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Manchester Lift-Off Film Festival Online
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As Andrew deals with the emotional aftermath of his father’s funeral, an unwanted visit from his ex-boyfriend casts new light on parental acceptance and the complex nature of forgiveness.

BEFORE HE was shot in South Manchester with director of photography Mike Staniforth (IN ANOTHER LIFE, Raindance Best British Feature 2012 and ALL OR NOTHING: MANCHESTER CITY FC Amazon Prime/Netflix). 

Filmed in one continuous sequence, BEFORE HE charts the immediate aftermath of a father's funeral.

Musical score is provided by singer Douglas Dare, fresh out of the studio for his third album. 


Thom Petty


FILM: Mary Queen of Scots, Born a King, The Drifters, Chaconne.

THEATRE: 1984 (Headlong/West End), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Donmar Warehouse), Oh What a Lovely War (Oldham Coliseum), Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (National Theatre), Housed (Old Vic), The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Bolton Octagon), Macbeth (Cockpit Theatre), On Religion, Sink the Belgrano (Bridewell Theatre). 


Lindsay Eavis


TRAINING: ArtsEd, London


TV: Cutting It, Lifeforce, Rhinocerous, Julius Caesar


THEATRE: Small Histories (Out of Kilter), The Children, Darvulia in Countess (De Profundis),  Moon over Buffalo, Harvey, The Vagina Monologues, Mary Stuart, The Lady in the Van, Sailor Beware, Wyrd Sisters, Improbable Fiction , Misery, Steel Magnolias, A Woman of No Importance, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Hobson's Choice, Loot, Stepping Out, Educating Rita, The Taming of the Shrew.


Gareth Bennett-Ryan

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TRAINING: The Birmingham School of Acting. 

FILM: Arthur & Merlin,  Woodfalls, Mercenaries, Ribblehead, Bath Bomb, 7th Soldier, From This Day, Wounded, Dead Unicorns, Hate Story 4.

TV: Shakespeare Uncovered, Word on the Street.


THEATRE: Private Lives; The Birthday Party (London Classic Theatre, UK tour); The History Boys, Macbeth (Colchester Mercury); Michael Morpurgo’s Farm Boy (New Perspectives, UK tour); As You Like It, Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Generation of Z: Apocalypse (Royale Productions); Much Ado About Nothing, Anthony and Cleopatra (Cambridge Shakespeare Festival); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar (Principal Theatre Co); Dick Whittington, Mother Goose (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds); Aladdin (Imagine Theatre/Grimsby Auditorium); The Mermaids Curse (SKiP); The Shoemakers Holiday, Henry VI part 1 (The Rose Bankside); My Favourite Madman (ALOFF); Sons of Bond (Theatre Royal Haymarket).

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MIKE STANIFORTH - director of photography 


Manchester based DOP Mike Staniforth has worked across multiple disciplines, including narrative film, documentary and commercials.


His 2018 documentary, ALL OR NOTHING, following Manchester City Football Club is an Amazon Original production and available on Prime Video.

IN ANOTHER LIFE won Best UK Feature at Raindance in 2017.

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Photo Ozge Cone

DOUGLAS DARE - composer  


London-based singer-songwriter and pianist Douglas Dare grew up in the small coastal town of Bridport in South West England.

Encouraged by his mother, a piano teacher, he began composing instrumental music at a young age but didn’t take up songwriting until 2008 while studying music at university in Liverpool. His elegantly moody, piano-based songs and haunting voice drew comparisons to artists such as Thom Yorke and James Blake, and in 2013 attracted the attention of Erased Tapes founder Robert Raths.

Following the release of his acclaimed debut album Whelm in 2014, Douglas toured the world, first supporting the likes of Ólafur ArnaldsNils Frahm and Fink, and then headlining tours across Europe.

His second album Aforger, released in 2016, was mixed at the iconic Abbey Road Studios and produced by long-time collaborator and Dare’s live drummer, Fabian Prynn. The album, which sets music to Dare’s original poems, is a marked evolution from his debut; not only sonically, with both a brass ensemble and choir featured in a number of songs, but also lyrically he’s head in a more candid and vulnerable direction.

Inspired by recent events and revelations encountered in his life, Aforger questions the boundaries between reality and fiction and Douglas looks forward to integrating these ideas into his visuals and live performance.

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