Filmmaker FAQ

  1. When does the festival take place?

    The 21st Raindance Film Festival takes place at the Vue Cinema Piccadilly Circus from 25 September to 6 October 2013. (Closest tube: Piccadilly Circus / google map)

  2. Why should I submit my film to Raindance?

    Raindance is Europe’s largest independent film festival. We provide a platform for first-time filmmakers and promote all aspects of independent cinema, from guerrilla style low-budget shorts to international indie blockbusters.

    If your short film wins our coveted ‘Short Film of the Festival’ award it becomes eligible for Oscar nomination. 2012’s winner – Buzkashi Boys – made the final five.

    After screening at the Raindance Film Festival, your film will be eligible for the British Independent Film Awards.

    Raindance premieres have included Memento, Ghost World, Blair Witch Project and Another Earth. We satisfy the public’s thirst for bold, original filmmaking through diverse international programming.

    Our events and parties attract some of the best indie filmmakers in the world – you’ll leave Raindance with a bulging Little Black Book and bunch of new friends.

    Maybe your film will be seen by the likes of Tom Waits, Andrea Arnold, Kevin Macdonald, Anton Corbijn, Stephen Woolley, Iggy Pop and Edgar Wright, all of whom have served on our Jury.

  3. Why should I submit via Withoutabox?

    Withoutabox.com is a website dedicated to film festival submissions and is the easiest and most effective way to submit your film to festivals.

    The great thing about Withoutabox (WAB) is that rather than having to fill out all your details each time you want to submit to a different film festival, you load the info once and that’s it. You can keep tabs on your film’s progress and they will send details of other suitable festivals along with deadline reminders. WAB is also free to use (although you can take advantage of a premium paid-for service if you wish).

    In addition, as WAB is part of IMDb, and as Raindance is a WAB-partner, your film will automatically get an IMDb page.

  4. What happens once I’ve submitted my film and sent you my DVD screener?

    Once we have your information from WAB, your fee and your DVD, your film will be watched by our programmers. Due to the number of submissions it may not be watched immediately, but it WILL be watched. If we really like your film, we will contact you and confirm that you are happy for us to screen it. Please be patient – in most cases this will be after the very final (WAB-only) deadline has passed (June 7th 2013).

  5. How do you decide which films to show?

    Every time we are asked this question, we answer: If it tells a story and/or is an original work. Most films we do not accept fail to tell a story or just fail to break the mould. If your film tells a story, it will most likely make it to our shortlist. From there it is entirely subjective, like all festivals.

    The next most likely reason we decline a film is because the music rights aren’t cleared. Please, please, please clear the music rights to your film BEFORE you submit it.

  6. What makes screening at Raindance so different from other festivals?

    That’s a tough one. First we’d say that if you aren’t happy with what goes on, then we are devastated. Historically, Raindance has been considered a “bellwether” festival – a festival that many other festivals look to for films and filmmakers. Raindance has also been a festival of discovery. Many of the filmmakers who screen first at Raindance go off to other festivals. For example, we showed a rough cut of James Marsh’s “Wisconsin Death Trip” in 1999, and in 2008 he picked up 2 big awards at Sundance.

  7. When will I hear whether my film has been selected?

    We aim to contact everyone to let them know whether their film has been successful or not by August 31st 2012.

  8. How much does it cost to submit my film?

    For Shorts (under 45 mins):
    Before the early deadline (17 April 2013): £20
    Before the regular deadline (17 May 2013): £25
    Before the late deadline (1 June 2013): £40
    Before the WAB-only deadline (7 June 2013): £70

    For Features (over 45 mins):
    Before the early deadline (17 April 2013): £50
    Before the regular deadline (17 May 2013): £75
    Before the late deadline (1 June 2013): £95
    Before the WAB-only deadline (7 June 2013): £120

    For Music Videos (under 6 mins):
    Before the early deadline (17 April 2013): £15
    Before the regular deadline (17 May 2013): £20
    Before the late deadline (1 June 2013): £30
    Before the WAB-only deadline (7 June 2013): £55

  9. My film isn’t going to be ready in time to beat your deadline.

    Not to worry, we’ll accept a work-in-progress.

  10. I’ve sent the wrong version/an old version/a completely different film altogether…

    It happens! Email festival@raindance.co.uk to let us know and get the correct DVD to us asap.

  11. Why do you charge fees?

    Unlike some large UK film festivals, Raindance doesn’t receive a wallet-busting wodge of government cash. The Festival’s survival rests on submission fees, box office and sponsorship.

