Raindance is run on intern power. Here are just some of the people who have been with us so far:
(If you have worked as an intern, please fill in the questionnaire below and send it to feedback@raindance.co.uk)

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2011 and previous

Nadine Soraya

Home city: Zurich, Switzerland

School/University/College: King’s College, London

Studying: MA in Film Studies

What I’ll do when I graduate: Actually graduated right before starting this internship. So Raindance is what I did after graduation!

When I was at Raindance: September 2016 - December 2016

What I did: During the Festival I was part of the Accreditation team, did some Q&A’s and wrote some reviews for the online programme. At the Office, I assisted in social media (like Twitter), did some blog writing, answered phones, did post office runs, helped setting up rooms, did some website editing & ebook editing and numerous other things.

Worst moment: I loved my internship, so there was not really a bad moment. The only bad moment that comes to mind is when a festival goer - according to one of the staff from the cinema a regular trouble maker at Film Festivals - ended up screaming at me for no reason and tried to pick a fight with almost everyone of the team.

Best moment: Can’t pick one moment as I really enjoyed my internship overall; both my time during the Festival as well as at the office. I’d say the awesome Raindance team definitely made the experience a great one!

What I learned: I learned lots of things; ranging from accreditation, Q&As, blog writing, social media to advancing my communication skills etc.

What I’m doing now: Unfortunately, it’s my last week at Raindance! Hopefully afterwards I’ll be working for another film festival or film organization, ideally something to do with programming.

Kosmo W. Crocco

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 14.20.32

Home city: Boltiere, Italy

School/University/College: IED, Milano, Italy

Studying: Film and Visual Arts

What I'll do when I graduate: Write and Direct films.

When I was at Raindance:  April 2016 – June 2016

What I did: I answered the phone, helped with events like the ball (the baaaaaallll!!!), Live Ammunition and Boozin’ N’ Schmoozin’ and wrote articles too.

Worst moment: Saying bye on my last day.

Best moment: The Live Ammunition!

What I learned: I improved my communication skills, learned how a film needs attention and every step matters as the next and the previous, I learned how massive the effort to manage a great festival like Raindance is. This experience has also consolidated definitely my decision to become a filmmaker.

What I’m doing now: I am working on two scripts for features films I want to direct, sending my latest short film to festivals, developing other two plots and trying to finally step into the film industry.

Kelly Chery


Home city: Lancaster, Pennsylvania

School/University/College: Ithaca College

Studying: Film, Photography, and Visual Arts

What I'll do when I graduate: Write a film, direct the film, and maybe act in the film.

When I was at Raindance:  January 2016– April 2016

What I did: I mostly worked on blog posts. I also contacted perspective clients and students to promote what Raindance has to offer such as room bookings and the MA program. And of course, I did what most interns do and answer telephones and run errands.

Worst moment: Talking to Michael Jackson.

Best moment: Talking to Michael Jackson.

What I learned: Most of the blogs I wrote were reccomendations for films. Having to reccomend films in a way enhanced everything I have learned when analyzing a film. I had to switch back and forth from the mind of a filmmaker to the mind of a spectater, something that comes more naturally since working here. My communication skills also grew because I had to speak with people on the phone and relay messages to my co-workers. Working here at Raindance also reinforced what I already knew and that is I want to be a filmmaker.

What I’m doing now: I am working on a script for a feature film I hope to direct in the nearer future. I am also working on finishing my kast few semesters at College.

Isabelle Mecattaf

Home city: Beirut, Lebanon

School/University/College: University of Pennsylvania

What I'll do when I graduate: Make films!

When I was at Raindance: February – March 2016

What I did: I edited some videos, wrote blog articles and assisted anyone that needed help with something.

Worst moment: When I spilled coffee all over myself.

Best moment: I don’t know really, it’s hard to just find one. It was a wonderful experience all around. I learned so much, and met amazing people and I’m really glad to have been here.

What I learned: A lot. The number of misconceptions I had about the film industry is astonishing. I learned what it’s really like to work in a film office and the work that it requires. Writing articles has also allowed me to do a lot of research and it opened my eyes on a lot of things. I’m also definitely better at talking to people now and I think that will be extremely helpful in the future.

What I’m doing now: I still have in year of University, and I have a lot of projects I would like to work on, so I’m starting to prepare for that.

Dilek Osman


Home city: London/Essex

School/University/College: Birmingham City University

What I'll do when I graduate: I’m hoping to get more experience in the film industry and work my way up.

When I was at Raindance: July – October 2015

What I did: Anything anyone wanted me to do really, there was always something! A lot of the time I was taking phone calls, working on social media and organizing spreadsheets. Being an intern during the festival period meant it was very busy which was great.

Worst moment: Wouldn’t say there was a terrible moment, but having to crop film stills for the Vue website and saving them on a very slow shared drive was pretty bad, thanks Harvey!

Best moment: It’s pretty hard to choose because the whole experience was great. I finished on the day of the Closing Gala so it was really nice for my final weeks to be spent at the festival. I really enjoyed working with such great people in the office.

What I learned: The whole experience was a definite eye-opener to how film festivals run and how much there is to get done behind the scenes. I’m now a lot more confident when speaking to industry professionals, and with my writing, I was terrified to post my first article on the website.

What I’m doing now: I’m in my final year of University, working on a couple of personal projects and my dissertation.

Charlotte Raymen


Home city: Cambridge (Royston, actually but no one knows where that is)

School/University/College: The University of West London Studying: Film Production

Post-Graduate Experience: I got the internship right out of graduating from Uni. I have enjoyed so far collaborating with the team as well as sharing the experience with my plus ones.

When I was at Raindance: July-October 2015

What I did: I filmed and edited the weekly update web series videos, along with other announcements including Dailymotion Web Fest Nominations and Course trailers. I edited trailers for “Showing Tomorrow…” Preludes that were shown during the festival and Raindance Awards nomination videos that were shown at the ceremony of the Festival. I was asked to edited footage taken behind the scenes from “Deadly Virtues” and make “The Ties That Bind : A Look Behind the Scenes,” which features on the DVD extras for which I was credited as Editor and Music. I also subtitled a couple of trailers that came without subtitles and learned how to make neon signs on photoshop. I learned a lot and hopefully contributed just as much.

Worst moment: The printer during the festival conked out and we had to print and cut out name badges by hand! It was the biggest disaster I have ever experienced in an office in central London.

Best moment: It was great to see my edits on the big screen. On the Friday of the Awards ceremony I had another job in Milton Keynes but I made it back for the last 6 minutes of the show and I saw my “Best International Features” nomination clip in a cinema full of people.

What I learned: I didn't know anything about DCP’s before joining and I saw behind the scenes in lots of aspects of running a festival.

What I’m doing now: I am working on a few of my own projects, comedy scripts and various freelancing jobs. This may or may not include abusing my photoshop abilities.

Dora Ash Sakula


 Home city: London

 School/University/College: University of Exeter

 Studying: History

 Post-Graduate Experience: Escaped from the post-graduation pressure by running off to Mexico. Came back, made a doc with a colleague about a group of artists in Cambodia [https://vimeo.com/124645519], had a few internships, which brings me to the incredible time at Raindance.

When I was at Raindance: July-October 2015

What I did: I most updated social media especially Twitter and Facebook (I left the instagraming to Baptiste), answering the phones, dealing with room bookings. I loved writing articles for the blog, usually about whatever interested me at the time. Writing reviews for the festival catalogue was a great job, what could be better than watching films and writing about them. I was very lucky to be there during the festival, a chaotic but exhilarating time. I got to help out and attend all the events, see any films that weren’t booked up and attend the the various panels and talks going on.

Worst Moment: When the card machine for the festival passes broke and we had to print them and cut them all out by hand. Cutting straight is much harder than it looks…

Best Moment: Before the festival started I would say posting a letter to Martin Freeman was my most exciting moment. But after seeing him the flesh that took a backseat. Getting to attend the masterclass with one of the best screenwriters of our time, Guillermo Arriaga, was probably the high point.

