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Five films not to miss at this year’s Mansfield Town Film Festival

Posted onPosted on 14th Jun

Mansfield Town Film Festival (MTFF) returns to the Mansfield Palace Theatre from 26th to 28th July, and tickets can be purchased from the Palace Theatre’s Box Office or by visiting

Ahead of this year’s event, festival director Jay Martin has picked his top 5 ‘not to be missed’ shorts from this year’s line-up.


Art – Directed by Ben Kernow

Life at the end of the line has always been tough. With the cost of living going up and pressure to cash in on their now quaint fishing cottage’s financial potential, Biddy and Rob find themselves at the end of the line in more ways than one. However, Biddy has a plan, Biddy has an idea, Biddy has a desire to paint. The question is, will any of her work save them from financial ruin, and who at the end of the line will take notice?’

Art is a hilarious short that takes a satirical look at the modern art industry, from the lens of a struggling Cornish family. The film was shot on location and showcases Cornwall’s unique culture, such as its language and its big characters and personalities. Not one to miss.

Art screens as part of the Opening Night Variety Pack on Friday, 26th July, from 6.45pm.


Firefly – Directed by Anne-Marie Scragg

A young girl who is deaf, living in a rural fishing village with her widower dad and grandad, sees her life turned upside down when she is left with an increasingly abusive stepmother. A story of resilience against adversity.

This film is undoubtedly one of the most important of our festival, and forms part of our brand new Neurodiverse/Disabled strand. Here at MTFF we are committed to showcasing diverse stories from around the globe and Firefly tells such a beautiful story from the perspective of a young deaf girl finding her way through life. Bring your tissues for this one.”

Firefly screens as part of our Neurodiverse/Disabled Voices stand on Saturday, 27th July, from 3.45pm.


Il Fares The Land – Directed by Patrick Ireland

Mermaids. Migrants. And the Far Right. A young boy finds a mermaid washed up on the shores of his seaside home while his older brother is swept up in the rising tide of far-right nationalism.

Those who know me will know that I love programming films that will give our audiences a visceral reaction and food for thought when they leave the cinema. Il Fares The Land certainly ticks that box with its unique use of stranded mermaids as an allegory for the migrant crisis currently gripping the country. The people of Mansfield certainly have strong views when it comes to this topic, and I hope people will come along to watch Il Fares as it strongly challenges those views in an emotive and intelligent way.

Il Fares The Land screens as part of our Working Class Voices strand on Saturday, 27th July, from 1.45pm.


Harvest – Directed by Sophia Seymour

Conflicted about motherhood, the director addresses the taboo subject of not wanting children with women at their local swimming pool. All whilst undergoing the gruelling emotional process of freezing her eggs to insure against the risk of changing her mind.

Powerful is the one word I would use to describe this amazing documentary. We’ve found that Motherhood is a strong theme across many of the films we have at this years festival. The director Sophia tells this story in such a delicate and personal way that I know will resonate with those who are lucky enough to watch it.

Harvest screens as part of our Sunday Evening Variety Pack on Sunday, 28th July, from 5.45pm and leads directly into the Mansfield Film Awards 2024 which is open to all guests of the festival.


Cod and Chips – Directed by Francesca Rae Cross Hall

Following the passing of his wife, Steven cooks dinner for his teenage son, Oscar, every night but ends up eating alone due to Oscar’s video game fixation. After appearing to have forgotten his father’s birthday, Oscar attempts to make it up to his father by buying him a present that has the power to unite them.

I was lucky enough to catch Cod and Chips at Beeston Film Festival and knew immediately after the film finished that I wanted it to be part of MTFF. It’s a father-son relationship that really resonated with me personally and brought me to tears while watching. I think that’s what it so special about film festivals, the fact that you can see a film, be moved by it, and then go and shake hands with the filmmaker and team that made it. An experience you just can’t get anywhere else.

Cod and Chips screens as part of our Student Shorts strand on Friday, 26th July, from 1.45pm.

Celebrate the silver screen as Mansfield Town Film Festival returns in 2024.

Bringing together a stunning mix of filmmakers with a strong focus on diverse, working-class talent from across the country, and internationally, enjoy three electric days of incredible short films shown in the beautiful Mansfield Palace Theatre – perfect for those with a love of film.

For more information you can follow the MTFF on Facebook, Instagram, or X.