The 28th Raindance Film Festival didn’t let anyone stop us from announcing this year’s Festival Award winners.

It has been an incredible year, and we have thrived through the challenges of moving our festival online. The brilliant filmmakers that celebrated their films at Raindance Film Festival 2020 were astounding, and as always, it is a very hard decision to choose who wins these awards. After many votes, we finally have them ready. Thank you to all filmmakers and jury, and let’s join in congratulating our 2020 Award Winners!

Best Director: Milcho Manchevski – Willow

Three women deal with the issues of tradition, adoption and control over their bodies. They have not set out to change the world but their struggle to become mothers makes them unlikely heroines. Willow presents three stories set in Macedonia – one medieval, two contemporary – exploring themes of love, trust and motherhood.

Watch it here until 11:59pm GMT on Sat 7 Nov

 

Best Screenplay: Force of Habit

Force of Habit deconstructs the invisible use of power towards women both in private lives and in the society. Following 11 women, we experience their point of view and dive into the female gaze. Now we see it.

Watch it here until 11:59pm GMT on Sat 7 Nov

 

Best Cinematography: Tim Cragg – The Great Green Wall

ernando Meirelles and Malian musician Inna Modja take us on an epic journey along Africa’s Great Green Wall. The film shares an ambitious vision: the growth of 8000km of trees across the continent, planted to fight the effects of mass migration, resource scarcity and climate change.

Watch it here until 11:59pm GMT on Sat 7 Nov

 

Best Performance: Johnny Flynn – Stardust

It’s 1971: a 24 year-old David Bowie embarks on his first trip to America, only to be met with a world not yet ready for him. Revealing the inspirations that gave birth to Bowie’s iconic alter ego Ziggy Stardust, Stardust charts the transformation of one of the world’s greatest icons.

 

Best International Feature: Force of Habit

Force of Habit deconstructs the invisible use of power towards women both in private lives and in the society. Following 11 women, we experience their point of view and dive into the female gaze. Now we see it.

Watch it here until 11:59 pm GMT on Sat 7 Nov

 

Best UK Feature: He Dreams of Giants

In the 2002 documentary Lost In La Mancha, Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe chronicled filmmaker Terry Gilliam’s failed attempt to bring Don Quixote to the screen. He Dreams of Giants documents Gilliam’s hard-won success and is one of the most intense meditations on making art ever seen on screen.

 

Best Documentary Feature: The State of Texas VS. Melissa

Melissa Lucio, the first Hispanic woman to be sentenced to death in Texas, faces her last appeal after ten years of awaiting her fate. The State of Texas vs. Melissa examines a life plagued by poverty and prejudice and is the story of one woman’s fight against an entire system.

Watch it here until 11:59pm GMT on Sat 7 Nov

 

Best Music Documentary: TOPOWA! – Never Give Up

TOPOWA! is a journey of hope that celebrates the power of music to change lives. From the Katwe slums in Uganda to the streets of London and the fields of Cheltenham Festival, we follow five young teacher musicians and the Brass For Africa band as they prepare for an unforgettable experience that will transform their lives forever.

Watch it here until 11:59pm GMT on Sat 7 Nov

 

Discovery Award: My Thoughts Are Silent

Vadim is twenty-two. He’s a sound engineer and a downer. He’s going to Canada in three months. Forever. Before the departure he’s assigned to record the voice of a very rare bird, which dwells only in the Transcarpathian mountains of Ukraine.

 

Best Short of the Festival: A Fallen Fruit

Thy, the young son of a cricket farmer, mourns his mother’s passing and faces the arrival of his father’s new bride and her daughter. The film is a portrait of a day in Thy’s world of silent grief and hopeful dreams, painted over the canvas of rural Cambodia.

Watch it here until 11:59pm GMT on Sat 7 Nov

 

Best UK Short: The Long Goodbye

A day which begins like any other slowly erupts into violence for one family as they experience institutional racism and fear. The film presents an uncompromising vision of what may lie ahead in these intolerant times, in which people from ethnic minorities are often forced to go through traumatic “breakups”.

Watch it here until 11:59pm GMT on Sat 7 Nov

 

Best Documentary Short: Firefly

At night-time in Cuba, the flight of fireflies is said to be like weakened fires, wandering souls, or the meeting of miniature spectres. Isabel makes an invocation and triggers a cathartic dance. Firefly is an experimental composition which explores creativity and spiritual intimacy.

Watch it here until 11:59pm GMT on Sat 7 Nov

Best Animation Short: Any Instant Whatever

A man. In a room. In a film. This is simultaneously the becoming of something and becoming in itself. And nothing is as solid as we believe… Any Instant Whatever explores our perception of time, bodies and objects, and our innate inability to comprehend the full reality of things.

Watch it here until 11:59pm GMT on Sat 7 Nov

Any Instant Whatever

Best Music Video: Zoea

This music video follows the journey of a mitten crab, a species which has seen a gradual decline in population over the past few decades, mainly due to overharvesting and pollution. As a result, the existence of the mitten crab has also faded away from the popular consciousness.

Watch it here until 11:59pm GMT on Sat 7 Nov

Zoea

Raindance Special Awards:

Film of the Festival: Not to be unpleasant but we need to have a serious talk

Aris’ success in business and sex is shaken when he contracts an STD that could be fatal to his many female partners. He decides to contact them individually to find the source. With his upcoming promotion under threat, Aris discovers that self-absorption is not the only form of existence.

Watch it here until 11:59pm GMT on Sat 7 Nov

 

Spirit of the Festival: The Hat

A young man wanders into the middle of a barren field, and just as he’s enjoying the peace of it all, a mystery assailant comes running out of the trees towards him. But some things you can’t outrun.

Watch it here until 11:59pm GMT on Sat 7 Nov

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About 

Raindance aims to promote and support independent filmmaking and filmmakers.

From new and emerging to industry pros, Raindance connects, trains, supports, and promotes visual storytellers through every step of their career.

The Raindance Film Festival runs each Autumn in London's Leicester Square.

Raindance has been delivering film training since 1992. A wide range of Open Classes to a 2 year HND Level 5 BTEC in Moving Images to a Postgraduate Film Degree are delivered to students on five continents, both in person and online.