Manchester Lift-Off Film Festival 2024
Network Round Shorts

Monday 8th - Sunday 14th April


Operation Magpie
Dir. Andonis Anthony, Rupert Hill
United Kingdom
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!


Stories We Could Have Told You
Dir. Darcy Miller
Synopsis:A mother's bedtime stories take on a surprising and moving life, as she and her daughter process the loss of her husband.


Dir. Oscar Garth
United Kingdom
Logline: 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.


Civil Servant
Dir. Serkan Bayrak
Logline: “Staatsdiener” describes the story of Christian and Thomas, who work for the city of Duisburg. They are ordered to go into the forest to inspect benches. The two hardly know each other and don't exactly harmonize well with each other. The decisions about the benches is affected. On their journey, they meet a homeless man who doesn't want to "vacate" his bench. Through philosophy of life, he opens up new ideas for both of them.


Pay Back
Dir. Steve Ramsden
United Kingdom
Logline: 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...


Blood From A Stone
Dir. Charles Humphreys
United Kingdom
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.


Dirs. Joel Porter, Alex Moore
United Kingdom
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.


Dir. Dawn Florinda Wall
Faroe Islands
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.


Dir. Florian Kasperski
United Kingdom
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.


Dir. Tim Kayll
United Kingdom
Synopsis: Trapped in a state of apathy, Kathryn lives an isolated existence, frequented by the memories of a little girl. When a familiar figure returns to visit her, it re-opens long unhealed wounds in this experimental film about loss.


Get up the yard
Dirs. Jose Ángel Catalán Ruiz, Mario Barsony
Synopsis: The documentary "Get Up the Yard" provides a captivating and intimate look into the life of a renowned painter from Cork. Infused with both humor and emotion, the artist narrates his personal journey, highlighting his extraordinary artwork that surpasses all expectations.


I Made War of the Worlds
Dir. Luke Walters
United Kingdom
Synopsis: After a down-and-out podcaster is fired due to a rapid decline in ratings, he turns his attention to the mass hysteria myth of the 1938 radio drama "The War of the Worlds" to get his career back on track. With the help of his more successful yet reluctant friend, and a naive waitress/wannabe actress with dreams of grandeur, the trio set out to recreate a hoax alien invasion to cause chaos, go viral, and bring them the fame and fortune they desire.


Dir. Emma Fine
United Kingdom
Synopsis: Sinnerman is a coming-of-age drama centred around two young Jewish men who face the tough decision of whether to embrace their secret relationship and leave their community, or end their relationship and marry the girls that their parents have chosen for them.


The People's Phoenix
Dir. Christopher Linton
United Kingdom
Synopsis: Trainee blacksmith Rhiannon Wilson is still learning the ropes, under the guidance of her friend and mentor, Stewart Dives. They have received a new commission from The People’s Theatre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne: the design and construction of a brand-new phoenix sculpture, to complete the theatre's community funded renovation project. As active members of the theatre, this commission means a lot to both Rhiannon and Stewart. However, the task is even more personal to Rhiannon, as she strives to forge a path for herself in this new, unusual career choice. ‘The People’s Phoenix’ celebrates the passion and creativity of a local community whilst also exploring the hardships of being a working-class artist.


Karma is a Hitch
Dir/Writer. Oliver Kahl
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.


Dir/Writer. Jamie shelton
United Kingdom
Synopsis: Dennis travels to the Isle of Man TT to reconnect with his brother Jason. The brothers engage with the roaring spectacle and are increasingly unable to runway from the past. Dennis must confront his grief but not without succumbing to Jason’s resentment.

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