shares the secrets of his success along with the difficulties of being on the road and the challenges that such a life can bring. A tender story of a self-content life which is visualized with grace and intelligence.
DANCE OF THE PEOPLE - WORLD PREMIERE
Director: Marc Menish
A feast for the eyes and ears, this film introduces us to the ‘Green Grass Cloggers’ who have elevated precision clogging to new levels of dancing in unison while moving through figures. Twirling skirts and high kicks to the sound of old-time music, we dare you to try and remain still.
SUN VILLAGE - UK PREMIERE
Directors: Zoey Lee and Matthew Belbin
A moving documentary about a former policewoman who left her job to look after convicts’ children, saving them from a life on the streets and all the dangers they would be exposed to.
IT'S MY BIRTHDAY AND I'LL FLY IF I WANT TO - UK PREMIERE
Director: Morgana Muses
Morgana Muses is ready to experience flying while becoming art in this alluring confessional of a film where the heroine bares all in a process of introspection and self-discovery.
CODE OAKLAND - UK PREMIERE
MONUMENTING - EUROPEAN PREMIÈRE
Director: Kadri Koop
Mark Fontana is a third-generation gravestone maker in a small cemetery town where the population of the dead outnumbers the living. For the past 90 years, the Fontana's have monumented the lives of the Bay Area people. Surrounded by the work of his father and grandfather, Mark reflects on his family history and the idea of legacy. A lasting short film that is nostalgic and acutely observant.
IMPRISONED - WORLD PREMIÈRE
Director: Elise Vout
A neo-noir psychological thriller about an innocent man who finds himself imprisoned with a convicted criminal. An impressive and intelligent take on inner truths and confinement, Elise Vout is a filmmaker to look out for.
OPEN 24 HOURS - UK PREMIÈRE
Director: Henry Chaisson
A contract killer gets more than he bargained for after a pit-stop at the convenience store. Superbly executed, intense, gripping and delivered with the right dosage of wit. A real gem find in student filmmaking.
DARK WAS THE NIGHT - WORLD PREMIÈRE
Director: Sam McMullen
A teenage daughter, VIK, and her father, WYATT, eke out trapped lives aboard a crashed spaceship, separated from each other by a pane of glass. But Vik's beginning to get cryptic messages through her radio, messages that sound like they're coming from her mother, long thought dead in the crash. As her relationship with her caring but domineering father deteriorates, the messages increase in urgency, telling Vik to come outside. Soon, she'll have to make a choice she never wanted to - to step outside onto the planet's mysterious, dark surface. A riveting and well executed mystery that has you guessing and intrigued another film that will not disappoint.
INBETWEEN FRAMES - WORLD PREMIÈRE
Director Mariam Eqbal
In-Between Frames is a part of a series of works that are experimental and explore the fundamentals of animated motion through repetition. The work is an inquiry into the unlimited in-betweens of movement as it courses through time and space. I’m interested in repetition as the simple rule fundamental to the process through which complexity arises.
HORIZON - INTERNATIONAL PREMIÈRE
Director: Stephanie Barber
A brief poetic collage of 16mm home movie footage from Egypt in the 1950s, elements of Capra's "Lost Horizon" soundtrack and a small and frustrated boy. There is so much to say about Shangri-La. It is, like the horizon, always present, always out of reach. “You need not attach whistles to the wings of birds to locate it. It is right over there. Look”.
DESCENT - WORLD PREMIÈRE
Directors: Antoine Marc, Drew Cox
A man crawls to his death. Spilling out the essence of life, he envisions vivid memories to accompany his decline. A breath-taking delivery of movement within a powerful story.
SING THE SAND INTO PEARLS
Director: Raquel Claudino
Embraced in a dance of rebellion, ‘Sing The Sand Into Pearls’ tells the story of three women who escape from a self-centered society and celebrate genuinity in a hideaway ritual. Raquel Claudino debuts in a contemporary dance film, exploring the raw beauty of the performers across a city charged with history and mysticism. Set in Lisbon, a metropolis with flaws, they narrate their journey through a delicate dance that brings us all to a parallel sphere. An experimental project where international artists collaborate with the director to create a subtle but nonetheless daring narrative.
EMPEROR OF NOWHERE
Director: Gotti Sigurdarson
The video for Emperor Of Nowhere is powerful and eye-catching. Directed by Icelandic artist and director Gotti Sigurdarson, Norwegian artist Kate Havnevik’s long-term collaborator. Emperor Of Nowhere treads a dark path and is a beautifully sinister track with a matching video to go with it. Using uv-lights, uv-bodypaint and stop animation technique the singer morphs into different looks, and in the end she melts into the background as a part of an overgrown sinister tree. Emperor Of Nowhere and its inhabitant is engaging in an eerie way. “You're the emperor of nowhere and no one gets out alive from here”.
Director: Gueret Emilie
A darkly portrayed fairy tale adapted to the modern world. Uneasy and affecting music video that mixes quirky visuals and striking sounds in equal measures.
FRACTURES- 'IT'S ALRIGHT'
Director: Matthew Chuang
A man returns to a place he once called home. Nature and decay have taken over but the memories are still strong. He brings life back to Pripyat, Chernobyl - hoping to capture how it was and how it could have been. Haunting and mesmerising throughout this is a music video that needs to be seen.
4.32 minsDirectors: Double Ninja
Featuring music from ‘Brandy’ and ‘Niles Rodgers’ ‘Magic’ tells an exuberant visual story of the meeting between a gold queen and a silver king in a Baroque and Sci-fi universe.