What I learned: The internship gave me a great insight into the inner working of a film festival. I never quite realised how much work was put into such events. It was a great experience working with the Raindance team. Talking to indie filmmakers at the festival has inspired me and I have learnt that if you have a vision go for it.

What I’m doing now: Working on a few of my own projects and looking for a researcher/runner job in a production company. I will definitely be making full use of the experience and connections I gained at Raindance.

Baptiste Charles


Home city: Toulon, France

School: Kedge Business School, Marseille

Studying: Cultural management

Ambition when I graduate: Write novels and films, get better at directing, and if that doesn't work out, work in the film industry.

When I was at Raindance: July-October 2015

What I did: Basically, anything that was needed around the office, and also lots of social media as I was quickly noticed as the intern with the Instagram addiction. So I helped with the marketing, helped around the courses as well. I was lucky to be around at the time of the festival, which was an exhilarating time -so exciting and nerve-racking at the same-time.

Worst moment: There really was no bad moment during my internship, but if I had to choose one hard moment, I'd go for a time I picked up the phone to someone who had an accent I couldn't understand. I had to make them repeat three times their name and what they were calling about. But that's about as bad as it gets.

Best moment: I was lucky to work during the festival, so there were many exciting moments. Meeting Martin Freeman was quite exciting, though. There's a picture of him on the red carpet being asked which fans are the best, from Captain America, The Hobbit or Sherlock (to which he replied Sherlock, obviously); if you look at the background, I'm in there trying not too look starstruck. Other than that, attending Guillermo Arriaga's master class was fun. At one point, he showed a clip of "21 grams" and sat in the audience, and chose the seat right next to me. So I watched Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro on the screen utter lines the guy next to me had written. I loved that he laughed at his own jokes when watching the movie.

What I learned: Ahead of the festival, everyone is running around in a hurry, and everyone will be stressed out. So I learned how to be more efficient with my questions, which is a great asset, to be honest. Also, the amazing thing at Raindance is that there are many nationalities in the team, so it allowed me to actually put a finger on what it's like to work in a multicultural context in a way no class could have taught me.


Itteshad Hossain

Home City:
School/University/College: Queen Mary University
Studying: Film Studies

Post-Graduate Experience: Coming out of university was a freeing, yet worrying feeling. Being in the shelter of education your whole life, then to come out and realise that now is when the real challenge begins. Oh, and then there's the small issue of student debt to deal with. But the last year I have learnt to embrace any chance you get, especially if it's something you haven't done before, because that's the only way you'll learn!

When I was at Raindance: April 2015 - July 2015

What I did: I was taken on as an Editing intern, so it started with shooting and editing videos (with a guy from Somerset) for the YouTube channel, and doing website maintenance. But as days went on, I did more and more of everything. I wrote articles, logged submissions, helped with courses, and published posts on social media (to the point I had to be made an admin). And did milk runs (remember, 1 pint semi-skimmed).

Worst moment: Having a lady on the phone call me clueless (although I was clueless about what she was saying)

Best moment: It's a tie between the Filmmaker's Ball and working with a hugely experienced film director.

What I learned: In my application form, I had said that I feel I would learn more in 3 months as a Raindance intern, than going straight to freelance after university. I stand by that statement. I met some great people, and gained a lot of confidence to do things I didn't think I could before.

What I'm doing now: I am getting freelance filming & editing jobs which should take me through the summer. I've also got an opportunity to continue working with the director I met at Raindance. I'm also beginning production on short film projects which will keep me busy till 2016.



Lucille Mcllenan

Lucille Mcllenan

Home City: Brighton, UK
School/University/College: Open University
Studying: Psychology
Ambition when I graduate: I’d like to work in the film industry but not sure exactly how yet! I would also love to be involved in festival programming or film reviewing, probably because I am a judgmental person who loves to criticise stuff, especially films. Ultimately I would like to be in a position where I can make my own documentaries, specifically really funny character documentaries like The King of Kong.
When I was at Raindance: April—July 2015
What I did: I primarily helped with the British Independent Film Awards, which involved a lot of researching of British films. Also lots of social media, answering phone calls, logging film submissions and generally doing whatever what was asked of me. That didn’t include making any type of hot beverage – this intern stereotype thankfully does not apply to the Raindance experience.
Worst moment: When I was given the task of stuffing about 200 envelopes and was informed around 150 envelopes in that they were self-adhesive and therefore, I did not need to lick them. I felt both silly and quite nauseous.
Best Moment: It’s hard to pick one, it really has been such a great experience! I really enjoyed the hours of conversation that with my fellow interns (and Harvey), we covered practically every single topic known to man, sometimes twice. While working of course, we’re just really great at multitasking. I also really enjoyed answering the phone and helping people, trust me its not as scary as it seems. Oh, and we got free donuts once.
What I learned: I learned that I definitely still love everything about film, that people working in this industry are really nice (at Raindance, at least) and I am leaving feeling even more inspired to pursue this line of career than ever before. I also finally learned how to use twitter, sort of. Ok I still don’t really understand it.
 What I’m doing now: I finish my degree in October so I’ll figure it out then, that’s like 4 months away which is practically forever! I’m considering gaining a bit of filming experience to try and get onto a Filmmaking Masters program. Then I can become the next Alex Gibney or Werner Herzog, minus the cool voice.


Phone 2 652Samantha Perry

Home City: Boston, Massachusetts 

School/University/College: Ithaca College, New York

Studying: Creative Writing

Ambition when I graduate: Ideally, to work in the film industry as a screenwriter or on my own television show. Hopefully, to get a job where I'm comfortable and doing something I enjoy. But, probably most realistically, living in New York by the skin of my teeth and enjoying every minute of it.

When I was at Raindance: January—April 2015

What I did: Everything. My idea of Raindance before my first day consisted of a very skewed idea of an internship, with me fetching coffees and making copies at the printer. What I ended up doing was writing, updating the website, processing festival submissions, helping in events, and answering several phone calls a day. I did tasks for almost every member of Raindance staff, including Elliot himself.

Worst moment: My worst moment was, unfortunately, my first day. I forgot the adapter for my laptop charger so ended up leaving hours before the office closed for the day. While it may have felt crushing at the time, I still managed to write an article for Valentine’s Day and help Elliot compile worksheets for a class that evening. My fingers have never moved faster than they did writing that Valentine’s Day article, with my eyes frantically flickering between misspelled words on a Word Document and the very empty battery icon at the bottom of the screen. Fortunately, I felt much better when Orestes published my article with a chipper “well done”.

Best Moment: Once I got over the initial fear and self-consciousness, answering the phone. Or maybe more specifically, the moment I realized I wasn’t afraid to answer the phone anymore. It really didn’t take long for me to feel like I was part of the Raindance team. Sometimes I felt a bit like a secretary, directing and rejecting calls to different people in the office, but it was also really fun. It almost felt like I had a different career every time I stepped into the office.

What I learned: I actually learned a lot more than I thought I would. I kept a journal during my time at Raindance and after looking it over I realized that everything I’d been doing was helping to shape my communications skills and understanding of the business side of the creative world.

What I’m doing now: At the end of my placement at Raindance, my semester abroad will be at its end. I will return home to the United States and acclimate back to reality with a much more mundane job at the local grocery store before completing my last year as an undergraduate.


blueapplesHarvey Puttock

Home City: Taunton (Somerset)
School/University/College: University of West London
Studying: Video Production & Film Studies

Post-Graduate Experience: My post-graduate experience was a varied and rocky one. I worked a few different retail jobs, including at Harvey Nichols (where I pretended I was the owner, yet somehow, no one believed me), a few different internships, including working on EPK interviews for BBC shows such as Call the Midwife, and of course the dreaded JSA. But let's not go there...

When I was at Raindance: January 2015 - April 2015

What I did: I was the editing intern; my main duty was to write/shoot/edit the new weekly production tip video webseries that we started up. As well as this I wrote the occasion article, got to go to a feature shoot and interview the director, help out with courses and answer the phone.

