Manchester Film Festival returns in March with a nine-day programme of features and shorts by filmmakers from all over the world. This will be the festival’s ninth edition, and will take place at the Odeon Great Northern from 10-19 March.
The feature film line-up includes six world premieres and 17 UK premieres of films that have already seen success at some of the world’s leading festivals, such as Sundance, Toronto, Cannes and the Berlinale. There are also some big names among the films’ cast lists, including Nicolas Cage, Timothy Spall, Minnie Driver and Juliet Rylance.
As in previous years, the festival will showcase local up-and-coming filmmakers. Of the 140 short films showing at the festival, 32 hail from the North West – more than ever before in the festival’s history.
Alongside the screenings, festival goers have the opportunity to learn about the filmmaking process at Q&A sessions with cast and crew, and there is also a series of industry workshops for budding filmmakers.
What films are showing at Manchester Film Festival?
Kicking off the Manchester Film Festival is the UK premiere of Rye Lane, which had its world premiere at Sundance in January. It follows a day in the life of two young South Londoners, who meet by chance and connect over bad breakups and their lost faith in romance.
Among the festival’s six world premieres is A Kind of Kidnapping, starring Stockport actress Kelly Wenham and Wait for Me by Manchester-based production company Old Hall Films, which is about a young woman forced into a life of crime after moving from Ireland to England.
Bolan’s Shoes, starring Timothy Spall (Harry Potter, Mr. Turner), will also be premiering at the festival. Set in Liverpool and spanning 50 years, from the seventies to present day, it tells the story of T-Rex-obsessed kids and the car accident that changed their lives. Renowned music video director Emil Nava, who has worked with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Eminem, Calvin Harris will also be premiering her debut featuring Snorkeling, about young love and hallucinogenic drugs.
Anyone who grew up watching the MTV shows of the early noughties may also want to check out the world premiere of documentary feature Road to Excess. It follows the former stars of Dirty Sanchez, which was the UK’s answer to Jackass, and how the show impacted their lives.
There are some exciting films among the UK premieres, too. Antonia Thomas, star of TV show Misfits and Proclaimers musical Sunshine on Leith, produces and stars in horror Anacoreta, and Sinister’s Juliet Rylance stars alongside Ozark’s Tom Pelphry in family drama JIL - Life Will Never Find You. Another one to look out for is Everything I Ever Wanted to Tell My Daughter About Men, a collection of 23 stories directed by 23 different women, made in support of Survivors of Abuse.
If it is big names you want, you can catch the Manchester premiere of Butcher’s Crossing which stars Hollywood royalty Nicolas Cage and tells the story of a Harvard dropout who joins a group of buffalo herders. But if your tastes are more experimental, there’s Hello Dankness, a film made entirely out of hundreds of pirated films.
The lineup also has 15 short film sessions, including North West shorts and animated shorts. The full program can be found on the Manchester Film Festival website.
How to get tickets
There are three different pass options. A five-screening pass costs £28, the 10-screening pass costs £50 and full festival pass is £90.
Unlike last year, you must have a ticket to the screening in order to attend. Once you have purchased your passes, you can then book the individual screenings online. More information can be found on the festival website.