    Cannes doesn’t charge submission fees, but as a British filmmaker you need to screen the film to the screening committee in London at a private screening room which isn’t cheap (circa £200). At Raindance we charge a modest (we believe) screening fee to cover the cost of hiring people with eyes and taste we trust to consider with their full concentration the entire work you send in.

  12. Do you ever consider waiving fees?

    Rarely. All indie filmmakers struggle financially but if we waived the fee for every filmmaker who asked then we wouldn’t be here unfortunately.

  13. Does my film have to be a premiere?

    Feature films (over 45 mins) need to to be at least a UK premiere.
    Features which have screened in the UK won’t be eligible for Raindance.
    Short films (under 45 mins) and music videos do not need to be a premiere.

  14. My film is online, will you still screen it?

    If it’s a short film, yes. If it’s a feature, no.

  15. Will Raindance pay for me and/or my crew to come to the festival?

    Sadly we can’t afford to fly filmmakers over for the festival.

  16. Will you pay for my accommodation if I attend the festival?

    No, we can’t afford to put you up either. We can advise you on accommodation though, if you wish. We are currently seeking for sponsorship to develop our hospitality budget.

  17. Can I get my cast/crew/mates into my film for free?

    Each filmmaker gets complimentary tickets to their own screening – for Features it’s 4 comp tickets, for Shorts it’s 2.

  18. But I promised all my cast and crew that they could come…

    Sorry, our agreement with the cinema gives us a strictly limited number of comps.

  19. Can I see other films in the festival for free?

    Each attending filmmaker is given a festival pass. As a passholder you can attend any screening for free (subject to availability).

  20. Are there Festival Awards?

    Each year we select a jury of industry professionals who choose winners for the Raindance Festival Awards, which include: Best UK Feature, Best International Feature, Best Debut Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Feature Film of the Festival, Best UK Short, Best International Short, Best Documentary Short, Best Animated Short and Short Film of the Festival.

  21. Where does the festival take place?

    The Raindance Film Festival takes place in the West End of London, in the heart of the theatre district. The majority of screenings will take place at the Vue Piccadilly on Regent Street, near Piccadilly Circus. The Raindance office is 10 minutes away, right next to Trafalgar Square. Other venues will also be used for events.

  22. Can I come along to your office, just to visit?

    Of course. We’re in the basement at 10 Craven St, London, WC2N 5PE (right between Charing Cross and Embankment). Just rock up and give us a buzz. It’s not the most glamorous office in the world, but we’ll make you feel welcome and are happy to chat.

  23. Can you send me a ‘Raindance Official Selection’ laurel?

    Yes, just send us an email asking for it – festival@raindance.co.uk

  24. My film has been accepted! I would like to hold a party!

    Awesome, go for it. You’ll invite us, right?

  25. I want you to pay for it…

    Er…sorry. Raindance can’t afford to put on parties for every film. We’ll happily help you promote it though, if you wish. Contact us if you’re thinking of a post-screening party – we know some great venues and our Little Black Book is pretty special.

  26. If my film doesn’t get selected, can you tell me why?

    We just get too many submissions to be able to do that unfortunately.

  27. Will you pay for the return of my film?

    The filmmaker must bear the cost of returning screeners. Alternatively, you may come along to our office just after the festival and pick it up. Any screeners left after November 1st 2013 will be recycled.

  28. Will you return my submission fee if my film isn’t successful?

    Submission fees are non-refundable.

  29. I’m coming to London and I’ve heard it’s big and scary. How will I cope?

    It’s not big and scary, it’s big and exciting. More information right here.

  30. Why do I need a press kit and what should it contain?

    If we are to screen your film, we need to know something about it. We need details for our website and the festival catalogue and we also send information about our programme to the press and to distributors. The majority of our films are confirmed in August. By that time, the festival is just a month or so away. The catalogue will be sent to the printer at the beginning of September. We are ridiculously busy at that point and putting in eighteen-hour days. There just isn’t the time to gather all the necessary information from over 200 films if we leave it until each one is selected.

    Here is the page of one of our films. From it you will see that the bare minimum we need are the names of the director, producer, writer, DoP, main cast, the country of origin, original format, print source and website (if you have one).

    Please note: Only selected films will be asked to send a press kit.

    If you want to read more about how to put together a professional-looking press kit, have a look at this article.

  31. What formats are you able to screen?

    If your film is selected, we have the capability to screen:
    Digital Cinema Package (DCP).

    Other formats will not be accepted.