Category: Raindance Film Festival

Raindance Founder Elliot Grove Selects His Raindance 2019 Highlights

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It is nearly impossible to pick my ten favourite films from this year’s stellar lineup. But if I had to pick ten films to see before I was dead in a ditch, these would be them!

Elliot Grove


Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Country: Germany/UK/US
Date and time: Wed 18th September 6pm
Tickets Here

Starting with a short film from quirky director Yorgos Lanthimos, Nimic will be shown on the opening gala of Raindance Film Festival alongside documentary feature KrowsTRANSformation. The twelve minute thriller explores an unexpected incident in the life of a cellist who experiences a chance encounter on the subway that changes the course of his life indefinitely. Nimic will be coming to Raindance for its UK premiere at Vue Leicester Square, tickets for the exciting opening night can be brought here.


Nomination: Best Discovery
Director:  Josephine Mackerras
Country: Australia/ UK
Date and time: 25th September 18:30 & 26th September 17:15
Tickets HERE

This no-budget film shot in Paris beat off all the multi-million budget “indies” and was the Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW. Alice is the debut feature film from multiple award-winning writer and director Josephine Mackerras. After Alice’s husband suddenly disappears, taking with him the family purse, she must learn to fend for herself. She succeeds; better, she thrives.

Greener Grass

Nomination: Best International Film, Best Director
Director: Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe
Country: USA
Date and time: 22nd September 18:30 & 25th September 13:30
Tickets Here

As a woman gifts her newborn baby to her best friend in a misguided altruistic gesture, Greener Grass follows her down the rabbit hole of a strange suburban wonderland. Encountering knicker scarves, serial killers, and interchangeable husbands, she is led on a surreal journey equal parts comedy and horror show. Directors Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe are bringing Greener Grass to Raindance for the UK Premiere of the film.

The Waiter

Nomination: Best Director, Best Performance, Best Cinematography, Best Discovery
Director: Steve Kriskris
Country: Greece
Date and time: 27th September 21:15 & 29th 14:45
Tickets Here

Steve Kriskris’s deliciously deadpan slice of ‘Greek weird wave’ takes the form of a classic film noir as funnelled through the quirky imaginations of Roy Andersson or Aki Kaurismaki. Renos (Aris Servetalis) is an overly fastidious waiter in a local café, whose arid home life is exploded by the discovery of the dismembered body of his flamboyant neighbour. Before long Renos is embroiled in a twisted love triangle that can only spell disaster for all involved. You can catch the film and a Q&A with the director by using the link below.

The Planters

Director: Alexandra Kotcheff and Hannah Leder
Country: USA
Date and time: 23rd September 18:45 & 24th September 13:00
Tickets HERE

The first feature film from lifelong friends Alexandra Kotcheff and Hannah Leder, The Planters was written, produced, directed, acted, and crewed by this dynamic duo. Imbued with quirky style and earnest heart, the film is a paean to the joys of friendship – both in front of and behind the lens.

7 Reasons to Run Away

Nomination: Best International Film, Best Director
Director: David Torras, Gerard Quinto, Esteve Soler
Country: Spain
Date and time: 26th September 18:30 & 27th September 13:30
Tickets HERE

Taking cues from the surrealist cinema of Buñuel, 7 Reasons to Run Away (From Society), is a Spanish-language anthology film that explores humour, social commentary, and horror, in equal measure. Set around seven domestic scenarios, directors David Torras, Gerard Quinto, and writer-director Esteve Soler find hidden in the absurd a distinct and uncanny truth. 7 Reasons to Run Away will be showing on the 26th September at the Vue cinema in Piccadilly.

Thirst for Justice

Nomination: Best Documentary
Director: Leana Hosea
Country: Venezuela/Mexico
Date and time: 20th September 18:45 & 22nd September 13:30
Tickets HERE

Experienced BBC journalist Leana Hosea explores the water crisis currently taking place in the world’s richest country, the United States of America. Despite the country’s wealth, many of its people do not have access to clean water. Hosea investigates why, and discovers a sinister undercurrent. This hard hitting documentary is having its European Premiere at Raindance on the 20th September.

Aren’t You Happy?

Director: Susanne Heinrich
Country: Germany
Date and time: 29th September 17:30
Tickets HERE

A woman, equipped with a faux fur coat and existential angst, roams through the city looking for a place to spend the night. Anyone’s bed, anyone’s company will do – her ennui is impenetrable. In this series of absurdist vignettes, Susanne Heinrich paints a picture of what it means to be depressed in today’s society. Aren’t you Happy? Is showing at the Raindance closing gala.

