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Winners & Special Mentions: Manchester Lift-Off Film Festival 2021

A massive thank you to everyone who participated in the Manchester Lift-Off Film Festival 2021. It's been absolutely fantastic having so many filmmakers involved and seeing the global support for true indie film...

The judges' votes have been counted and added to the audience's feedback. Huge congratulations to the filmmakers who screened with us!  A special well done to the following films...


Festival Winners

Best Short Film

(next screening with Lift-Off in Manchester 2022)

Marginalized Nation

Dir. Francisco Alberto Galan S
Synopsis: "Marginalized Nation" is a tribute to Colombian presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan, 30 years after his assassination, and it seeks to give voice to the vulnerable communities that he fought to dignify and empower. In one of the regions most affected by the armed conflict in Colombia, a group of rural people made a peace agreement that few saw possible. In a context of violence against thousands of politicians and social leaders, what is the legacy of Galan and these leaders who are no longer with us? How can the country move forward?

Best Short Film

(next screening with Lift-Off in Manchester 2022)

Pointe Black

Dir. Rebecca Murray
Synopsis: Marie-Astrid Mence has been a member of Ballet Black since 2014—a seminal dance company formed of Black and Asian performers who astound audiences with displays of balletic beauty and power. Mence’s journey to becoming their Senior Artist, however, had a turbulent beginning in her hometown of Paris. In this documentary profile comprised of prose and pirouettes, Mence narrates her uncomfortable journey from adolescent to ballerina and her struggles in an industry that fails to see past her skin colour

Season Award Nominations

The Lift-Off Season Awards is an annual event which celebrates the very best of indie film. Following each Lift-Off film festival, films which have excelled in their respective category are nominated and invited to attend the prestigious Lift-Off Season Awards, culminating at the end of the Lift-Off season. Click here for more information about the Lift-Off Season Awards.

Samos The Faces of our Border

Dir. Shams Abou El Enein
Synopsis: At the border of the Schengen Area, international laws and conventions forced thousands of people to live in inhuman camps.
One of them is the « hotspot » of Samos, on the island that has the same name. Focusing on the people in and around this migrant camp, built for 600 persons and where more that 6000 live now, it also gives an insight on the European politics that have led to this catastrophic situation.

Nominated for Best Feature

Audience Choice

The Audience Choice award is given to the filmmakers whose film received the most votes during the festival. The filmmakers will be invited to join us on the Lift-Off YouTube channel for a directors commentary roundtable. Join in the conversation as we delve deeper into each film.

Hel Questioning Out Loud 01

Dir. Carolina Kzan
Synopsis: Hel, a non-binary independent researcher and performer and Carolina, a filmmaker and photographer, have known each other for years. One day, Hel asks Carolina to take some pictures of zir as a way to record zir gender transition path. However, what was supposed to be a photo shoot ends up becoming an honest and sweet record of Hel's questions and points of view in relation to zir experiences on gender spectrum.

The Yellow Queen - a road movie

Dir. Lucio Arisci
Synopsis: one-way journey from Koln (Germany) to Bamako (Mali),crossing Europe and then the biggest desert of our planet: 7200 kilometers.
A journey whose protagonists are a 12-meters-long yellow bus and its driver, Christian, a German giant with a passion for traveling and mechanics. Since 2012 he has been delivering the indestructible Mercedes O303 coaches to Mali to give them a second life.

The Intimate Touch

Dirs. Michael Støen, Ariel McMillion
Synopsis: At a seaside restaurant, a conservative Muslim refugee meets a deeply feminist reporter for dinner. Officially, he’s a source, and this is business. But what’s really on their minds is the intense attraction they felt last week when they first met, despite a clash over his religious refusal to shake her hand. Tonight is a chance to pursue that attraction, if only they can navigate their convictions.

absence | presence

Dir. Christina Bennett
Synopsis: A girl makes a return journey through a now uninhabited house, filled with memory.