Worst moment: It's hard to pick a worst moment, because it was a great experience. There were a few troublesome phone calls but none so bad that they marred the internship.

Best moment: Getting to meet and work with a variety of great people, the whole experience has taught me that working in an office really isn't as bad as it seems, you even get free food sometimes. Creating video content for a youtube channel that has over 1500 subscribers was great too, as opposed to the measly few subscribers on my own channel. Also having to put a call through to Elliot and realising the 'Dave' I transferred over was the artist Dave McKean.

What I learned: Whilst at University, I'd say I learnt the theory and background of film, but what Raindance has taught me is more valuable than that, as I learnt about the business. I learnt how to use skills, both that I already had, and those I picked up along the way, to further career development.

What I'm doing now: I'm actually staying on at Raindance, as the Filmmaker in Residence! As well as that I hope to continue writing and shooting my own films in my spare time.



Rebecca Latham

Home City: Sydney, Australia
School/University/College: The University of Sydney
Studying: English Literature

Post-Graduate Experience:  Graduation can take its toll on you. There you are, a fresh, well-rested young thing with eyes that gleam with desire, manicured hands that scream, ‘I’m a responsible, well-adjusted person with a keen sense of personal hygiene – hire me!’ and, only the heavy coat of student debt weighing you down. It is not a bad place to be, but it is not the best one either.  Since graduating in 2012, my emotional spectrum has vastly broadened to include wonder, pride, pity, anger, shame, fear, indignation…. Basically, I now feel all the things. What I have learnt from this is to embrace every experience and to relish these weird feelings. Getting into the INdustry is tricky. Duh.

When I was at Raindance: April 2014 – July 2014

What I did:  I was really lucky to start the same time as another intern so we were in it together from the beginning and both battled through our first week with the blinking fragility of someone who is scared of their own voice. After we got more comfortable in the office, we learnt to ask for help, to get on with tasks and even answer the phone… We became useful.  I logged a lot of submissions, watched some shorts, wrote plenty of articles for the website and made a nuisance of myself at the local post office.

Worst Moment: Not understanding people on the telephone and being on the line for over thirty minutes at a time for reasons that were unclear to me and the person on the other line. Also, writing articles for the site is both great and terrifying; it is the largest audience I have ever written for. You learn that not everyone will like what you write.

Best Moment: The Independent Filmmaker’s Ball was a lot of fun; there is something special about an empty venue anticipating a large party. In the early afternoon, the Raindance team worked with more efficiency than a Ford production line. It was hours and hours of making gift bags. It was surprisingly fun and then of course there was the lovely event itself.

What I learned:  You can learn as much as you want to learn. There are plenty of jobs to be done, plenty of ways to get involved. It’s also great to learn that there are so many film enthusiasts in London and regional England.

What I’m doing now: I am about to embark on a 12-month internship with Blueprint films, which I am very excited about. Also, I will continue to write reviews for A Younger Theatre. I am hoping to take all the skills I learned at Raindance and use them in the big, bad film world.

64194_695973333749731_531340119_nMatt Howsam

Home City: Medway Towns, Kent.
School/University/College: Royal Holloway, University of London.
Studying: Media Arts.
Ambition when I graduate: The ultimate goal is to direct a distinctive short/ feature for festival circulation and if I can collaborate with my film mates and make this happen every year then I will be very content.  I would love to work on set in several capacities or write about cinema.  It’s a tricky industry to crack as, we all know, it requires a combination of skill, contacts and luck. I’m confident that I have a grounding in two out of three of these, just need some luck!

When I was at Raindance: May  – July 2014

What I did: Everything and anything you can get your hands on.  The placement at Raindance was so rewarding because I could constantly alter what jobs I was doing and there was no shortage of work to get stuck into!  We get involved with the organisational side of the company such as booking people onto courses and answering customer queries.  Yet, you can write web articles on practically anything that interests you in the world of film.  It was fantastic to have this creative freedom and to shift from organisational work to creative thinking.  Another great part to the internship was working as an assistant on the Raindance courses – I learnt so much from Patrick Tucker’s ‘Hands on Directing’ class.  I also got to watch some amazing short films that were entered into the festival and give my own feedback on them which was a great opportunity.

Worst Moment: Not being able to understand a customer on the phone or being unable to provide them with the information they require is the biggest low you will feel in the office.  It gets stressful on the first day but do not be too hard on yourself, like everything, it gets easier as you become a connoisseur of all things Raindance.  

Best Moment: Definitely the people that you meet; the Raindance office is full of lovely, keen film enthusiasts so it is great to get into big creative discussions.  It was a privilege to be part of the Independent Film movement.

What I learned:  If you do not know something, ask.  If you do not have anything to do, take the initiative to ask for something rather than just sit back. Learn as much about the company as you can before and during your placement.  Apologise if you make a mistake. Always smile. Get stuck in.  Oh and bake a leaving cake and you will be loved forever.

What I’m doing now: I have recently been asked to be 1st A.D on a short film being made this summer by an award-winning director that I am very excited about!  Similarly, I am developing my own short to direct this summer. Also,  I will be writing my university dissertation on Wim Wender’s ‘Paris Texas’. So thankfully I have a very busy summer ahead and then it’s back to university for my third and final year.


Hayley Twyman

Home City: Tallahassee, Florida
School/University/College: Florida State University
Studying: English Literature
Ambition when I graduate: This very question strikes fear deep into my soul. So thanks for that. To put it in cinematic terms, I’m going through a The Graduate- like crisis. Well, minus the ambivalence and scandal. While I am unsure of what the future holds, I know that I love film, music, art, and literature. If I could find my way into any one of those fields, I would be thrilled. I’ll probably make an appearance at graduate school, too. There is, however, one thing I do know, and that is I will not be going into plastics.

When I was at Raindance: January – April 2014

What I did: I can corroborate my fellow interns’ story on this one: we do a bit of everything. I answered phones, replied to emails, booked people on to courses, watched films, greeted visitors, wrestled with spreadsheets, researched contacts, and did the occasional stapling. I was also fortunate enough to write articles for the Raindance website, which was great fun and put my English training to practical use. So don’t be fooled, it only seems like Raindance goes into winter hibernation after their busy autumn calendar. No, the good people of Raindance are still quietly working away beneath the feet of millions of tourists on their way to Trafalgar Square, and I can guarantee they’re working on something pretty special for you, the makers and patrons of independent film.

Worst Moment: Again, I’m going to have to jump on the bandwagon here: the (apparently) universally dreaded phone. But don’t worry, it gets better. Yes, answering the phones can be intimidating and stressful, but that lovely, grateful person you are bound to speak to will seriously brighten your day.

Best Moment: I really do apologize for my lack of originality, but the other interns have this answer spot on as well. My best moment is less of a moment and more of a schmaltzy feeling, but I have to say becoming a part of the Raindance team. It was a privilege to work with so many talented and creative people. And then there were my fellow interns—they were the best. It’s as simple as that.

What I learned: I don’t quite know where to begin, and if I get started I probably won’t know where to stop. In the interest of brevity, I’ll just say that I learned how to be a better human, professionally and personally. How’s that for an incomprehensibly vague answer? But it’s true.

What I’m doing now: Goodness gracious, you people with the terrifying questions. I’m headed back home to the red clay hills of Tallahassee to participate in Florida State’s graduation ceremony. And then I am going to breathe. Breathe very deeply, and take on the world, I suppose.


1609861_10203205253838336_1743817109_nDelaney DuBois

Home City: Fairfield, Connecticut
School/University/College: Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York
Studying: Television-Radio, Media Production
Ambition when I Graduate: I want to go wherever life leads me whether that’s a job in television/film or the opportunity to travel. My dream is to return back to Nicaragua (one of my favorite places in the world) where I want to work with some organizations and live for a period of time. Eventually, I would love to mix my love for film and music by becoming a videographer/photographer for bands and musicians.

