Manchester International Film Fest reveals line-up

Today Manchester International Film Festival announced its official selection for its second edition, which includes features and shorts starring the likes of James Franco, Charles Dance, Martin Freeman, Maxine Peake and John Hurt

Feature by News Team | 07 Jan 2016

This year's Manchester International Film Festival will kick off with the international premiere of Dennis Viollet – A United Man. Directed by Viollet’s daughter, Rachel Viollet, the film is an intimate portrait of the late 'Busby Babe' and the likes of Alex Ferguson, Brian Robson, Dennis Law and Nobby Stiles all feature in the film, giving their thoughts on the former Manchester United and England striker.

For festival co-founder and programmer Al Bailey, it’s the perfect film to open the festival. “Dennis Viollet – A United Man a truly international story about a Manchester legend,” he says. “It's a portrait of a boy born in Fallowfield, Manchester, who survived the Munich air crash and went on to become not only the captain of Manchester United but also the first British footballer to pioneer the sport worldwide and bring 'soccer' to the US.”

As well as opening the festival, Dennis Viollet – A United Man will also screen as part of a ‘Sports Super Sunday’ line-up on 6 March at the AMC. Celebrating the Olympic year, the sports films strand also includes Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang in Pyongyang from Manchester filmmaker Colin Offland; No Limits, the story of para-cyclist and racing driver Alex Zanardi; Northern Limits, a narrative feature set against the backdrop of the 2002 Japan/South Korea World Cup; and Broke, the story of an Australian rugby league star who has fallen on hard times.

There’ll also be a music-themed day headed up by the world premiere of Vince Giordano – There’s a Future in the Past, a documentary about the Brooklyn born jazz musician responsible for the music in numerous Woody Allen films; Giordano will be in attendance and will perform alongside Manchester’s Mart Rodger’s Jazz band. Another must see in this music strand is Lunar Orbit, a documentary about British electronic music group The Orb. Both screenings will be accompanied by music-themed shorts from the official short film selection – watch this space for further live music events to be announced.

The third theme of the festival is dedicated to inspiring women in film and is epitomised by closing film There Should be Rules, a Scandinavian coming-of-age drama directed by Linda Maria Birbeck. The closing night will also see the festival dish out its Manchester Bee awards for categories including best short film and best feature film.

The full list of over 90 films and details of ticket availability can be found at, where you can also find updates on special events, news and further announcements.

Manchester International Film Festival will run 3-6 March in a trio of venues across the city – HOME, AMC Manchester and the Odeon Printworks