By the Name of Tania

Nomination: Best International Film, Best Director, Best Performance
Director: Bénédicte Liénard & Mary Jiménez
Country: Belgium
Date and time: 20th September 18:30 & 21st September 16:00
Tickets HERE

By the Name of Tania is a stirring work of docu-fiction, combining truth and fiction so as to create a moving, holistic vision of a cultural malice deserving of exposure. Tania – and all the women like her – need their story told.

Family in Transition

Nomination: Best Documentary
Director: Ofir Trainin
Country: Israel
Date and time: 26th September 19:45 & 27th September 13:15
Tickets HERE

Director: Ofir Trainin

In a relatively conservative neighbourhood, one family decides to forge their own path as their much-loved parent transitions from male to female. It’s a story of resilience, raw emotion, happiness, and heartbreak, set against a backdrop of religious and cultural norms. Directed by Ofir Trainin, Family in Transition, will be shown at the Vue Piccadilly on the 26th September.

Tickets HERE

Filed under: In Our Opinion, Raindance Film Festival

Raindance Means… Queer

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The 27th Raindance Film Festival Queer strand showcases films that celebrate queer life and love. In this strand we aim to not only provide a platform, but to commend the inspiring stories told by, or about, the Queer community. Raindance 2019 will be showing these life changing stories from the 18th- 29th September in central London. Including a range of both narrative films and documentaries, you can be sure that the indie filmmakers of this year’s programme have compelling stories that need to be told. Without further ado, here are the selection of feature films that make up our Queer film strand. 

Krows TRANSformation

The very first gala and screening of this year’s festival is dedicated to the world premiere of director Gina Hole Lazarowich’s documentary Krows TRANSformation. Telling the story of Krow, a twelve-year-old who flies to Japan to start their career as a female model. Six years later, the same person cuts his ponytail off, takes his first dose of testosterone, and adopts the name Krow. The intimate documentary shot over three years depicts in detail the long, difficult, and rewarding journey of one trans male model. Join us for the opening gala and screening of Krows TRANSformation by using the link below. 

Book your tickets for Krow’s Transformation

Queering the Script 

Gabrielle Zilkha’s documentary Queering the Script paints a detailed and intimate history of on-screen romances between women, and the adjacent growth of fandoms. Zilkha’s tracing wisely points to the subtextual queerness of such televised relationships, and smoothly develops to the complexities of unashamed queer representation. This film underlines not just the necessity of candid LGBTQ+ representation, but the stories that this community deserves. It has already been screened at Outfest Los Angeles, Inside out Toronto LGBT Film Festival and will be having it’s UK premiere at Raindance. 

Book your tickets for Queering the Script 

Finding Bobbi

Trans people are sometimes portrayed as something ‘new’ – they are not. Bobbi Charlton underwent her transition at the age of 51, and this touching documentary traces both the highs of her new life, and the lows of the one that came before. Directed by Scot Morison and Ava Karvonen, this inspiring story is opening at Raindance on 20th September for its European Premiere.

Book your tickets for Finding Bobbi

Label Me 

Written and directed by rising star Kai Kreuser (who has already picked up an award for the film at the Max Ophüls Film Festival) LABEL ME is a film of unique sensitivity. While considering a slew of social issues – masculinity, sexuality, and the status of refugees – it also examines the societal, and the personal. Already having a successful festival run, LABEL ME  has been shown at Outfest Los Angeles and Sehsüchte Film Festival to name only a few. The German film will be coming to Raindance for its UK Premiere. 

Book your tickets for Label Me

World Beyond My Mind 

Eibe Maleen Krebs’s directorial debut feature unfolds entirely within a single room. Sven is almost entirely paralysed, and relies on his carer, Christoph, to assist with his everyday needs. Sven’s caustic attitude and Christoph’s inexperienced optimism result in an unlikely friendship, and a truly moving conclusion. The film has already picked up by the Atlanta Film Festival 2019 but will be having its UK Premiere at Raindance.

Book your tickets for World Beyond My Mind

Family In Transition

In a relatively conservative neighbourhood, one family decides to forge their own path as their much-loved parent transitions from male to female. It’s a story of resilience, raw emotion, happiness, and heartbreak, set against a backdrop of religious and cultural norms. Director Ofir Trainin was awarded Best Film at DovAviv Film Festival for Family in Transition, in amongst its many festival appearances including Krakow International Film Festival and Toronto Jewish Film Festival. 

