New film to mark anniversary of Arena attack by celebrating love and resilience

A Manchester Story includes interviews with people who were injured, loved ones of some of those who died, and the wider Manchester community

Manchester-based film Spread Like Wildfire Films has produced and created a new film called A Manchester Story to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack. 

The film will initially be launched on It’s Gone Viral’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube accounts in weekly drops from 22nd May.

The full 90-minute version will then be available on streaming services from 22nd August.

The team behind A Manchester Story wanted to move away from the death and destruction of the tragedy and focus on the resilience of both the people who were affected and the wider city.

It includes interviews with people who were injured, the loved ones of some of those who sadly died and members of the wider community in Manchester who helped the healing process.

Contributors include: Figen Murray – Martyn Hett’s mother who has campaigned tirelessly for achieving a coherent and proportionate approach to security at venues of all sizes – called Martyn’s law; Adam Lawler who was with his friend Olivia Campbell-Hardy, who died; Petra Jordan who was with her 19-year-old daughter, Nicole, and son, Ethan, who was celebrating his 13th birthday; Cath Hill who set up the Manchester Survivors Choir; and tattooist Sam Barber who established the Manchester Tattoo Appeal that raised over £500,000 to support victims’ families.

Manchester DJ and music icon Clint Boon has also contributed.

The aim of A Manchester Story is to show how individuals and families have moved on and how they have used the tragedy to create positive things out of something so dark.

The producers hope that it will inspire anyone who is facing their own challenging time.

“We want the film to really shine a different light on how we think of the tragedy. My fellow Mancs are a resilient bunch and I think concentrating on the destruction that happened isn’t representative of the people of Manchester,” said producer Ste Bergin.

“It was a truly horrendous time, but the whole community pulled together and out of something so horrible grew positivity and love – that is something that needs celebrating to the world.”

Anton Arenko, director, added: “Whilst Manchester was scarred, in the months and years that followed there were people leading a major healing process.

“Their efforts directly improved the lives of others – all in the name of those who sadly lost theirs.

“It makes me so proud to shine a light on the impact they made.”

Ryan Williams, director of It’s Gone Viral, said: “A Manchester Story is a truly moving piece of work and we are delighted to be partnering with Spread Like Wildfire on its initial roll out.

“We are a Manchester-based business ourselves, so being part of the project is a real honour.

“I’m sure the reaction to it will be fantastic as it is such a moving tribute to the love that Manchester is so famous for.”

A Manchester Story debuts on all of It’s Gone Viral social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube) from Saturday 22nd May 2021.


Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

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