Manchester Film Festival’s successful inaugural event concluded with a glittering awards ceremony to celebrate the best of the festival. The festival celebrated the best independent cinema from around the world, in the creative hub of the North of England – Manchester.
The first event of its kind took place at the AMC Manchester Great Northern Warehouse over the weekend of July 10th–12th, with the awards being announced and presented on the final evening. The awards event was held at the glamorous Manchester235 Casino in front of an esteemed audience made up of international film industry professionals and independent film makers.
Showcasing features, shorts and documentaries, the festival’s ambition is to become a world leader within the international film making community, championing great story-telling that translates brilliantly onto the big screen.
Manchester Film Festival was chosen as the venue for many UK premiers including Two Down, Executively produced by Stephen Fry and Sir Derek Jacobi, and the world premiere of Hisao Kurosawa’s Many Beautiful Things featuring the vocal talents of Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery and Indiana Jones’ John Rhys-Davies.
All films shown during the festival were in the running to compete for a variety of awards known as “The Bees”, named after the worker bee – the adopted motif of Manchester, symbolic of the city’s global influence during the industrial revolution. Only 20 films were chosen to receive one of the coveted accolades including Best Actor, Best Director and Film of the Festival.
Voting for each category was undertaken by a jury made up of film industry experts and influencers.
Festival Directors Neil Jeram-Croft and Al Bailey said: “Manchester has always been famous as a cultural destination with a strong influence on music and film, so we’re pleased that the first Manchester Film Festival has had such a positive response. The audiences really got behind the spirit of the festival by supporting this unique selection of excellent independent films.
“We have already attracted the attention of many established industry professionals who have expressed an interest in coming to our second event in 2016 and this year’s Bees recognise the high quality of independent cinematic talent we have presented during the festival.”
Film of the festival – Desert Cathedral
Best dramatic Feature film – Desert Cathedral
Best dramatic short – Everything will be OK
Best Director – Sergi Perez (The Long Way Home)
Best Screenplay –Alexander Thomas (Beverly)
Best Actress – Julia Pointner (Everything will be OK)
Best Actor- Borja Espinosa (The Long Way Home)
Best cinematography – Love is Now
Best edit – Touch
Best UK Film – Two Down
Best documentary short – Dance of the people
Best documentary feature – American Native
Best Experimental film – Sing the Sand into Pearls
Best music video – Vertiginous Hole
Best Student film – Dark was the Night
Best score – Is This the Real World
Staff Pick – Buskin’ Blues
Audience Award – Caring for the Recently Deceased
Best International Film – Samma Som Du
Best Animation – Coyote and the Rock
Best Production – The Imago
Screenplay competition Winner – Zivot Za Vodou