Book your tickets for Family in Transition

Song Lang 

Leon Le directs a love story masquerading as a crime film, set in 1980s Vietnam. A thug working for a loan shark will go to any lengths to recoup a debt. A young Cải lương performer tries to save his opera troupe from destruction by repaying the debts owed to the loan shark. The UK Premiere of the film at Raindance will be on the 23rd September, coming after it’s win at Bejing International Film Festival for Best Director. 

Book your tickets for Song Lang

Explore the other festival strands here.

Filed under: Raindance Film Festival

Raindance Means… Politics 

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As the 27th Raindance Film Festival opens its doors again in 2019 the political climate of not only the UK, but all over the world, is tense and decisive. Against the backdrop of Brexit and #RaindancemeansRaindance, we want to champion films featuring stories of social and political impact. Our Politico strand features films that not only inform but have the power to make your stomach churn and your heart race. Many of which have been nominated for awards in a wide variety of categories, below is a small selection of the Politico strand to give you a taste of what is to come! Raindance, the UK’s largest film festival begins on the 18th September in Leicester Square, tickets can be purchased using the links below. 

On the President’s Orders

Directed by Emmy-winning documentarians James Jones and Olivier Sarbil, On The President’s Orders is an unflinching investigation into the drug war embroiling Duterte’s Philippines, and the societal fallout of a country trapped under the boot of its police force. Nominated for Best UK Film at this year’s festival On the President’s Orders has also been featured in Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Dokufest and Sheffield Doc Fest, to name a few. Tickets can be bought here:

Book your tickets for On The President’s Orders


Written and directed by prolific author and award-winning filmmaker Miha Mazzini (with co-direction from accomplished cinematographer Dusan Joksimovic), Erased is a moving account of a mother lost in the cracks of a cold and thoughtless bureaucracy. A post-Yugoslav Nightmare. Erased will be having its world premiere at Raindance whilst also competing for Best Screenplay.

Book your tickets for Erased


 Gael García Bernal’s sophomore film as director sees him return to the Mexico City slums of his own acting breakthrough to tell a darkly comic tale of two fast friends desperate for a better life. Cagalera and Moloteco are two teens who spend most of their days clowning around to avoid the grim realities of their home lives. Cagalera’s plan to skip town with his girlfriend propels the friends through an increasingly misjudged series of crimes that seem destined to end tragically. Chicuarotes has earned a nomination for Best Director at Raindance, where it will be having its UK Premiere having previously been featured at Cannes, Toronto International Film Festival and San Sebastian Film Festival. 

Book your tickets for Chicuarotes


Jirga is a searching and emotive journey of redemption and self-reflection. Shot in Afghanistan and Pakistan and employing genuine ex-Taliban as cast members, it is as authentic as it is urgent. Previously featured at the Toronto International Film Festival  and Sydney International Film Festival, director Benjamin Gilmour is exhibiting Jirga at Raindance for its UK Premiere where it is also in the running for Best International Film. 

Book your tickets for Jirga

Iraq: A State of Mind 

In this BBC documentary, Namak Khoshnaw examines an oft-ignored element of the post-war experience: mental health. The wars and insurgencies that have shattered the country over the past four decades have precipitated an unseen crisis among Iraq’s post-war populace. This political piece will be hosted by Raindance for it’s International Premiere on the 19th September at Vue Piccadilly. 

Book your tickets for Iraq: A State of Mind

Explore the other festival strands here.

Filed under: Raindance Film Festival

Interview with Gina Hole Lazarowich, director of Krow’s Transformation

Ahead of the World Premiere of Raindance Film Festival 2019 Opening Night Film Krow’s Transformation, we sat down with director Gina Hole Lazarowich to talk about the film. 

Let’s talk about how the idea for the film came about and how you met Krow?

 I had been in the film industry for over 25 years, but after having kids I stepped off of the long hours on set and started producing photo & video shoots, specializing in fashion shoots. When Krow decided to transition, his mom Lisa reached out to me one day, out of the blue, and asked me if I could produce Krow’s very last photo shoot in his female body, prior to transitioning. I said ‘of course!’ and that I could put together a great photo team, as we were all so proud of Krow for becoming his true authentic self (the fashion industry is like a big family of support), and hung up and got to work on producing that shoot….but I thought about it all night, inspired by how brave a move Krow was making, and thought, ‘wouldn’t this be amazing to document this transition from BEFORE his transition to after?!’ So the next day I contacted Lisa & Krow and put forward the idea of the documentary to them. He had to think about it as it is not an easy position to be in to then to be always known as a ‘Trans Male’ instead of just trying to blend into society as a man. My hat’s off to Krow for accepting my idea and challenge, which was not an easy one! You can see this ‘final female’ shoot in the documentary as well as his very first photo shoot as a male model. 