When I was at Raindance: January-April 2014

What I did: Almost every day you experience something new at Raindance but there are a few daily tasks that never changed! I helped the festival submissions team with organizing and looking through countless submissions (and the spreadsheets to match), answered the phone and helped people with enquiries the best I could, assisted with setting up for courses, wrote articles, dealt with bookings for the numerous courses we offer, and helped with little projects people around the office were working on!

Worst Moment: One day I spent around an hour clicking every single one of Elliot’s 4,000+ Facebook friends to individually invite them to an event we were having. Tedious is putting it lightly. And no, there is no faster way to do it. Also, I would have to agree with the other interns that the phone is a little daunting especially when people call with outlandish requests!

Best Moment: The lady on the phone who called with her cat furiously meow-ing in the background so loudly she had to keep pausing our conversation to tell her to be quiet had me in fits of laughter. Honestly, just working in the office and with everyone on the Raindance team was such a joy. Especially getting to know, work, and laugh with the other interns, Hayley and Olivia.

What I learned: I learned and was able to see first hand all the work that goes into having and maintaining a successful film organization and film festival, how to work and collaborate with others, to really listen to what people are saying to do your best work, and to think outside of the box for solutions to problems there seem to be no answer to!

What I’m doing now: I will be travelling around Europe and the UK for the next month or so. Then I will sadly be going home (someone’s going to have to physically drag me onto that plane) to work and enjoy the summer sun before I return to school to finish my undergraduate degree.


Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 11.59.10 AMOlivia Priedite

Home City: San Jose, California
School/University/College: University of California, Santa Barbara and King’s College London
Studying: Film & Media Studies and Communication
Ambition when I graduate: After I graduate from UCSB, I hope to pursue a Master’s degree in Film (Hopefully at Raindance!).  Eventually, I would like to become a Music Supervisor and compile soundtracks as memorable as Almost Famous, This is England and Reservoir Dogs.

When I was at Raindance: February-April 2014

What I did:  I assisted with course bookings, answering general enquiries on the phone, processed festival submissions and contributed articles to the website.

Worst moment: If you can’t already tell from the other intern’s worst moments, answering the phone can be pretty traumatic. I can’t quite choose one truly terrible moment, but there were many stressful situations trying to sort out the caller’s concern and gather the correct information from someone in the office.

Best Moment: My favourite part about working at Raindance was becoming part of the team. The interns whom I worked alongside with were the best, and we had such a great time getting our work done during the day. It was an amazing experience getting comfortable in the office and working alongside Elliot and the talented team at Raindance.

What I learned: I learned more in my 3 months at Raindance than I could have ever imagined. First and foremost, I learned how to be patient and to listen well. This was necessary to learn the ropes to everything in the first few weeks at Raindance. It was so great to see how a film festival works behind the scenes. Also, I learned loads from just listening to Elliot. He has so many great stories and awesome insight into a life of working in the film industry, Essentially, Raindance gave me the opportunity to get a glimpse of the industry I have always had a passion for working in, and has made me want immerse myself even further into the world of film!

What I’m doing now: I am traveling a bit before the UK Border Agency forces me kicking and screaming on a plane back to California.


moobooMikaela Cumbers

Home City: Plymouth, UK
School/University/College: University of West London
Studying: Video Production and Film Studies
Ambition when I graduate: Good grief. I have too many ambitions. I graduated late last year, so currently feel as though I'm in limbo. Trying to Master at life and pay rent on time is something of a juggling act, and I can't juggle. My end goal is to be happy and settled in the film industry as a screenwriter. I would, however, also like to be Indiana Jones, and travel into space.

When I was at Raindance: January – March 2014

What I did: Answered the telephones, redeemed vouchers, emailed customers and wrote a few articles. Often I would go on little mini-outings and run errands, picking up or dropping off equiptment, and so on.

Okay. I'm not going to lie to you... I also did a lot of daydreaming. WHILE doing work, I might add.. so don't worry, Elliot. Besides, you can't blame me! Working at a place like Raindance, it becomes hard not to imagine what life might be like to actually "make it" in the film biz. I'd hear phone calls going on between Elliot and the director of one of my favourite films of all time, and in my head (again while typing out an incredibly polite and professional email) I would be thinking "OHMYGOD-I'M-SHARING-OXYGEN-WITH-THE-GUY-WHO-IS-SPEAKING-TO-THE-GUY-WHO-MADE-ONE-OF-THE-BEST-FILMS-OF-MY-CHILDHOOD." and honestly, that made me feel pretty damn lucky.

Worst Moment: My first day was terrible, I've got to say. There was a moment when the buzzer for the door went off, and I looked at it, went to go get it, but then it stopped ringing so then of course I stopped, thinking the call had been answered. It was only when I received a chorus of "that was the door" did I realise that (of course) doors don't open on their own.

Definitely going to jump on the 'phone-gate' train, as for some reason, as soon as I started working at Raindance, the idea of the answering the telephone seemed more terrifying than getting into the water after watching Jaws. However, my fellow interns, it isn't as bad as it seems. Just remember, the person on the other end of the line is only calling to speak to someone else, not you, or ask for you help. Probably easier said than done, I know, especially after reading about it all from us...

Best Moment: Feeling like a part of the team. It really is a close-knit space that you're working in, so it's easy to get to know one another and make friends. I made friends in particular, and inevitably, with the other interns, and they were great people to work with, who I know I'll hear about in the future. #cheesewiththatorder?

What I learned: Without talking down my education, I feel as though I learnt more about the film industry at Raindance than I ever did at school or University. It figures, I guess, but my experience with Raindance has been invaluable to me as both as person and a professional. I'll never forget it and I wouldn't change any of it.

What I’m doing now: Again, I'm still in limbo, but I have several projects in various stages of development...By the way. This is potentially one of the most terrifying things to as an amateur filmmaker- and you know it, guys. Cheeky.

Tekle BarotiTekle Baroti

Home City: Klaipeda, Lithuania
School/University/College: Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
Studying: Music, Theatre and Entertainment Management
Ambition when I graduate: I am going to be a film producer – one way or another.
When I was at Raindance: September – December 2013
What I did: First and foremost I was answering the phone and dealing with people’s enquiries, issues, requests and sometimes just being somebody to talk to. Similarly, I looked after emails regarding room bookings and memberships.  In addition to that, I was redeeming vouchers for courses and sending out invoices for certain payments. I also helped in sorting out petty cash receipts.

On the fun side I was writing articles for the website, editing some webpages and trying to promote Raindance activities on various social media platforms. Furthermore, I had the great honour to help out with the evening courses and the Postgraduate Film Degree. Of course, running errands was included in my daily routine as well.

Worst moment: It is a tough one. Only because it was both the worst and almost the best moment for me. It was my first day at Raindance – it was two days before the festival so you can imagine how hectic it was. I was told that my main task will be answering the phone. Fortunately/unfortunately, that was not the only thing I ended up doing. Julian – the festival producer – came to me and asked if I could quickly check if the festival schedule was correct. I started checking every single detail on the given schedule and, of course, it took me ages. Elliot wanted to print it out the same day and I realised that I will not be able to finish on time.

Every single cell in my brain was screaming: “You have just ruined the festival because you took ages to correct the schedule and they could not print it on time!” Yes, I knew I was the worst intern they have ever had from the very first day I set my foot in the office. However, it came to a surprisingly happy ending. Elliot himself sat down with me and we went through it all together. Partly best moment because I showed that I have massive attention to detail and I will not finish a job unless it is flawless (in my opinion) on my first day. Partly worst moment because I spent at least 3 hours in constant fear that I have ruined the festival and the world will never forgive me.

Best moment: The moment when I realised that I might actually be missed, I have earned a place for myself in such a wonderful organisation among such amazing people and, even though, I have not done much, apparently I have done enough. Despite all of the mistakes and my personal spice of weirdness, I felt appreciated. The moment I realised that was the best moment.

What I learned: More than I could have expected. I have learnt that I can do a lot more than I initially anticipated from myself. I realised that maybe, just maybe I can actually be part of the industry I want to be a part of. Most importantly, I got convinced that if you are nice to people no matter who they are, they will be nice to you too. Finally – nothing is as hard as it may seem – never be afraid to take opportunities even if you have no idea how to realise them.

