Successful Film Festival ‘Lift-Off’ moves from Liverpool to Manchester after six years.

Lift Off Film festival has been a success for six years and this year, the festival organisers have decided to make a move from Liverpool into Manchester.

Photo credit: Shafia Begum

Co-founders James Bradley and Ben Pohlman said that the decision to move the festival into Manchester was a “business decision,  a cultural decision and a film quality decision”.

“Liverpool was a really great place but it feels like Manchester is much more. Media City is here, there’s industry here, it’s really creative  and the majority of submissions come from here so it made sense to make the move here”.
Ben Pohlman

The film festival which is held in nine other locations around the world including New York and Paris is expected to have over 150 guests over the three nights here in Manchester.

The festival includes 30 Shorts, 10 Feature films and three short movie screenings. Festival volunteer Hannah Farrugia said she is volunteering at the festival because of the success of it; the opportunities it has previously provided for film makers, aspiring film makers and that it would be great experience for her as an aspiring actress.

The move into Manchester’s event and bar place Texture in Northern Quarter came after organisers realised the space was in the heart of Manchester whilst also supporting independent projects an creative individuals.

Volunteer Isaac Cunningham said: “I’m studying a festival management course at university so begin able to attend festivals like this, makes me want to be involved even more.”

Writer, director and filmmaker Adam Losurdo submitted his short called “Hope” this year and said: “The move to Manchester was definitely a good idea. It’s allowed the creative individuals from here, Manchester, to come forward and I think with the festival being here, it’s allowed so much more art to be noticed”.

Co-founder James Bradley said that the film festival hope to stay in Manchester for upcoming years but this would depend on the success of the festival in its first year at Manchester’s Texture bar.

Co-founder James Bradley said that the film festival hope to stay in Manchester for upcoming years but this would depend on the success of the festival in its first year at Manchester’s Texture bar.

The festival now moves on to London where more talent will be showcased along with the best being voted in to get the ultimate Lift Off trophy.



















Beauty and the Beast: My Thoughts.


Movie director: Bill Condon.

Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellan.

If I could sum up the film in one word, I think it would be something along the lines of abso-fruit-ly-fabulous.

Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast puts you through a rollercoaster of emotions (mostly happy though). The amount of colour, the music and the fairytale remains similar to the 1991 animated musical but with minor tweaks.

The film begins with a great scene of the handsome, young Prince (Dan Stevens) in his castle at a party celebrating all that is beautiful. Though he’s celebrating all his fortune, he remains selfish. The Prince is soon turned into a Beast by an enchantress. The magic transforms him and all in the castle. If the Prince does not learn to love another, he will remain the beast forever and never become a human again.

The film then moves on to introduce us to lovely Belle (Emma Watson). Belle is a literate, independent young woman. She’s seen as odd in the town for her love of books and her lack of interest in the most “handsome” chap who lives in town, Gaston (Luke Evans).

Gaston is vain, all the women want to marry him yet he has his eyes set for Belle and only for Belle. In a shot at the beginning of the film we see Gaston saying something along the lines of “your kids are going to be wonderful, nobody deserves such a human”. The following scene is his reflection in the mirror so he was talking to himself. If that doesn’t tell you he’s vain, what will?

Gaston’s sidekick (well sorta – less of the Batman, Robin thing) is LeFou played by Josh Gad and I genuinely think he was one of the best actors on screen in the movie.

As the movie goes on, we see that it sticks to the original tale, Belle learning to love the Beast along with the relationship between Belle and the household objects. The music like the original remains entertaining and catchy. The objects were actually brought to life in the film therefore the use of CGI was brilliant.

Furthermore, the dialogue in the film was actually pretty good. I really liked the light humour. From the little things – LeFou copying Gaston’s actions in the mirror to the sleeping wardrobe giving Belle a failed makeover.

We have all probably heard about the “gay scene” in the film. It actually appears near the end of the film when LeFou, who has a buddy like man-crush on his friend Gaston, is dancing with a male partner. So if you’re reading all these comments about how the film is not suitable for kids, don’t believe that rubbish.

I believe that Watson made the perfect Belle. I have read so much content online commenting on her musical ability but I thought that she was actually pretty good at singing. She conveyed the character of Belle really well; it seems that many people agree on Twitter.

If I was being very critical of the film, I think I would only change one thing. Some of the scenes seemed to drag. Though there weren’t many (when I say that, I mean it, probably 5 scenes) you do get a little like “this scene has been on for a bit long” but that is out weighed by the amount of good content in the film.

Overall, I would definitely recommend the film to anyone who would like a break from life. It really does put you in the mood for a Disney movie marathon and is suitable for all ages. I would definitely watch it again in the cinema.