Cinema in Manchester and the North

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor

There are no shortage of film festivals for cinema fans to dig into this month. Organisers have had to adapt this year, but its a testament to their ingenuity that so many of our favourite festivals are returning in one form or another.

The BFI London Film Festival is up North properly this year, following last year’s wildly popular satellite screening of Peterloo at HOME. While much of the festival is available online, this time around they are also bringing a selection of brand new titles to HOME, Showroom and Everyman cinemas. Previews of the likes of Francis Lee’s Ammonite and Josephine Decker’s Shirley are amongst a host of exciting films on offer.

Sheffield Doc/Fest continues its hybrid programme, with online streaming offered alongside in-person events. Meanwhile, the local heroes behind Grimmfest have arranged an entirely online festival packed with the kinds of horrors that have made it such a success. Also online, Manchester Animation Festival returns with a programme suitable for families, animation buffs, industry professionals and enthusiasts alike.

We are so grateful to National Lottery players, The National Lottery, DCMS and Arts Council England for supporting our freelance writers during this crisis. This means that, although venues remain shut and campaigns cancelled, our writers can be reengaged to help arts organisations and artists across the North of England share their online content with our culture-hungry readers.

Here are our picks

More in Cinema

Cinema Until 31 March 2021, from £9.99

Portrait of a Lady on Fire – Streaming on Mubi

Brittany, France 1770. Portrait painter Marianne (Merlant) is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse (Haenel), a reluctant bride to be who has just left the convent.

Dogs Don't Wear Pants at HOME Manchester.
Cinema Until 20 March 2021, from £9.99

Dogs Don’t Wear Pants – Streaming on Curzon Home Cinema

Heart surgeon Juha has lived life at an unengaged distance since his wife’s passing. And although it is often debilitating, his grief also throws up some rather surprising sexual urges.

System Crasher at HOME, Manchester - director Nora Fingscheidt's distinctive depiction of dysfunction in an under-resourced care system.
Cinema Until 2 April 2021, from £9.99

System Crasher – Streaming on Curzon Home Cinema

Controversial from the moment it premiered in Competition at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival, documentarian Nora Fingscheidt’s fiction feature debut portrays the life of a chaotic and troubled young girl.

Cinema Until 22 November 2020, from £8

Cancelled: Vintage Hitchcock at FACT

Picturehouse at FACT presents a season of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest hits, as they invite audiences to submit to the slick charms and dark obsessions of cinema’s master of suspense.

Cinema Until 29 October 2020, from £5

One Man and His Shoes at HOME

British filmmaker Yemi Bamiro looks stateside as he surveys the Nike Air Jordan phenomenon.

Activity 29 October 2020 6:00 pm,

The Black Mirror: Representations of race in the horror film

Join podcaster Esther Lisk-Carew and guests as they discuss representations of race in the new wave of socially conscious black film making, within the horror genre.

Cinema 30–31 October 2020, from £10

Grimmfest Halloween Horror Nights

Manchester’s Grimmfest have curated two nights of blood, gore, monsters and mayhem for film fans to enjoy from home.

Culture Guides


With galleries finally back open, there’s an abundance of stellar offline exhibitions to satisfy those keen to get back to seeing art in the flesh.

Makefest At Home


Need some inspiration for online activities and creative family fun? Look no further than our top picks online for families across Manchester and the North.

Author Lucie McKnight Hardy


From book launches to festival readings and open mics to creative writing workshops, activities and events in Live Literature Land continue virtually as mochas and pints have to accompany substantial meals, not just a garibaldi or a bag of Monster Munch.

Jon Gomm


Discover the best upcoming music events taking place on a stage or a screen near you.

Theatre in Manchester. Image courtesy of RashDash.


Whether you’re looking to get wrapped up and catch an outdoor show or stay home and watch some digital performance – our guide to theatre in Manchester has got you covered.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Higher Ground

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

For the October guide, we’ve found the very best Food and Drink in Manchester and the North to explore, despite the introduction of the 10 pm curfew.

Isolation Broadcast

Online events

Discover the best things to do online from the organisations we love in Manchester and the North.

tours and activities

Tours and Activities

Embrace your creative side or find out what local activists have been up to this year in this month’s guide of Tours and Activities.