submissions open

Submissions are now open for the Manchester Film Festival 2020.

Manchester Film Festival is a truly independent film festival, committed and dedicated to showcase the works of 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 its original ethos and promise of selecting films from open submissions.

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The Manchester Film Festival 2020 categories are...


  • Run time of over 45 minutes

  • Must be able to qualify as a British film using the BFI criteria.

Documentary Features

  • Run time of over 45 minutes.


  • Run time of between 1 and 45 minutes.

Documentary shorts

  • Run time of between 1 and 45 minutes.

Music videos

  • No more than 10 minutes in length.

  • Can be for independent or established artist.


International NARRATIVE Features

  • Run time of over 45 minutes


  • Run time of between 1 and 45 minutes.

student films

  • Run time of between 1 and 45 minutes. Features must be submit to the relevant category.

  • Films in a language other than English must be subtitled in English

  • Must have been completed while attending a recognised film school.


  • Run time of between 1 and 45 minutes. Features must be submit to the relevant category.

Experimental Films



Please submit early to save on submission fees. Your online screener must be ready for viewing by the following dates to meet the respective deadline: 

  • 30th April 2019: Super Earlybird Deadline

  • 11th June 2019: Earlybird Deadline

  • 3rd September 2019: Regular Deadline

  • 5th November 2019: Late Deadline

  • 31st December 2019: Extended Deadline


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:


The 6th Manchester Film Festival will take place from 7th 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. 
- 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.

4. 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.

5. Film Classification
All films screened during the Manchester Film Festival receive an age rating that is decided by the Manchester City Council.

6. Submission Fee
All FilmFreeway submissions for Manchester Film Festival are to be paid by credit card. The submission fee is non-refundable.

7. 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

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

9. Notification
Manchester Film Festival endeavours 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.

10. 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. 
A selected DCP or video file must be received at Manchester Film Festival no later than TWENTY days prior to its scheduled screening date.

11. 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.