Network Round Winners: Manchester Lift-Off Film Festival 2024

Thank you to all the filmmakers who participated in the 2024 Manchester Lift-Off Film Festival!
The festival platformed hundreds of films, each project worthy of recognition and celebration. We want to extend a giant thank you to everyone who took part and a special congratulations to all the incredible talent that went into making these projects.
The judges' scores have been combined with the audience's choices, and after careful scrutiny, it's our pleasure to announce the Manchester Lift-Off Film Festival winners!

Winners: Manchester Network Round Shorts


Dir, Writer, Producer. Oscar Garth

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Genre: Short

Synopsis:A seemingly innocent TV commercial for a family-friendly recycling bin becomes increasingly bizarre when the father decides to recycle more than just household waste.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Short Live Action Narrative, Best Art Direction, Best Post-Production



Dir. Joel Porter, Alex Moore
Writer. Joel Porter
Producer. Joel Porter, Alex Moore

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Genre: Short Documentary

Synopsis:A short documentary about tall bicycles. Frankenbiking celebrates the fun, silliness and creativity of tall bikes, exploring why people build them and why people react to the new and unusual.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Short Documentary


Pay Back

Dir & Writer. Steve Ramsden
Producers. Steve Ramsden, Phil Harker

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Genre: Short, Thriller, Crime, Mystery

Synopsis:A wealthy property developer goes to the top floor of an art gallery to pay the ransom for his kidnapped son. But when the lift mysteriously stops halfway up the building, he must quickly work out if the young man he is trapped with is just an innocent tourist – or the kidnapper...

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Director


Operation Magpie

Dirs. Andonis Anthony, Rupert Hill
Writer. Rupert Hill
Producers. Andonis Anthony, Rupert Hill

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Genre: Comedy, crime, drama

Synopsis:In present day Manchester two detectives are staking out the home of a notorious criminal mastermind but all is not as it seems in this twisting dark comedy which shines a light on police corruption and climate change!

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Actor (Rupert Hill)


Karma is a Hitch

Dir & Writer. Oliver Kahl
Producers. Ben Blaskovic, Claude Koenig

Country of Origin: Germany
Genre: Dramedy, Romance, Mystery

Synopsis:On the last day of his life, Björn is unexpectedly visited by his soul. The good news: This is not his last round. But to make sure Björn doesn't screw things up again with his big love Vicky in the next life, he has just until tonight to untie the karmic knot with her.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Acting Ensemble



Dir & Writer. Florian Kasperski
Producer. Nathan Matthew Legger

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Genre: Short Drama

Synopsis:A group of students with learning disadvantages break into school to erase all grades before their final submission – Ocean’s 11 meets The Breakfast Club.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best First-Time Filmmaker


Farvæl (Goodbye)

Dir. Dawn Florinda Wall
Song by. Hanna Elisa Oladóttir Arge
Producers. Hanna Elisa Oladóttir Arge, Frederik Pagh

Country of Origin: Faroe Islands
Genre: Music Video

Synopsis:Farvæl is a Faroese song about grief.
We have all felt grief and most of us have lost someone we care about. When it hits, we often get paralyzed and have a hard time functioning. The song “Farvæl” translates the words and the mood of grief into song and with that it communicates what can be so hard to say, when we are faced with a loss. The music video compliments the song and tells the tale of a person going on the journey from the paralyzed state to slowly returning to her everyday life, despite having lost a loved one.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Music Video


Blood From A Stone

Dir & Writer. Charles Humphreys
Producers. Jordon Scott Kennedy, Casey Bernice Shaw

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Genre: Surrealism, experimental, Short, animation

Synopsis:This surreal animated short film follows a young boxer 'Lyndon "BEEFY" Skinner', who battles to cut weight as he struggles with his eating disorder and body dysmorphia. In this boxing film, the weight cut is the real fight. Blood From A Stone is an Idle Work Factory Production By Charles Humphreys.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Animation


Winners: Manchester Network Round Features


Dir. Tim Shaughnessy
Writers. Alma Kaplan, Laura Bygum
Producer. Pernille Kristiansen

Country of Origin: Denmark
Genre: Feature, Drama, Comedy

Synopsis:When Oliver learns that his girlfriend, who disappeared without notice 7 months ago, has appeared on the other side of the country, he decides to leave immediately in search of answers and perhaps to save their relationship. The only problem is that he has to look after his no-bullshit 8-year-old brother, whom he then has to force along on the trip.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Feature Live Action Narrative


Letters from the Blue

Dirs, Writers & Producers. Nick Calori, Nico Sersale

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Genre: Feature Documentary

Synopsis:A documentary investigating how inmates, from their cells on Death Row, help penpals outside in their daily struggles. Through the words of the protagonists and their letters, we experience these meaningful, intimate relationships where dramatic, blood-drenched life stories mesh with every day domestic trivialities.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Feature Documentary


15th Annual Lift-Off Season Awards

The Lift-Off Season Awards is an annual event that celebrates the very best of indie film. Following each Lift-Off film festival, films that have excelled in their respective category are short listed for a Season Awards Nomination.  At the end of the year, once all the 12 city-based festival have taken place, the shortlisted nominated films are reviewed again by the jury and Official Nominations are designated.  Click here for more information about the Lift-Off Season Awards.