What I’m doing now:  I have recently finished my management research paper on the balance between blockbuster and independent films at the UK cinemas. Now I am preparing for my presentation at the Contemporary Issues in Arts Management conference which is organised by my university at the end of May. Finally, I am looking forward to going back to London...what can I say... I fell in love...

Patrycja RojekPatrycja Rojek

Home City: Bartoszyce, Poland
School/University/College: Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland
Studying: Film Studies and Media Culture
Ambition when I graduate: I'm going to find out what the world of film can offer me. I would definitely continue writing about cinema, but even more I'd like to work by organizing film events – such as Raindance! – which occurred to me so enjoyable and rewarding during my internship.

When I was at Raindance: July – October 2013

What I did: Summer months at Raindance are very busy, so from the very beginning I had to become a man of many parts. I was working mostly with Julian (the Festival Producer) and Raffaella (the Programme Coordinator) and helping them with filling in their countless spreadsheets. I was also helping with the maintenance of the festival website, managing bookings for some courses and answering phone calls – which was a horrible experience at first.

Worst moment: All my worst moments were connected with this devilish telephone. It was extremely difficult for me to deal with various accents since I'm not an English native speaker. The first flop took place at my first day – I was talking with a very nice woman who wanted to know where the evening party takes place that day. She was a bit nervous, because she hadn't received an e-mail reply for her question and she was in a hurry. I assured her that I'll get an information and call her back in a minute. I hung up... and realized I hadn't asked her for neither telephone number, nor e-mail address, nor even her name. Now I know it was just stupid – extremely stupid but not tragic, though. That time, however, I felt guilty for ruining that woman's life.

Best Moment: Every single one apart from those with telephone during the first month. But even then I was always cheered up by Martyna, who was always saying: "It's normal, you'll handle this". It was also very pleasant to hear Elliot saying to me and Mateusz: "You Polish guys are doing really well!". I also remember when I was working the whole day on festival calendar for website which didn't appear there. I was a bit upset for a second, but then realized that it was finally printed on huuuuuge boards and was glowing with its awesomeness in Apollo Cinema.

What I learned: I learned a lot. First of all: how to think things up, let them live and take care of them. My Raindance internship was extremely satisfying for me and valuable for my future. I was a member of an excellent team doing really great things.

What I’m doing now: After Raindance I cooperated with another film festival (in Poland) having been an editor-in-chief of its internal newspaper. Now I'm finishing studies and writing my MA thesis. What then? We'll see.


profileShannon Hemmings

Home City: Miami, Florida
School/University/College: The University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL
Studying: Telecommunications and Film
Ambition when I graduate: After graduation I want to walk through whatever door that opens as for as Television and Film! Whether it be at a news station editing videos and working my way up to being a reporter or on the set of a film or TV series acting or directing. I just want to continue following my passions and dreams and go wherever God leads me. It has worked out for me pretty well so far!

When I was at Raindance: August – December 2013

What I did: I was the only full-time intern at Raindance during my time there so I did EVERYTHING. I helped out with the press page on the website, I wrote tons of articles, I moderated Q&A’s during the actual festival, helped create huge spreadsheets, helped with the emails for Saturday Film School. I honestly don’t think there’s anything I didn’t work on at least once. Oh, and I helped out with the beyond awesome classes!!  I was also the most talkative and bubbly person Raindance has ever experienced and really got to know everyone and open certain people up including a certain blonde, blue-eyed, tech guy. I am also the founder of "themed Tuesdays."

 Worst moment: Everyone in the office, and I do mean everyone, knows my worst moment. I was sent out on an errand my second or third week on the job to give out postcards in Ealing and let’s just say I returned to the office that day at 6pm wet and cold. I was never sent to Ealing again!

Best Moment: One moment, really? I can’t. OK, I’ll try. Working the actual festival would have to be my #1 best moment. Hannah and I met Brian Blessed. I was able to do Q&A’s for 15 different awesome films at the festival and it was just really great getting to know the filmmakers, the creative teams, the audience, and my fellow volunteers and interns.

 What I learned: I learned that I truly do love Film and can see myself doing not only just directing and acting but even screenwriting and of course writing awesome film related articles for websites and such. It was truly a great experience. I also learned to really take initiative when you have an idea because the fine folks at Raindance can help make your ideas become a reality.

 What I’m doing now: I am heading back to Florida to finish my undergraduate degree. I am one sad yet really happy reindeer. *inside joke*


lloyd-daviesLloyd Davies

Home City: Basildon, Essex
School/University/College: Middlesex University
Studying: Television Production
Ambition when I graduate: I graduated in July 2012 and at the time my ambition was to begin a career as a runner in Television. However my goal has since changed as I prefer writing about TV and Film so I applied to Raindance to increase these skills.

When I was at Raindance: May - August 2013

What I did: What didn't I do! I wrote some great articles for the website about films and film making, booked people onto courses, updated databases, did some post office errands and worked the door for some events.

Worst moment: Learning the telephone etiquette and asking people to send an email to redeem vouchers when they called!

Best Moment: Writing the articles. I was given a great opportunity to write some really interesting subjects which I am thankful for. My favourite article I wrote was "15 Geeky Film Facts To Impress Your Mates With" because researching them was so funny. It didn't feel like work at all!

What I learned: I learned what it is like to organise a big event like the Raindance Film Festival. All the hard work that the staff put into it is mind boggling. I also found my writing style and my voice with every article I wrote which I am very pleased with.

What I’m doing now: I'm going to go on a well earned holiday to America in September and starting a Masters degree in Film, TV and Screen Media at Birkbeck, University of London in October. I hope to do a PhD in a similar subject and become a University Lecturer.

Ben Taylor- for websiteBen Taylor

Home City: Brighton, UK
School/University/College: Queen Mary, University of London
Studying: Film Studies
Ambition when I graduate: Well I graduated in 2012 and my ambition is to further my career in writing, as well as one in the more administrative sides of the film/art industries.

When I was at Raindance: April - June 2013

What I did: Anything and everything! From dealing with telephone enquiries, booking people onto courses, redeeming vouchers and organising course lists there was always so much to be getting on with. Occasionally I would find myself running errands around London, which helped me improve my bearings around this great city!

Worst moment: Not really sure there was one. Probably just getting the hang of how everything works in the office, especially the telephones!

Best Moment: Just being a part of it all! My passion is writing so having the opportunity to write about all sorts of wonderful film related topics was amazing, as well as having these posted on the website. Working with the Raindance team was a great experience, their enthusiasm for the industry is infectious and I sincerely hope I take some of that away with me.

What I learned: Well I could chunter on and on, but for your sanity, I will keep it brief. As a graduate, the experience of working at a film festival and getting to see what happens behind the scenes was so great. Just watching Elliot and Co beavering away, gave me an insight into what it takes to put on an event, as well as, catering to people who wish to learn more about the art form. I also became adept at dealing with the monumental task of sorting through and processing incoming film submissions. All in all, I have walked away from the internship with a new confidence in my own abilities as well as drive and determination to succeed in my future career.

What I’m doing now: Well, a part from working in administration I have just been selected onto the Theatre Royal Brighton Young Writers placement where I will develop my writing further as well as produce something for the 2014 Brighton Fringe Festival.



Kelsey Guerra

Home City: Randolph, New Jersey
School/University/College: Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Studying: Film and Media Arts
Ambition when I graduate: Post- graduation I plan to travel as much as possible, then lock myself up with a pen and pad and write until something big comes of it. Shortly after, I'd like to move out west and begin building a network of collaborators to make some "cine-magic" with, or simply just find a job working in film... and eventually, I hope to open up my own restaurant.

When I was at Raindance: January - April 2013

What I did: Anything I could to help out. My everyday duties ranged from redeeming voucher codes for  courses and confirming bookings to building excel spreadsheets with press information for marketing purposes. Occasionally, I'd find myself out of the office running errands across the city or sorting submissions for the film festival. I've even had the opportunity to write a couple of articles for the Raindance website, as well as get involved with the newest Raindance Raw Talent campaign for Love. Honour. Obey. There are hundreds of things to do around the office, you just ask.

