Manchester Film Festival Is Returning With Features Starring Simon Pegg and Maxine Peake

Laura Rogan Laura Rogan - Editor of Secret Manchester

Manchester Film Festival Is Returning With Features Starring Simon Pegg and Maxine Peake

MANIFF is back for 2020, with an incredible line-up for film fans to enjoy!

Last year’s showcase featured some huge talent in the industry, including fan-favourite documentary Little Miss Sumo, by director Matt Kay, which was picked up for distribution by Netflix. This year is set to be even bigger with the line-up including huge actors such as Simon Pegg, Juno Temple, and Greater Manchester’s very own Maxine Peake.

Taking place at the ODEON in the Great Northern Warehouse, this year’s festival will showcase over 170 films from filmmakers across the globe – with screenings, Q&A’s and more taking place from 7-15 March.

Here are some of this year’s highlights:

Lost Transmissions

Credit: Royal Road Entertainment

Starring Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) and Juno Temple (Killer Joe, Maleficent), Lost Transmissions follows a music producer who comes off his Schizophrenia medication while his friends try to track him down to commit him to a psychiatric hospital. The movie reveals the issues with the current mental health care system and will see Simon Pegg further diversify his career in this independent film. The film has so far seen positive reception from critics and was showcased at the Tribeca Film Festival and the American Film Festival.

It’s Me

Credit: Helen Randag via MANIFF

One of two shorts starring Maxine Peake, It’s Me will premiere at MANIFF for the first time in the UK. The 15-minute short is a “dark tale of a game that cannot be sustained”, and follows a mother over the course of one evening who remembers moments of the game she played with her son. The short also stars young actor Barney Harris, who has been cast in Amazon’s upcoming adaptation of The Wheel of Time series.


The second short featuring Maxine Peake, Judy will be premiering at MANIFF for the first time ever in a world premiere and is a story of a mother’s struggle with telling her children she has cancer. The trailer showcases the dramatic, emotional rollercoaster that viewers are in store for during the premiere, and could be one of Peake’s most heartfelt performances yet.


Credit: Matt Greenhalgh via MANIFF

Directed by Matt Greenhalgh who wrote the Ian Curtis biopic, Control, She is a five-minute short starring Scottish actress Abigail Lawrie (Tin Star), and follows a young woman struggling with the voices in her head as she decides whether to commit suicide or accept who she really is. This will be the world premiere for the dark short.

Write When You Get Work

Starring Finn Wittrock (American Horror Story) and Emily Mortimer (Mary Poppins Returns, Harry Brown), Write When You Get Work is set in New York City and describes itself as a “story about money, mischief, love and entitlement”. Viewers are in for some drama with the plot following Ruth (Mortimer) and Jonny (Wittrock) who cross paths after years apart, with Jonny just as consumed with Ruth as he was during their teens. Watch the trailer below.

The full schedule is now available and tickets can be purchased from MANIFF’s website now.