How did you manage to get so close to such am intimate and life changing chapter in Krow’s life?

 I was very adamant that Krow and I had to be in touch every step of the way to be authentic, every appointment, every ‘life event’, everything that involved transitioning, I needed to be a part of, tough for him as what an invasion of privacy! So everything you see in the film is authentic, I always referred to it along the way as a ‘how to transition’ so there was no steps missed. I always had a vision of who our  audience was, maybe a young person -who potentially did not have any support- who could at least see all of the ‘steps’ of transitioning (female to male) and to see that just maybe it wasn’t ‘as scary’ as they had imagined. Krow tackled every step with such joy (of course mixed with a lot anxiety as well for sure!), that the documentary started to shape itself as a real ‘metaphor for happiness’. I also call it a film of ‘one-take wonders’ as every scene is real and only one take, we didn’t talk prior to each shooting day (texts/emails only to coordinate) as I wanted to ‘save it all for on camera’, it got be be a bit of a joke between us all, ‘shhh, save it for on camera!’, Krow would end up always saying, ‘I know, I know, save it for camera right?!’, we did talk about the weather though, lol! 

It seems Canada is quite progressive in accepting transgender people but Krow was bullied as a teenager before even understanding his true sexual identity. Have you made this film to help promoting a cause, to support those who, after transitioning, find it hard to be accepted? 

 Yes absolutely I made the film to promote the cause. Canada is extremely accepting, especially in our Province of BC where the Government changed the Human Right Code of Conduct to include Gender Identity and Expression (so rights are protected) as well as our medical covers both top and bottom surgeries now for free…but even Canada has a long way to go on understanding, and that is why I made this film, to help people understand transitioning a bit easier, as with knowledge becomes understanding. I see the Transgender community as some of the most marginalized people in society, bullied by people’s own opinions of what and who THEY think they are or ‘should be’, instead of just simply empathizing. One common thread of feedback I have consistently received after people screen the film from the Heterosexual community AND even some of the Queer community is, “Gina I didn’t know!”. I hope we get this message delivered far and wide to spread the word of empathy, that the bullying must stop and caring begins with your heart, they are going through a tough enough journey alone, they need our support! 

I personally found the idea very challenging and stimulating but why did you choose a fashion model to represent this cause?

 I didn’t really choose it, they reached out to me! I knew immediately it was an amazing story that should be documented, and honoured they allowed me to do so, to spread the word to children and adults alike. What I did NOT know was how it would affect the Cisgender community as well, which it really has taken on a life of its own there. We started this film for kids in schools but it has grown to so much more. I believe this was because when interviewing I put myself in the position of the parent who’s kid was coming out to them, and formulated my questions that way (‘what would I want to know as a parent?!’), so this answers a lot of questions sort of everyone has. 

Have any of the big fashion brands become involved with the project? Why?

 Well it is no secret Louis Vuitton is a big part of Krow’s final journey in the film! It’s a fairytale ending (or as I said as the filmmaker, a ‘What the F*@#?’! story ending) that NONE of us saw coming! This only unfolded at the end of year 3 shooting, I was TRYING to get him into Men’s New York Fashion Week but I kept getting shut down but the top model agencies in New York, they didn’t want to touch a Trans Male Model on camera, all until I introduced him to the fortuitous Canadian Agent Liz Bell, who submitted him for Louis Vuitton’s great vision of casting Trans Men in their women’s Paris Fashion Week show, and the rest is HIStory…now he is everywhere and has some of the leading and forward-thinking agents worldwide who have steered his career to becoming the 1st “Trans Male Super Model” in the world….who would have ever thought this to be our outcome of this film and ESPECIALLY Krow’s career, I still am in disbelief…what an amazing role model he has become for Trans kids, teens and men, in fact for the entire community. Book your ticket for the premiere of Krow’s Transformation at the Opening Night Gala of Raindance Film Festival 2019, followed by a Q&A with Gina Hole Lazarowich and the main subjects, Krow Kian, Kas Baker, Emily Seal, and Ashton Sciacallo, followed by an after party.

