Originally founded as Independent Features, the State of New York approved the name reservation of Manhattan Film Festival in 2010. Since its inception, MFF has worked to be an innovator on the festival circuit, introducing the first virtual film festival where a live audience was brought interactively to virtual participants. This format became widely popular during the Covid-19 pandemic. MFF recently acquired the technology of former internet startup ScreenBooker. By acquiring this technology, the Manhattan Film Festival offers all filmmakers a digital film studio that can be accessed year-round. This technology allows filmmakers to raise revenue, post jobs, hire talent, license music for use in film, book theaters, and track box office totals.