Worst moment: Hmm... It's hard for me to recall even one bad moment throughout my entire time at Raindance, but I guess if I had to choose, it would be earlier on when I was still getting acclimated to the phones and kept accidentally hanging up on people when trying to transfer calls to other workers in the office.  (If I hung up on you, I'm sorry!)

Best Moment: It's hard to choose just one because there were a lot of really special times, but I think the most exciting thing for me was the moment I realized that Paul Franklin, the VFX supervisor on the set of Inception and the Nolan Batman trilogy, read and commented on one of my articles. Even if it was a bit critical, I truly appreciated the feedback and it was also a really great feeling to have my work exposed to such an expansive network of film connoisseurs and movie- goers from all over. I also really enjoyed being able to attend some of the amazing Raindance courses and meet some really great people.

What I learned: I could go on for pages answering this one, but i'll try to keep it short. As a film student, I've spent hours upon hours in class learning all about film; however, since I started working here I've got to see a whole different side of the film industry. I've got to experience the inner- workings of a film festival and see first hand what it take to build a successful and thriving business. I've had the opportunity to attend several full- day Raindance courses, one of which taught by Elliot Grove himself, and I think I learned more from that one course than an entire semester at college. I think one of the most important things I've learned from Raindance is that you can make any dream of yours a reality with a bit of practice, patience, and drive (a little bit of money can't help either). If you want to make a movie; raise some money, find some collaborators, and make it. If you want to write a screenplay; start writing and don't stop until your fingers begin to bleed, and then keep going. Thinking your not good enough only holds you back in the end and keeps you from achieving your goals. Oh, and i've also learned how good I am at discerning thick accents.

What I’m doing now: Unfortunately, the time has come for me to leave London and head back to Philadelphia, where I'll finish my final year of school and start preparing for my future.


Marine Gourdou

Hometown: Paris, France

School/University/College: CNAM, Paris

Studying: Trade and Marketing

Ambition when graduate: I graduated in July 2008. I like Marketing mainly for the visual communications that comes with it. My ambition is to find an interesting job where I can join my passions working in Image and Marketing for the Fair Trade market.

When I was at Raindance: January - April 2013

What I did: I did a lot of work! I wrote articles and newsletters for the Web site. Other part of my jobs included research tasks, managing the Groupon customer redemption account and everyday customer service on the phones. I was also glad to helping out a course.

Worst moment: That was when an angry and unhappy man called at the office because he didn’t receive his Goupon confirmation. He told me he wouldn’t talk to me because I had a Russian accent and then hung up the phone!

Best Moment: I don’t have any moment better than the others, all I can say is that this internship was a really good experience and I would like to thank the entire team.

What I learned: A lot. It was my first real experience with an English team. I learned about Social Media, Web Marketing and I also develop my commercial side by participating to the BVE Expo, a salon of the essential broadcast and production technology. Not forgetting to mention, of course, the progress I made in English thanks to their patience!

What I'm doing now: I hope to move to Sydney within the next months and find a Marketing role in Fair Trade. This area is also part of the things that are important to me because I want help other to contribute to a more sustainable economy. I think it’s more or less like independent movie. We must be creative and different to promote a message and reach people.


intern photoJJ Leahy

Hometown: Norton, MA

School/University/College: Stonehill College

Studying: Communications with a concentration in Cinema Studies

Ambition when graduate: Ideally, I'd like to move out to Los Angeles and take on my Hollywood aspirations.  After watching Entourage, I've always dreamt to be an Ari Gold/Eric Murphy type--minus the Ari Gold d-baggery.  For now though, I'm headed in the direction of the casting field highly interested in giving that a shot.

When I was at Raindance: January - April 2013

What I did: I had it made.  I worked with some great minds and personalities, and I was fortunate enough for this to be my first film internship.  The team kept me honest each day having me answer phones, manage web accounts, write articles, run errands--the works!

Worst moment: I don't think I could specify one particular moment, but if I had to...probably running an errand to Soho to pick up some Raindance gear.  For the most part, I'd consider myself to be directionally-challenged.  So, when I walked over from the office (mind you this is about a 10-15min walk), I got there quicker than I expected and was actually in the area I needed to be in.  Unfortunately, my newfound navigational abilities caused me to get a little too excited and veered me off course.  I want to say I walked by the building I needed to be in a good 5-10 times before I realized it was just down a little side street (which I doubted it being down each time I looked). Welp, I got the stuff at least and came back in one piece.

Best Moment: Just being in the office everyday learning new things (corny, I know) and listening to hilarious comments and conversations.  There are some seriously original and humorous people in this office. Sometimes I don't know how they manage to be so quick and witty.  On a more specific note, probably the publishing of my first article.  To be honest, I'm not a particularly huge fan of writing mainly because I think everything I put on paper sounds good at the time...but in reality is absolute rubbish.  So to see my work on the website and not have brutal comments trashing me as a writer and human being was pretty relieving and rewarding.  Now, as long as it's something I'm interested in writing about, writing ain't so bad.

What I learned: London had it's worst winter in years.  Woo!!!  Also, I learned to LISTEN.  Dealing with different accents over the phone and in person led me to the realization, JJ, you need to listen closely.  For one, the accents aren't THAT difficult to understand.  Granted some words are pronounced a bit differently and some people choose to use different vocabulary than I would...but if you listen closely it's not rocket science.  So basically, I learned that I'm not a rocket scientist.  Most importantly, I learned that I still want to pursue a career in film.  This experience was intended to point me in some direction, and it pointed me in the one I've thought I've always wanted to head in all along (so cute, I know).  I have the Raindance team to thank for this.  Thanks people!

What I'm doing now: I'm typing this "What I'm doing now" piece.  But, as of right now, it's looking like I'll be heading out to L.A. for the summer to experience my first little bit of casting.  Assuming that this agency hasn't decided to feed me to the sharks I think I'll be interning in the glorious city of Los Angeles, CA.

IMG_1115 Lianne Silano

Home City: Manalapan, NJ

School/University/College: Rider University
Studying: Theatre Performance with a minor in Music Theatre
Ambition when graduate: I only want to perform some really brilliant material- making some money off of it would be a nice plus. In the long term, I want to be in movies; anything that is going to move me along with anyone who watches it, that sounds about perfect.

When I was at Raindance: January- April 2013

What I did: I did a little bit of everything. I had everyday responsibilities such as managing our voucher redemptions and standard customer services issues on the phone. I also spent a lot of time organizing and responding to booking requests for two specific Saturday courses. I also created many data bases of contacts for Raindance to work and market with in the future. In addition, I was able to write two articles for the Raindance website, which allowed me to delve into some more creative work.

Worst moment: I truly hated answering the phones; for the first month of my internship I had phone call anxiety. I got so nervous whenever the phone rang because I had such a difficult time understanding so many of the accents and did not know how to communicate what the caller wanted to my colleagues. However, in time I got pretty good at understanding the different accents and it stopped making me so nervous.

Best moment: I think my best moment at this internship was when I posted my first article on the website. At first I hated writing the article because I’ve always struggled with writing and it felt a lot like homework. However, after it posted I got so many compliments from the staff and Elliot even told me that someone from Germany e-mailed him just to say how much he enjoyed my article! Apparently, over the past few years my writing skills have greatly improved and I am much better at communicating my ideas eloquently. It made me really proud and excited to know that a skill that I have not actively been trying to improve was in fact getting stronger simply through personal growth.

What I learned: Its hard to communicate exactly what I’ve learned here at Raindance because I’ve learned so much more than hard skills. Yes, now I know how to use WordPress and make an extremely efficient Excel spreadsheet at impressive speeds, but I think I’ve benefited the most in learning how to work through cultural differences. I love that I can communicate with people from all over Europe with little confusion- because there are more differences in slang and general language style than you can imagine! I also really enjoyed seeing how a more laid-back work style than I would experience in America can be equally as effective and significantly less stressful. Mostly, I loved working with such a close-knit team. It has really taught me that speaking to superiors does not have to be a daunting or demeaning task; we are all just people and I think if you keep that in mind in any situation you will be able to communicate with ease and respect, and it will be even more conducive to achieving your goal.

