“Preparation” takes Director’s Choice award at first ever IndieFlicks event

Here’s the inconvenient truth about film festivals: they are costly to enter.

You can pay up to $80 to submit your film to a big festival (which usually buys you a politely worded rejection email). For cash-strapped filmmakers, that’s pretty steep.

The IndieFlicks Festival in Manchester plans to change that.  The festival – in it’s first year – is free to enter, with monthly screenings at the über-cool co-working space Ziferblat.

We were lucky to have our short film Preparation take the Director’s Choice award at the opening event – thank you, Manchester!

All in all, IndieFlicks feels like a breath of fresh air on the festival circuit – so I wanted to find out more.

I chatted with festival co-founder John Pank about the philosophy behind the event.

Ziferblat cafe

Quirky and cool: Ziferblat Cafe in Manchester hosts Indieflicks monthly screenings


There are many indie festivals out there already – why did you decide to start IndieFlicks?

As filmmakers ourselves, budget limited the number festivals we could submit to.

We found submission fees to be grossly overpriced, despite how prestigious some festivals are.

Why should those who can’t afford to share their film be held back?

Our free-to-nominal submission fees allow any filmmaker to share their work and offers them a platform to display their talent and build a creative network.

“I can’t think of anywhere else I can go to see such a variety of quality films.”

Tell me about the monthly screening format, and why you chose this approach.

Nowhere else can you go to see such a variety of international short films, of any genre and length, and of the quality we select.

Each month there are two award winners, which are entered into our annual festival. This is the grand prize!

What was the best moment from the first event?

Simple: the audience’s feedback. One comment I remember clearly: “I can’t think of anywhere else I can go to see such a variety of quality films”.

Ziferblat Garden

Tell me a bit about the location.

We chose a new quirky cafe, Ziferblat. This is Manchester’s first ‘pay as you stay’ cafe – where you can have as much free food and drink as you wish.

Their studio space is fitted with a HD projector and 7.1 surround sound, providing our screenings with the best quality!

You have to choose from a lot of submissions (1600 films were submitted for the first event). What do you look for in the films you select?

We need to provide variation for the evening – so something a bit different, that stands out from the crowd, is always a plus. We also look at other elements such as sound and video quality, casting, budget, etc.

How do you see IndieFlicks developing?

Apart from the regular monthly screenings and our annual film festival with the award winners – there are 13 other Ziferblat locations around the world.

Our aim is to host the screening night on the same date, in each of these cafes.  This means filmmakers’ work will be spread worldwide, to far more people.

How can filmmakers find out more and submit their films?

Social media and our website are the easiest ways to get in touch and submit.

To find out more, visit 

Featured Image by Flickr user Jordan Merrick. Image cropped.

Images of Ziferblad cafe via Instagram