Attending a film festival is always such a unique experience, from the award ceremonies, to the parties, galas, filmmakers’ panels and, of course, the screenings themselves. But that doesn’t mean that you can enjoy these films only during the festival – many of them are accessible all-year round! Here we have compiled a list of 15 Raindance gems that are available to stream on UK Netflix (sorry, non-UK readers! But some of them are also available in other countries). Make sure to check them out before the next festival’s edition, and happy viewing!
1) Don’t Knock Twice (Dir. Caradog W. James, UK)
In this supernatural horror, a mother is desperate to reconnect with her troubled daughter, but on the way ends up inadvertently becoming embroiled in the urban legend of a demonic witch.
2) Growing Up Coy (Dir. Eric Juhola, USA)
Winner of Best Documentary Feature at the 24th Raindance (2016), this emotional film explores the very timely issue of transgender rights by telling the story of Coy Mathis, a 6-year old transgender girl whose school in Colorado suddenly rescinded her access to the girls’ bathroom, ensuing in a landmark civil rights case.
3) Ice Guardians (Dir. Brett Harvey, USA)
This insightful film examines the unofficial role of ice hockey enforcers, as they fight for the existence of the role itself among the deaths of a few self-destructive players and debates about how much fighting should be allowed in the game.
4) Minimalism (Dir. Matt D’Avella, USA)
The idea of minimalism is no longer just an art style. For several people, it’s become a lifestyle. Dive into the experiences of minimalists from all walks of life and meet the people who get by on the bare necessities.
5) Me and the Alien (Jesús Magaña Vázquez, Mexico)
In order to get ahead with their band, Lauro, Rita and Agus decide to bring in Pepe (‘The Alien’), a talented keyboard player with Down syndrome. As their success grows, so too do their egos and their precious friendships are put in jeopardy in this witty and charming feel-good comedy.
6) Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan (Dir. Linda Saffire and Adam Schlesinger, USA)
An intimate portrait of 46-year-old prima ballerina Wendy Whelan, tracking her life and career as the natural, physical problems of a lifetime of exertion begin to creep up on her. She still yearns to dance, but her body has to learn its new limits in one of the most testing moments of her life.
7) Money (Dir. Martin Rosete, Spain/USA)
A crime thriller involving two wealthy businessmen who are about to get away with $5 million in ill-gotten money until their plans are revealed by an uninvited house guest. Taking its tagline from Charles Bukowski, ‘There are only two things wrong with money: too much or too little’.
8) Nila (Dir. Selvamani Selvaraj, India)
With a dreamy aesthetics and beautiful settings, this immersive film leads us right into the wondrous nighttime world of taxi driver, Vimal, as he meets his childhood love. Their rekindled bond soon has them wanting more from each other, in an age-old tale of head versus heart.
9) A Plastic Ocean (Dir. Craig Leeson, UK/Hong Kong)
Following its wrold premiere at Raindance in 2016, Plastic Ocean went on to screen in legislative chambers in over forty countries. It is our belief that the current awareness of plastic in the ocean happened in part due to the phenomenal success of this movie.
In this adventure documentary, journalist Craig teams up with free diver Tanya Streeter and an international team of scientists and researchers, and they travel to twenty locations around the world over the next four years to explore the fragile state of our oceans, uncover alarming truths about plastic pollution, and reveal working solutions that can be put into immediate effect.
10) Three (Dir. Johnnie Too, Hong Kong/China)
Realising that he will be defeated in no time during a police showdown, a thug shoots himself to force the cops to take him to the hospital. There he uses his human right to refuse immediate treatment to bide time for rescue. The detective sees through his scheme but decides to play along.
11) The Violin Player (Dir. Bauddhayan Mukherji, India)
The ordinary life of a failing violin player is overturned when he catches the attention of a stranger at the train station, a filmmaker who needs a score to his latest project. Agreeing to take the job because he’s desperate for money, the violinist follows his new employer through the back alleys of the city, revealing startling truths about music, art, life and survival.
12) City of Joy (Dir. Madeleine Gavin, DROC/USA)
A tale of hope and restoration unfolds in the film which follows the first class of students at a remarkable leadership center in the war-torn Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. A story about the resilience of the human spirit, City of Joy shows the women’s fierce will to reclaim hope.
13) Edie (Dir. Simon Hunter, UK)
Raindance mentor and tutor Simon Hunter’s movie had its English premiere at the 2017 Raindance, where it won the Spirit of Raindance Award. The following spring and summer saw EDIE secure a 7 figure theatrical box office – unheard of for an indie. It regularly trends on Netflix.
Edith Moore (Edie) is a bitter woman in her eighties. Following her controlling husband’s death, she decides to take embark on a trip that her father had planned for them many years before and fulfill her lifelong dream of climbing a mountain in the Scottish Highlands. The story is a tale of triumph over adversity as Edie embarks on the adventure of a lifetime.
14) On Yoga: The Architecture of Peace (Dir. Heitor Dhalia, Brazil)
Heitor Dhalia’s serene documentary follows acclaimed photographer Michael O’Neill in understanding the philosophy and spirituality of yoga, in a deeply humanist and positive portrait that demonstrates people’s capacity for self-satisfaction in their attempt to find mental and physical balance.
Need help with figuring out which film you should add to your next binge-watching session? Take the quiz here! And would you like your film to become a future Raindance gem? Submissions for the 27th edition are now open!