Manish Agarwal is the BFI London Film Festival’s Assistant Programmer, leading on features submissions viewing and the Create strand. He previously held roles at Overnight Film Festival, Birds Eye View, The Quietus, Secretly Group, MOJO, Kerrang! and Time Out.


Manish was one of the organisers of Overnight Film Festival: a unique residential cinema event held at the legendary Queens Hotel in Eastbourne. Guest curated by Ariane Labed, Emma Dabiri and Jenn Nkiru, the inaugural edition took place in February 2016 and was a widely acclaimed, sold out success. Team Overnight returned to Eastbourne in February 2018 for a second edition – guest curated by Shiva Feshareki and Zing Tsjeng – which was an even bigger weekender to remember. The festival’s dreamy final edition took place in February 2019, once again at the Queens Hotel, guest curated by Jen Calleja and Nasreen Shaikh Jamal Al-Lail.

Since 2016 Manish has been an open submissions viewer and Q&A host for the BFI London Film Festival – graduating to a new Assistant Programmer role from LFF 2018 onwards – as well as a preselector for London Short Film Festival in 2015 and 2016. He was also shorts programmer for East End Film Festival 2015, and hosted irregular screenings as half of the soundtrack-dedicated Disaster Film Club.

Between 2013-14 he enjoyed a communications and editorial role at Birds Eye View Film Festival, then later provided online support for BEV’s Filmonomics training programmes. In summer 2015 he contributed written and verbal pieces to the Independent Cinema Office’s Two Films by Josephine Decker project, plus the ICA’s Onwards & Outwards initiative.

Manish previously edited the Quietus website’s film section and was a member of the Hollywood Spring pop-up cinema collective.

Before that he worked for independent record labels Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar and Dead Oceans, while also writing for MOJO magazine.

He rarely checks his Twitter and Instagram accounts (and is not on Facebook) but does like Letterboxd.