The Manchester International Film Festival 2015


The Manchester International Film Festival is the first one in Manchester city and has now created a legacy for itself. Neil and Al are the two formidable attractive young entrepreneurial founders of the Manchester International Film Festival. Together they have gone from teaching Physics and script writing to showcasing worldwide premiers and films, some of which aren’t even commissioned for a UK cinema release. These are two men with the same goal. They have set the president for what can and should be achieved for a major city like Manchester.

Neil, the former physics teacher, having had a mixed experience taking his own film to festivals was the decider in knowing he could do it better. He is very much the business minded entrepreneur. Festivals should be about the film makers and getting as many people to see the film, “getting it out there”. This was his challenge he decided to take on.
His favourite film: City of God and Toy Story
Al is the thinker, deep and introspective. Much more informative, Al tells you a story in contrast to the succinct factual dialogue I have with the endearing Neil. Since his first screenplay written 3 years ago, “did well in the circuit.” Managing international distribution in the USA; he has steadily been perfecting his craft.
Top 4 films – as he thought too much and couldn’t be held to just one either:
It’s a Wonderful Life
City of God (great that they are alike)
Rocky (the original and in his opinion the best love story of all time)
Back to the Future (no explanation required).
In conclusion, they are pleased with the result of the festival. Al sincerely wants growth for the festival. “This is the first one. Let’s go for it next time, bigger and better.” Well in regards to bigger and better, having to sit through 1117 films including shorts was a necessity of the beast. No film was put up on the screens without it being confirmed by both Neil and Al. titles such as Two Down, Desert Cathedral and Not My Day were the highlights.
Both from the Manchester area. They really relied upon the local support. Favours are what favours do. They lucked out with some great sponsors including AMC cinemas, Krombacher, Malmaison Hotels, Uber and All Star Lanes. This festival has come about 7 months in the making, 1117 films watched (I felt it pertinent to repeat this figure, with only 71 available to watch over the 3 days). 2 men and a mission. Their desire is to make the festival greater and for me it was definitely a well organised great show.