TIMOTHY Spall will be coming to Manchester on Friday for a screening of his new film, Stanley A Man Of Variety.

The actor, known for Harry Potter and Sweeney Todd, will be special guest at Manchester Film Festival which runs from March 2 to 5.

Spall will be fielding questions with director Stephen Cookson at Odeon Printworks as part of the event which features numerous premieres from around the world.

Stanley A Man Of Variety sees the actor play all the principle roles in a film for the first time since Alec Guinness in Kind Hearts and Coronets.

The story, co-written by Spall, sees him play a middle-aged man who finds himself in prison for a crime that he believes that he did not commit.

After many years in confinement his quest to see his daughter for her 16th birthday becomes his obsession.

He begins to talk to his comedy heroes from the past as each one tries to help him remember what he has done.

Manchester Film Festival will also be welcoming Olivia Cooke, Karen Allen and Stef Dawson to the city.

Olivia Cooke, who was in Me Earl and the Dying Girl and Bates Motel, will introduce Wayne Roberts' Katie Says Goodbye on March 5.

She plays a 17-year old in the American southwest who prostitutes herself in the hope of making enough money to escape her mundane existence.

Raiders of the Lost Ark's Karen Allen will present her directorial debut, a short film called A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud, based on a short story by American writer Carson McCullers on March 3.

The Hunger Games' Stef Dawson will be special guest for the screening of Alicia Summer's Creedmoria.

She plays Candy, a girl who decides to have some fun after years of putting her life on hold for those she loves.

Manchester Film Festival, now in its third year, will showcase around 90 movies, documentaries, short films, animated features, music videos and experimental films featuring the likes of Jonathan Pryce, Cillian Murphy and Helen Mirren.

There are three strands to this year's event, Rising Stars, Be Who You Are, Say What You Feel and Women In Film.

Katie Says Goodbye will lead a line-up of Rising Stars films featuring emerging talent with UK premieres of The Journey Is The Destination, Creedmoria, Cardboard Gangsters and When The Sun Shines.

The festival’s second strand Be Who You Are, Say What You Feel, inspired by the Dr Seuss quote 'because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind' will champion films that portray themes of acceptance and freedom.

Highlights include Brazilian feature Public Intimacy, UK premiere The Black Prince, Stanley A Man Of Variety and documentary feature Das Wassup.

There will also be more than 30 films by female directors to celebrate Women In Film.

They include Karen Allen’s debut A Tree, A Rock, A Cloud, Lisa Edwards' Alfie Boe – On The Wheels Of A Dream and Oscar winner Ruby Yang's In Search Of Perfect Consonance.

- Manchester Film Festival runs from March 2 to 5. For more information, tickets and passes visit maniff.com