Filed under: Interviews, Raindance Film Festival

12 Types of People Who Attend Film Festivals

You might cut deals at work, you might be quiet at events and loud at home. But what type of person are you during film festivals? See if you are the type of person to attend a film festival.

There ‘re so many benefits to attending film festivals:

  • see great movies
  • listen and learn at talks, panels and special events
  • meet filmmakers from all over the world
  • networking events galore

In order to get the most out of your film festival experience, it’s important to decide what your goal is before you attend, as how you spend your time will differ depending on what you want to get out of it, be it to meet a load of new people or to find inspiration by watching as many films as you can fit it. Here are the 12 types of people you’ll meet at film festivals – which type are you?

12 Types of People Who Attend Film Festivals

1. The Networker

Goal = meet smart people
The networker aims to meet and make lasting connections with other professionals in the film industry. Chances are, they have a lot of connections on social media and have connected to attendees ahead of time . You’ll probably see this person chatting up multiple groups of people during our gala nights and handing out business cards.

2. The Sponge

Goal = learning

This is the person who’s at the festival to soak up as much information as possible. You’ll probably see this person juggling a laptop, smartphone, and notebook with a pen, and diligently taking notes (or live-tweeting) from each. The biggest struggle this person faces is deciding on which sessions to attend!

3. The Innovator

Goal = get inspired

If you watch TED Talks on a daily basis and your favourite book is about Steve Jobs, you might fall into the “innovator” category. These are the people who go to festivals to get inspiration and spark some creativity. Entrepreneurs, thinkers, and problem solvers would fall under this bucket.

4. The Superfan

Goal = meet the keynote speakers, special guests and celebrities

You’ll find this person all over social media before you even arrive at the festival. One superfan festival habit includes excessively tweeting to the hashtag that you’re “so excited to meet @celebrity’. Superfans never forget to include a Twitter handle in the hope that he or she will get a retweet or reply.

5. The Job Seeker

Attend film festivals
Goal = find work

Job seekers might have a few different reasons for coming to a festival, depending on which stage of the job hunt they’re in. If this person is in the awareness stage, he or she might simply listen and learn about film companies, jobs, and people they’d like to work with. If this person is beyond that awareness stage, he or she may have already made connections well ahead of time via LinkedIn or Twitter, and wants to give them an elevator pitch in person, along with a resume or portfolio.

6. The Deal Maker

Attend film festivals
Goal = establish a business partnership

Similar to the “networker”, the deal maker attends festivals with the goal of creating business partnerships. This could be for a co-production, to set up a sponsorship deal, or sign up a filmmaker to another project. This person might even take a tip from the networker, making lasting relationships first and doing business sometime after the film festival, But don’t count on it. They are usually moving too fast for anything like a relationship to stick.

7. The Blogger

Goal = write lots of content

This is a person who attends film festivals specifically for blog (or other content) fodder. You’ll see this person listening to panels, speakers and filmmaker Q&As while writing down an outline or quotes on a laptop. When meeting bloggers in-person at a film festival, watch out – because they might try to write down some quotes from your conversation (after asking for permission of course).

8. The Teacher

Goal = report back

I don’t mean teacher in the traditional sense, but rather the person you send to a festival to come back with awesome takeaways. The teacher should take excellent notes and relay them back to his or her team. This person might even write up a wiki page or create a presentation to show your team when they return.

9. The Thought Leader

Goal = stay successful

These are generally the festival speakers. These folks talk specifically about a subject matter they know almost everything about. They’ve probably written books, made Oscar nominated films and countless blog articles on the same topic and have loads of followers on social media. It might seem like they have a buzz on, but really they’re just riding the adrenaline from taking the stage.

10. The Spy

Attend film festivals
Goal = Competitive Intelligence

This is the person who goes to festivals solely to check out the competition. This person might ask ‘what does the competition’s film look like? What are they doing right? What are they doing wrong?’ Then this information is compiled, analysed, and turned into a plan of action. Attending festivals as a spy is actually a popular tactic. Beware, however, that it can turn you into a jealous person incapable of doing anything.

11. The Salesperson

Attend film festivals
Goal = Make a sale

Similar to the deal maker, a salesperson aims to close on a deal. The difference here is that salespeople are usually only interested in selling their film or services. Fair game is sales agents, distributors and students too naive to ask money for their services. This interaction could happen during the festival, or sometime after when the prospect has thought the deal over.

