Workers of Manchester – Past and Present short film challenge

Calling all film-makers of the North! We want your short films about our city’s industrial past. It’s an exciting opportunity to create living history about the very thing that has driven Manchester’s development over the years and the people who make the city tick.

You will have access to footage from the North West Film Archive and recordings of Northern Quarter residents telling their stories and memories in their own words – and of course you can take inspiration from the thriving, working city that surrounds us today.
L. Kaye, photographer, May 1959 (m73647)

A screening will take place at the Penny Theatre on April 5 to showcase selected works. All filmmakers who submit short films as part of the project will be invited to a special reception before the Penny Theatre show for celebratory drinks and an awards ceremony.

How do I get involved?

Please fill in this form by the 15th of March.

What’s available to remix?


The archive footage from the NWFA is free to use for this project only, for the purposes of screening at the Penny Theatre on the 5th of April. The footage (in a .mov format) will be distributed to be interested filmmakers on a USB or CD. We will contact you after receiving your submissions to arrange the best method of getting the files to you.

You are also welcome to use:

If you have any questions or comments, drop us a line at

If you’d like to meet up with local filmmakers, there are a few who meet at MadLab – Bokeh_Yeah, All Animated and Filmonik.


Heritage Lottery FundWorkers of Manchester – Past and Present is a series of MadLab events about the history of the Northern Quarter, called The Ghosts of St Pauls. Stay tuned for further details.

This project is supported by an All Our Stories grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

All Our Stories, a brand new small grant programme, launched earlier this year in support of BBC Two’s The Great British Story, has been designed as an opportunity for everyone to get involved in their heritage. With HLF funding and support, community groups will carry out activities that help people explore, share and celebrate their local heritage.