Manchester Arena terror attack documentary being screened in the city on 5th anniversary of the bombing

A Manchester Story interviews people who were at the Ariana Grande concert on the night of the appalling atrocity and some of those whose loved ones were killed.

A documentary about the Manchester Arena terrorist attack and the aftermath of the shocking incident will be screened in the city on the fifth anniversary of the bombing.

A Manchester Story, directed by Anton Arenko and produced by Ste Bergin, is a full-length film featuring interviews with people who were at the Ariana Grande concert on that dreadful night in 2017, people who lost loved ones in the blast and those whose lives were affected by it.

The film will be shown at the Everyman cinema in Manchester five years on from the attack.

And it will also be streamed online for those who cannot make it into the city centre to watch it.

What is A Manchester Story and why was it made?

A Manchester Story was created by director Anton and producer Ste who are both from Stockport and went to the same college but only got to know one another when they both went to Surrey to study.

Ste described how seeing the shocking events at the Manchester Arena affected him while living in the south of England.

He said: “I was at uni at the time and I just remember being absolutely devastated and feeling like I needed to go home to support my family and my city.

“I felt useless being a broke student.

“I did come back up about two weeks later and the city hadn’t moved on or healed but that initial mourning period was over. I remember seeing on the news everyone paying their respects but when I went to the arena there was nothing there but wilted flowers and a single teddy bear.

“For me this film feels like a chance to rectify that.”

Anton initially came up with the idea of a short film project involving interviewing a couple of people who had either survived or been bereaved in the appalling terrorist attack which claimed 22 lives.

However, Ste said when Anton approached him with the idea he thought it should be a longer and more in-depth look at the subject than just a short film which he was worried would be put on a website like YouTube and then get forgotten about.

What are the topics covered in A Manchester Story?

The final film contains numerous interviews exploring the suicide bombing and its aftermath from a multitude of angles.

Figen Murray, the mother of Martyn Hett who was killed in the attack and has since campaigned for Martyn’s Law for better security at venues, features in the documentary.

The film also features Adam Lawler, who suffered serious injuries and required extensive hospital treatment and operations, Cath Hill who directs the Manchester Survivors Choir which contains people who were there on the night and use singing to aid their wellbeing and recovery and Michael Cox who arranged a huge convoy of motorcyclists to come to the arena and lay flowers.

The film-makers have interviewed numerous people who were there on the night or lost loved ones in the attack

Other interviewees include Sam Barber, a tattoo artist who started the idea of getting people to have the Manchester bee inked on them to raise money for those affected which turned into an enormous success.

Eve Senior, who was photographed being carried to safety with shrapnel in her leg,in a widely-used picture from the arena bombing, also speaks to the film-makers, as does Petra Jordan who set up support groups after realising how many young people at the school where she taught were at the concert.

Clint Boon, the Inspiral Carpets keyboardist and radio DJ, also speaks in the documentary.

What have the film-makers said about the documentary?

Ste says the main point of A Manchester Story is that it is ultimately a tale of rebuilding and resilience and a far more positive watch than might originally be assumed from a film about a terrorist attack.

He said: “We wanted an uplifting feeling of positivity even though it’s a really horrible subject matter.

“It’s about how people rebuilt their lives and have made something going out of something really bad. It’s about rebuilding lives for the better, as the people of Manchester have done.

“Everyone who has seen it so far has gone away smiling.”

A campaign to raise money for survivors by getting a tattoo of the Manchester bee was hugely successful

A Manchester Story has been screened a couple of times since Anton and Ste finished the editing process last year, but this will be its highest-profile public outing so far and Ste has spoken of his pride at it being shown on the day of the five-year anniversary.

He said: “It’s unreal to be part of the fifth anniversary. Everyone has worked so hard on this to make it happen: Anton, me, the crew, all the people who backed our Kickstarter.

“This feels like a fitting final send-off for the project.”

How can I see A Manchester Story?

A Manchester Story is being screened on Sunday 22 May, the fifth anniversary of the Manchester Arena bombing, at 2pm at the Everyman cinema Manchester St John’s on Quay Street.

All proceeds from the ticket sales are going to the charity We Love MCR.

The 92-minute film will be screened and then there will be a Q&A with director Anton. Find out more here.

In addition streaming service Paus will be showing the film from 2pm on Sunday for 48 hours. Sign up or find out more at the Eventbrite page here.