What I’m doing now: This summer I hope to get out to LA, maybe with another internship or simply to start auditioning! Whatever it is, I plan on making big career moves this summer. After, I will return to Rider University to finish my senior year..whoa, time is moving frighteningly fast.

Madeline Wickman

Madeline WickmanHome City: Northbrook, Illinois

School/University/College: DePauw University
Studying: English Writing, minor in Communications
Ambition when graduate: I love writing and I’ve had published work since high school, so I certainly want to continue my writing career.  I’ll aim to get a job in my hometown, Chicago, in advertising, marketing, and/or public relations.  Film will always be an interest of mine, and hopefully I’ll be able to continue my work in the industry.  My ultimate goal is to have my own travel column in a publication.  Traveling, eating and writing – can’t get any better than that.

When I was at Raindance: September-December 2012

What I did: I did a lot of work with the website.  I wrote several articles, helped with the transfer from the old website to the new, and created several promotional pages for BIFA.  Other side jobs included research tasks, managing the Groupon customer redemption account, and everyday customer service on the phones.

Worst moment: The decision to leave my Macbook at home and bring a netbook to London instead.  I think everyone in the office was aware of how unbearable my computer was.  It made every job take twice as long and/or twice as difficult.

Best moment: That’s a tough one.  Honestly, this internship was one of the best if not the best part of my study abroad experience.  One of the best aspects of this internship was all of the films I got to see or were brought to my attention.  I saw a good majority of the films that were screened at the festival.  I also saw a majority of the trailers for the films nominated at BIFA (which I actually created a “to see” list from).   The general aspect of actually having a general public response to my work was a minor but truly satisfying part of my time here at Raindance.  Good or bad, it’s rewarding to see your work being acknowledged.

What I learned: A lot.  The vast majority of my experience just made me more comfortable with simple things like the style of writing here and working with WordPress. I also learned a lot about British film and the film industry as a whole.

What I'm doing now: I will return to DePauw to finish my Junior and Senior year. I hope to spend this summer at an internship similar to the one I had here, and start preparing myself for the real world after graduation (yikes).

Grace Reddish Grace Reddish

Home City: Washington DC

School/University/College: James Madison University
Studying: English, Creative Writing and Film Studies
Ambition when graduate: To write amazing, witty, interesting screenplays

When I was at Raindance: Fall semester 2012

What I did: I showed up just as the 20th Festival was getting under way, so there was a lot of housekeeping with the website, marketing, and press presence at the screenings. I have also answered many, many emails, gotten to write some articles for the website and help with developing new markets for the Raindance Post-Graduate Degree program.

Worst moment: I can’t really say that I have one, everything was lovely here! Though one time I went to pick up some papers from the printers and got stuck for about 20 minutes behind some old woman ranting at the poor guy working about the meaning of “double sided.”

Best moment: The whole festival experience was great, especially going to screenings with my special Raindance employee pass. It was just fantastic to be a part of the team!

What I learned: I have become very adept at Excel and have had a great opportunity to work on my journalistic prose with all of the articles I have been writing. I hope to be able to send some more for the website even after I have departed.

What I'm doing now: Heading back to the states to finish my degree, and then hopefully I’ll come back to London to pursue my filmmaking dreams!

Mirjam GénetayMirjam Génetay

Home City: Ystad, Sweden / London, UK
School/University/College: School of Life
Studying: ...learning every day!
Ambition when graduate: To make films that provoke thoughts and evoke emotions!

When I was at Raindance: August to October 2012

What I did: I had the wonderful opportunity to be part of the Festival Team supporting them in their work to make the festival happen. That meant lost of spread sheets (a secret hobby of mine anyway ;D..), research various things about the films showing in this year's festival, answering emails/phone calls, sending out invitations right, left and centre, helping out a bit on some of the Raindance courses, taking the odd booking, writing reviews for the festival program, helping with the back-end of the web site and masses more! During the festival I have hosted the Filmmakers' Breakfast every morning at the lovely private members club Apartment 58, I have hosted social evenings during the festival and made sure 'bums on seats' numbers were adding up for both Opening Night and Closing Night Gala Screenings.

Worst moment: Tough draw between when Elliot asked me for feedback about a course in front of someone and my well meant, positive and empowering answer came out all wrong. ...if looks could kill... and the time when I booked a non-refundable flight for one of the jury members on the correct date but the wrong month...

Best moment: Every single day on my way to work when I was thinking about the fact that I was indeed going to work at RAINDANCE!!! The continuous support from the Raindance office crew who has been so awesomely inspiring, accepting and positive has made it a fantastic experience. Seeing my first review published. Meeting so many inspiring filmmakers and having the opportunity to make some truly valuable and personal connections that I am taking with me into the future. Watching films of course! The whole festival itself has been a best moment. There are just too many moments to mention.Truly magic!

What I learned: I have learnt that I love “networking” and that it's both fun and easy! This will make it so much easier for me from now.  I've broken through my own barriers and smashed through some old limiting beliefs about myself, my acting and my place in the film industry. There is most definitely a place for me there and it's an awesome feeling to know that. That in itself it invaluable and more than I could have hoped for after two months of Raindancing. That's what I call results! On top of this, I have learnt much about the film industry from a festival point of view and about making films, all from being present in the office, sitting in on courses and working on the festival itself. I'm so insanely inspired right now.

What I'm doing now: Relishing my last few days as a Raindance intern and taking a breather after the festival craze. Apart from going back to my “day-job” I will be looking around to see what catches my attention. Acting is a no-brainer for me, that is my passion and why I'm in this industry in the first place. Now I also see other opportunities. I'm no longer hesitant about creating my own project so it's more a matter of deciding what exactly. What stopped me before no longer does. I will of course continue to roam the Raindance courses for more vital guerilla-filmmaking-learnings and to stay in touch with people who share my passion. Filmmaking is team work and there is no doubt lots of talent and passion out there. It seems to me that the missing ingredient is often a leader to connect and organise them all... I knew my military leader training would come in handy one day!

James BentonJames Benton

Home City: Atlanta, Georgia
School/University/College: Savannah College of Art and Design
Studying: Film and Television
Ambition when graduate: Directing and writing feature films

When I was at Raindance: July through August 2012

What I did: a range of things. I wrote and edited articles for the website. For the film festival, I researched films that could premier and blogs that could promote the festival. I also answered emails for the Saturday Film School and phone calls about classes throughout the week. Lastly, I did manual work around the office to keep it clean and maintained.

Worst moment: If I had to choose a worst moment it would be the firs day, but only because I hate first days of anything: school, work, or what ever. But honestly I did not have a worst moment. My experience at Raindance was a fulfilling one.

Best moment: Without a doubt, it was seeing my article online. It made me feel like a professional. I showed the article to some of my peers and family emembers and they were very impressed. When you able to do something you love, who for me is writing, it is always a great moment.

What I learned: 1: Engaging with people from different backgrounds and ages. 2: Realizing there are other jobs and careers outside of creating films that still involve being in the industry.

What I'm doing now: I am currently in school in Savannah, Georgia to finish my degree. I am also looking for work in the city.

Thomas Ysturiz DoughertyThomas Ysturiz Dougherty

Home City: San Francisco, California
University: Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
Studying: Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Business and English, Minor in Film and Media Studies
Ambition when I graduate: I would love to work somewhere in the film industry.  Hopefully I can end up writing and directing my own films someday.

When I was at Raindance: May 2012- June 2012

What I did: I did a wide variety of things while at Raindance.  Sometimes I answered phones and e-mails and also made calls to sell memberships to former members.  Other times I worked on the website, formatting it and adding comments and pages, as well as giving input to the newsetter.  I also redeemed groupon codes and ran errands for the office whenever needed.  It was a Swiss Army internship.

