25th Raindance Highlights, A Look At 2017's Milestone

25th Raindance Highlights



Arriving at the twenty-fifth edition of Raindance seemed unimaginable when the first festival took place in 1993 at the Metro cinema in the heart of Soho. It was a very humble beginning.

What we’ve achieved since would have been impossible without the participation of so many passionate filmmakers, film lovers, distributors, sales agents, friends and volunteers.

Raindance also wouldn’t have reached its 25th milestone without the partnership of the many creative and inspiring people who have worked here, many of whom have gone on to become leading lights in the UK film industry.

We thank all the sponsors, partners and all discerning film lovers who have contributed so much to Raindance and return to the Festival year after year.

Discover. Be Discovered!


Elliot Grove
Raindance Film Festival | The British Independent Film Awards



Over 22,000+ attendees

a 39% increase compared to 2016


Films Submitted


Participating Countries


Selected Films


Registered Press


Registered Industry

$100,000 USD

In-Kind Awards by Urban Post Production





Sponsored By Lexus

Raindance Auteur Award and Programme Launch



Guy Ritchie receiving the Raindance Auteur Award with festival founder Elliot Grove (top). Special guests included Gethin Anthony and Daniel Konrad (bottom left), Celia Imrie and Nicholas Pinnock (right) as well as Nicholas Lyndhurst and Jamie Campbell among others.

“Guy Ritchie received the annual auteur award at the Raindance Film Festival. Presented on August 15 by Raindance Founder Elliot at an event to mark the festival’s 25th Anniversary at The May Fair Hotel. The auteur award is for Ritchie’s achievements in filmmaking and ongoing contribution to the film industry. Last year’s recipient was Ken Loach.”


Screen Daily


The event was preceded by the Programme Launch at Vue West End, the newly refurbished venue in Leicester Square and the new home to the 25th festival edition.





Sponsored by Lexus

Oh Lucy! Dir by Atsuko Hirayanagi with Josh Hartnett


The 25th Raindance Film Festival launched in London with the UK premiere of ‘Oh Lucy!’ after a press conference at Century Club. Director Atsuko Hirayanagi and actor Josh Hartnett attended the premiere at Vue West End, in Leicester Square.

The film was preceded by short film The Game, directed by Jeannie Donohoe, part of the Lexus Short Film series and later winner for Best Short of the Festival.



Raindance: Part of London’s Autumn Season

In partnership with London & Partners and the Mayor of London

“The Raindance Film Festival is an essential partnership to Telegraph Film. The festival brings cutting edge, independent cinema and a young, cool, urban audience to the Telegraph. We have had a successful 3 year partnership and are very much looking forward to our 4th year. The Raindance team are the best partners to work with. Creative and passionate… a brilliant win/win for all. ”

Denise Parkinson, Global Entertainment Director, The Telegraph Group


“Probably the best film and jury lineup I can remember from @Raindance. Good show” 

Andreas Wiseman, Deputy Editor, Screen Daily


“The indie-est film festival this side of the Atlantic” The Guardian 


“One of the world’s top 50 ‘unmissable film festivals’” – Variety




Industry Days and Marketplace

The Raindance Industry Forum presented industry focused days and masterclasses leaded by Academy-Award winner Paul Franklin (visual effects supervisor for Inception, Batman trilogy) and cult filmmaker Ate de Jong (Drop Dead Fred).


The forum welcomed panelists from companies including Facebook 360, British Film Institute BFI, Women in Entertainment, British Independent Film Awards BIFA, Rotolight, London Flair PR, Vue and 20th Century Fox to share industry insights to the festival audiences. The festival facilitated sales, distribution and exhibition meetings with companies including Peccadillo, One Eyed Films, Distribber, West End Films, Picturehouse and Vue Entertainment.





Co-Production Forum & Emanuele Crialese Retrospective

Raindance welcomed Italy as the guest of honour in 2017 in the Co-Production Forum with a focus on Italy as well as a retrospective with legendary filmmaker Emanuele Crialese.

The coproduction forum was a collaboration with ICE (Italian Trade Agency), ANICA (Italian National Association of Film and Audiovisual Industry) and MiBACT (Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism).


20+ UK producers met with 8 Italian guest projects to discuss and create new co- production business opportunities.


Award $20,000 in-kind post production services by Urban Post Production.






“A very useful, practical forum with an excellent set of speakers who were able to share huge expertise, along with the very positive news about the forthcoming changes to the Italian system. Having a chance to hear directly from senior MiBACT representatives in advance of the changes coming into force made the forum particularly useful”

Isabel Davis, Head of International for BFI



Internationally acclaimed director Emanuele Crialese joined Raindance on a special retrospective on his career and presented Terraferma and Golden Door.







In partnership with Dreamax – Raindance China

Raindance Film Festival held a China Day event at The May Fair Hotel in conjunction with Dreamax, a Beijing based production and distribution outfit.

The event offered a packed day of panel discussions on how filmmakers can access the Chinese market, how Chinese filmmakers can meet and work with their European partners, as well as discussions on how to work with talent. The festival also shared a special screening of Come Across Love, dir by Chen Zhuo.



“The challenges filmmakers in Britain and US face are that they need to understand the Chinese market and get access to the Chinese market,”Elliot Grove


“We would like to further develop our film industry by reaching out through platforms like the Raindance Film Festival.” Michael Bao, the founder and CEO of Dreamax Media.



VR Arcade Sponsored by Lexus

VR Summit & Awards Presented by Facebook 360 / Blend Media


The Raindance VR Arcade at Hospital Club included experiences across the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Google Daydream, PlayStation VR and Samsung Gear VR platforms.

The Raindance VR Experiences Summit presented by Facebook 360 in partnership with Blend Media at May Fair Hotel included some of the top masterminds in the VR/AR world.




25X25 is a collaboration between The Independent Film Trust and Raindance aimed at levelling the playing field in the film industry by giving those lacking access to film production, a doorway to the expertise, experience, contacts, films and discussions of industry professionals.


In 2017, our pilot year, we were able to offer 14 people the opportunity to access the Raindance Film Festival, attend industry events, screen their work, attend workshops and benefit from daily mentoring.

Participants also have access to mentoring from the IFT and courses from Raindance for an additional 6 months after the festival.

The group was introduced to industry professionals in a mutually respectful environment. Meeting with working directors for advice as well as for finding work and mentoring opportunities.



Participants described 25X25 as:

“Mini film school but so much better” “Eye-opening”
“An inspiring programme for emerging filmmakers.”




(From top left: Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), Josh Hartnett (Pearl Harbor), Johnny Rotten (Sex Pistols), Harry Lloyd (Game of Thrones), J K Simmons (Whiplash), Gethin Anthony (Game of Thrones), Jenna Ushkowitz & Amber Riley (Glee), Bruce La Bruce, Lolita Chammah, Sean Cronin (Mission Impossible), Alice Eve (Star Trek), Celia Imrie (Bridget Jones Diary) attending the 25th Raindance Film Festival.