Manchester Film Festival brings an exclusive programme of new cinema to Odeon, Great Northern for its fifth edition this week. Featuring over 150 titles, there’s a mix of narrative and documentary features, short films, music videos and virtual reality experiences. Head of programming, Al Bailey explains, “this year’s line-up is the perfect example of what we set out to achieve five years ago – a showcase of the most eclectic independent films from around the world.”
The festival opens on Saturday 2 March with actor Dev Patel in Hotel Mumbai — a retelling of the 2008 Mumbai hostage situation at the Taj Hotel. Other high profile screenings include world premieres of Mark Young’s Limbo in which James Purefoy plays Lucifer, and Northern-set film The Runaways, about three siblings on the run from social services. We’re excited to see closing film Meeting Gorbachev, the latest from legendary German director, Werner Herzog, who is the subject of documentary Ballad of a Righteous Merchant, also screening at the festival.
This year sees the introduction of a retrospective programme, focussing on films with connections to previous festival alumni. We’re sure that there’s an audience ready to revisit Shia LaBeouf in Holes, but be sure to take the opportunity to catch a rare screening of Todd Haynes’ glam rock opus Velvet Goldmine. As in previous years there will be cast and crew Q&As after festival screenings, whilst at Manchester Studios, audiences can get up close with a series of Filmmaking Studios aimed at industry folk and budding filmmakers.