Worst moment: There weren’t many bad moments while I was at Raindance so I can’t pick a worst one.  The most difficult moments definitely involved answering the phone though.  A lot of times I did not understand thick accents and they wouldn’t understand me either so I would end up just transferring the call.

Best Moment: The best part about Raindance was the other people in the office and how awesome they were.  If I had to pick a best moment though it would be when I got to do the “cool stuff” section of the newsletter.  I got to search around the internet for two articles or videos that Riandance members might find interesting.  It was fun to pick something that people were going to see in the newsletter and let me be creative in my searching.

What I learned: I learned a lot of different things while at Raindance.  It was my first experience working in an office environment so I learned how to be effective in that atmosphere.  I also learned a lot of new technical skills like designing web pages and redeeming Groupon codes online.  The most useful thing I learned was how to balance my work when handling multiple projects at the same time.

What I’m doing now: I have just recently graduated from Arizona State University and am living back in San Francisco.  I am currently applying for jobs around California and will hopefully get hired soon.  I can be contacted at tysturiz@asu.edu

Jake FosterJake Foster

Home City: Bargersville, IN
University: Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
Studying: Mass Communication and Computer Graphics Technology
Ambition when graduate: After graduation I plan to work my way up in the post-production industry. With the hopes of one day owning my own Post-production finishing house.

When I was at Raindance: May 2012- July 2012

What I did: While interning at Raindance I had many duties including answering the phones and booking courses. Coordinating Saturday Film School emails. I was given the opportunity to write many articles for the Raindance website.  I was also interning while they moved offices. This game me the opportunity to take on unique tasks dealing with the moving process.

Worst moment: Its hard to think of a bad moment at Raindance, but if I had to pull one memory it would have to be the time I took a course booking over the phone. I found it quite hard to understand customers over the phone. This customer in particular has very thick accent. I struggled through the booking and by the end I felt quite accomplished. Unfortunately I managed to write most of the details wrong.

Best Moment: I really enjoyed writing articles for the website. It was a great way to sharpen my writing skills as well as learn more about independent filmmaking and video production. One of the best parts about writing articles was receiving feedback on them or seeing them being tweeted to 20,000 people. It was nice to know that people where reading my work.

What I learned: I learned many things during my time at Raindance including all of the usually things that people learn with an internship like how to work in an office environment. What I took from it most were the people I met and the unique things I learned about London and the workplace culture there. It’s not what you expect to get out of an internship but I feel it will benefit me greatly.

What I’m doing now: After my internship at Raindance I will be heading back home to Indiana for a short while before beginning an internship with National Geographic. In the fall I will be heading back to Purdue for my final year of school.

Patrick ChamberlainPatrick Chamberlain

Home City: London
School/University/College: Leeds Met: Northern Film School
Studied: BA Honours in Film & Moving Image Production
Ambition when graduate: My ambition is to make shorts and music videos in the vain of making a feature film within the next 5 years.

When I was at Raindance: March 2012- May 2012

What I did: I helped out with all of the Raindance film training courses, helped out in the office, answering emails,  looked after the database, wrote articles for the Raindance newsletter & made promotional videos for the courses.

Worst moment: Being bullied by James because I was late on an article for the newsletter.

Best moment: Helping out on Hands on Directing with Patrick Tucker. He's just so hilarious and incredibly informative. I learnt more from his courses on directing than I did during my whole three years at University.

What I learned: I learnt that it is entirely possible to make a film outside of the industry and that I don't have to start as a runner and work my way slowly to the top for which I am grateful for.

What I'm doing now: I have multiple projects in different stages of development.
Need a great shooter/editor? Contact Patrick by email.

Karlana LewisKarlanna Lewis

Home City: Tallahassee, Florida, USA
School/University/College: Florida State University (2009-2012), Yale University (2012-2014)
Studying: Honors B.A. in Creative Writing and Russian with a minor in Computer Science (2011); pursuing a J.D. in law beginning autumn 2012; some film, dance and physics mixed in too
Ambition when graduate: I am an eternal learner, so after each graduation there’s always another. Someday I plan to work as a professor, and I am also interested in environmental non-profit work. Still, my main passions lie in the arts so I hold out hope for a job as an art director for films.

When I was at Raindance: January 2012 – April 2012

What I did: Wrote and edited articles, built Web pages, provided phone and e-mail support, ran errands, organized courses, created short videos, managed the Facebook ad campaign and translated the Web site into Russian (an ongoing project).

Worst moment: A tie between Elliot introducing me as “the Republican from Florida” and everyone on the phone calling me “Carolina.” (I jest.)

Best moment: A tie between everyone in the office sending me into hysterical laughter on a daily basis and the wonderful caller who spelled something with a “‘B’ as in Obama.”

What I learned: So much about (independent) film in general and the behind-the-scenes of a major festival—and how to do 12 things at once (I think I was already doing 10) and reply to 100 e-mails in under an hour.

What I'm doing now: Next I’ll spend a month in a small French village as Writer-in-Residence at Camac Art Centre. From there I’ll enjoy my Florida summer by surfing and dancing in the sun. Then in the autumn I’m off to Yale for law school.

Erik WaldmanErik Waldman

Home City: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
School/University/College: Temple University
Studying: Film/Media Arts
Ambition when graduate: To write and direct feature films.

When I was at Raindance: January 2012 - April 2012

What I did: In the beginning, I did not know what to expect because this is my first internship. After a few weeks at Raindance, I wrote articles for the website, assisted Elliot with adding information to the website, provided phone and e-mail support, ran errands, and helped with packaging the memberships. After two weeks, all my tasks became easier and Raindance turned into a fun place to work.

Worst moment: On the first day, I was told to answer the phone. My first phone conversation was almost a disaster. I could not understand what the customer was saying on the phone as I tried to sign her up for a Raindance course. She began yelling at me because I couldn’t understand her. The event was very stressful until I was honest with the customer and told her it was my first day. She apologized for yelling at me and the event was easier from there, but I’ll never forget how stressful that was.

Best moment: The day they introduced me to writing articles for website may have been the best day. I spend most of my free time researching what’s new in the film world and I cannot wait to tell people about whatever it is. My first article was about the Oscar snubs. My latest article was about my opinion on the Les Miserables film adaptation. Every day I come to Raindance trying to research more article ideas.

What I learned: I learned a lot about responding to at least 100 emails a day. I learned a lot about what in the film business motivates me. I also learned to take advantage of being a team player in an office. This internship taught me that the film business is where I am destined to be.

What I'm doing now: When I return home to the States, I am moving with my family to a new house. After the moving is complete, I plan to create scene recreations from my favorite films (to be published on Youtube). Also, I plan to create a short horror film since I have a long summer ahead of me. Most importantly, I have an internship with Greater Philadelphia Film Office beginning in May.

Phelan WarrenPhelan Warren

Home City: San Diego, California, USA
School/University/College: California State University, Fullerton
Studying: Radio/ Television/ Film
Ambition when graduate: I graduated in May 2011 but my ambition is to find a paying and interesting job in the film and/or television industry.

When I was at Raindance: September 2011 - January 2012

What I did: I was given a lot of different things to do. I helped with the festival when it was running, updated things on the website, helped with marketing (Facebook ads, Raindance NYC Twitter), ran errands, answered the phone, helped with the courses, wrote an article and helped with anything else that someone may have needed assistance with.

Worst moment: Getting VERY lost while running an errand and ended up going around in circles only to find that the place I was looking for was a random unmarked door in the corner that I had perviously passed 3 times and of course... it was raining. It was all good though, I now know my way around that area of London very well!

Best moment: Helping out with the festival and meeting new people. Also being introduced to Christmas crackers during the office Christmas lunch!

What I learned: I have learned a variety of things. From learning how a film festival and courses are run to the importance of marketing and social media. I also learned the basics of fixing and updating the website.

What I'm doing now: I am about to head back to sunny California and put my recent degree and London experience to work by going on the search for a job in the industry.