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5th March 2021

Manchester International Film Festival 2021: Preview

Manchester International Film Festival comes back in 2021 with a new selection of world and UK premieres.
Manchester International Film Festival 2021: Preview
Photo: Louise Haywood-Schiefer @ Wikimedia Commons

Manchester International Film Festival, the city’s biggest film festival, is coming back for its 2021 edition. The lineup consists of over 130 films, which will be screened from the 11th to the 14th of March. The selection includes 10 narrative features, 9 documentary features, and 14 sets of shorts (narrative, animated and documentary).

Unfortunately, due to current restrictions, the festival cannot take place in ODEON Northern Quarter. Therefore, the festival’s films will be screened through an online platform, Filmocracy. The tickets for individual screenings will be priced at £3.50 and £19.50 for a full weekend pass.

The undeniable highlight of the festival is Infinitum: Subject Unknown, starring Sir Ian McKellen. It’s a sci-fi mystery film, telling the story of Jane (Tori Butler-Hart), who is trapped in a world with endless possibilities to which she has to find access before she is destined to repeat the same test over and over again.

MANIFF 2021 will be the host of four other world feature premieres. The first one of them, Country of Hotels, tells the stories of desperate souls passing through the doors of one of the rooms of a decaying hotel. Dead In October follows two dysfunctional friends who are awaiting the end of the world in a country house.

The remaining two world premieres are Brazilian films. The Battle of Shangri-La delves into the deepest part of Brazil, showing a man’s journey to find his biological mother. The second Brazilian premiere, Vultures, shows the world of a graffiti tagger and an art graduate student.

The narrative feature films which will have their British premiere at MANIFF 2021 include iGilbert, a film about a 39-year-old lonely man dreaming about saving his neighbour from her abusive partner, as well as Fugitive Dreams, telling the story of two drifters’ unlikely partnership in their journey across American Midwest.

Manchester Film Festival will host many more international premieres across its twelve narrative shorts sessions, which include North West Shorts session, a selection of short films highlighting the greatest talents among local filmmakers.

Moreover, MANIFF’s documentary selection includes features on the subjects of sport, technology, art, and society. Three world premieres are included in the selection, the first one being The Great Circus, following the story of building the Chimelong Theatre and rehearsals for the opening show.

MANIFF alumni Guillame Levil returns to the festival with The Trousers Issue, telling the stories of three men’s vasectomies. Domenico Zazzara’s Paperman is about a cardboard sculptor James Lake and his travel to Italy to The International Biennal of paper art.

Apart from the aforementioned films, the 2021 edition of Manchester Film Festival has many other films waiting to be discovered. All the films will screen on the set date, just as they would in cinema. We hope to see you all at the festival!

The official MANIFF 2021 selection can be accessed here.

Michal Wasilewski

Michal Wasilewski

Managing Editor of Culture for The Mancunion.

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