Festival founder Neil Jeram-Croft picks his favourites from this year's line-up

It may not be Cannes, or Sundance, but they had to start somewhere, right? And Manchester Film Festival (1-4 March) is making all the right moves and noises. 

With over 100 features and shorts from local and international directors hitting the screens at Odeon Great Northern in 2018, the fourth edition of the festival will also boast numerous UK and world premieres, plus appearances from Fury and Transformers star, Shia LaBeouf, Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Damascus Cover) and Hollywood actress Kate Bosworth - who will be promoting arthouse film NONA.

Here festival co-founder Neil Jeram-Croft picks five of his favourites from this year's line-up.

Can’t Say Goodbye – 1pm – Saturday 3rd March – UK PREMIERE (Spanish with English subtitles)

With Can’t Say Goodbye, Manchester Film Festival hosts the UK Premiere of the latest from Spanish director Lino Escalera. The film is a character study of a woman, Carla, who receives a phone call informing her that her estranged father has just months to live. She takes him to Barcelona in an attempt to save his life, whilst the trip exposes truths, lies and honesty of a father-daughter relationship.

Love is Dead – 6:15pm - Friday 2nd March – UK PREMIERE (French with English subtitles)

Love is Dead is the latest from Eric Capitaine, a French director making his MANIFF debut. Starring Benjamin Lavernhe as Mathias Lonisse, an entrepreneur behind the “Love is Dead” business which takes care of break-ups. The narrative kick-starts when his mother requests a break-up with his father and Mathias’ conflict comes to a head.

Damascus Cover – 7:45pm – Saturday 3rd March – UK PREMIERE

Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Match Point, The Tudors, Vikings) stars alongside John Hurt in the late actors’ final film. A drama set around the Middle East, featuring a spy, Ari Ben-Zion, tasked with smuggling a chemical weapons scientist out of Syria. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is attending the screening and taking part in a Q&A.

Buckout Road – 5:25pm – Saturday 3rd March

Danny Glover stars alongside Evan Ross in a film from Mathew Currie Holmes based around a college class project gone wrong. In this film, the class discover that evil urban legends which dwell on New York’s famous Buckout Road might be more real than they had ever expected.

Silk Road – 4.35pm – Sunday 4th March (Dutch with English subtitles)

A story about the infamous dark web website Silk Road. A twenty-year-old girl gets caught up in the drug trade whilst getting to know a charismatic new neighbour. The narrative unfolds into a dangerous game involving dodging police, mingling with criminals and huge secrets.

For full information, further announcements and to book tickets and passes please visit www.maniff.com