12. The Partier

Attend Film Festivals
Goal = have fun

Finally we’ve reached the inevitable. You know, the person who raves at all the parties, dances with everyone at the concert, and seriously takes advantage of the free drinks. It’s okay to have a little party whilst at festivals. In fact it could be a great way to break the ice! However, I’d suggest attending festivals with some of the first eleven goals in mind — you’ll be a lot more productive that way.

Which type of festival goer are you? Whichever you are, join us at Raindance Film Festival 2019 to fulfil your festival potential!

Filed under: In Our Opinion, Promotion, Marketing and Distribution, Raindance Film Festival

27th Raindance Film Festival Trailer

The 27th Raindance Film Festival is just around the corner, and that means that the 2019 trailer is here! Raindance Means Raindance is a story set in a dystopian London in 2023, a city torn apart by no deal Brexit. Only one fragment of civilisation remains in this ghost city – the 2023 Raindance Film Festival.

The initial concept was written by director Pete King, who directed the 2009 Raindance trailer (starring Dexter Fletcher). You can see his controversial festival trailer here: 17th Raindance Film Festival Trailer (2007).

The 2019 festival trailer concept is one of political satire in keeping with this year’s theme as well as “Special Guest Continent Europe”. It portrayed a dark vision of a futuristic London, with inspiration coming from classic British dystopian films like V for Vendetta and Children of Men.

The Original Treatment:

Pete King wrote this treatment on his phone walking back to Soho after a meeting with Raindance founder Elliot Grove, and with Festival Producer David Martinez:

A ragged, half torn Union Jack flutters in the wind. The camera pans down to reveal an abandoned Trafalgar Square.
The footage is in the style of urban explorers/found footage/user generated content, slightly shaky and hand held. (All shot on Lumix 🙂
The date stamp says ‘Sept – 2023.
We follow over the shoulder of a young woman as she walks through the post apocalyptic city. She speaks – French. She points out an old gift shop. In the window, Nigel Farage masks are covered in dust.
The camera operator French male, responds with an expletive.
They explore further – the whole of London is empty – everyone has left. They comment how fucked the city is, Brexit is mentioned.
The woman shouts for him to look, what’s that? Something’s happening…
He pans to reveal the cinema. He zooms in. A large RAINDANCE poster is on the billboard. It reads 33rd Raindance Film Festival 2025. The lobby looks busy.
Elliot stands in the doorway – he smiles and waves for them to come in.
Title: Raindance Means Raindance

Elliot and David loved it immediately. But Pete was called off to a job in New York. Simon Hunter, the feature film director who has helmed The Mutant Chronicles (starring Ron Perlman and John Malkovich) and most recently Edie (starring Sheila Hancock), took over as director. Simon also teaches directing masterclasses in Raindance Berlin and here in London. Simon expanded the script and created shot lists and a detailed storyboard, which can be seen here. George Chadwick was tasked with producing the project. 

Shooting the trailer

Lumix provided us with two of their new top-of-the-range cameras, the S1. The trailer was exclusively shot on those cameras by veteran DP Zoran Veljkovic. Nathalie Ishak, a Swiss actress and producer, stars as a French news reporter visiting London. Multi-media artist and performer Jon Campling with credits like Harry Potter under his belt, plays a mad British nationalist still living in the virtually empty British capital.

Simon’s vision of a deserted London demanded extremely early mornings. It’s a credit to Simon’s leadership and passion that he was able to assemble a dedicated cast and crew. A host of passionate extras played by Raindance members showed up to act as Raindance festival goers and apocalypse survivors. The shoot call time was 4:30am each morning, jumping between locations around Trafalgar Sq, Hyde Park, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. The final scene was shot inside the VUE cinema in Leicester Square on Monday August 5th.

The rushes were sent for a first edit with Elodie at Flock Edit. The trailer demanded a great deal of VFX shots to convey a deserted and decaying London. The brilliant team at We Are Tilt, based in Brighton, took over, led by Ivor Sims, their creative producer. When the huge amount of VFX was completed, the footage was recut and then colour graded by Michael Pearce.

They always say that sound makes the movie. During the editing and VFX process, composer and soundscape artist Nick Hinton was working on the original score and sound design. The finished soundtrack was merged with the picture and finished at 2am on the morning of the world premiere.

The world premiere was at the Vue in Leicester Square was Tuesday 20th August. After screening at the Vue, it was then screened at a special soiree in front of the Olivia Colman and friends at the May Fair Hotel.

Please like the Youtube link and comment – your thoughts on our work mean a lot to us.


Against a backdrop of divisive politics and global turmoil, Raindance uses the medium of cinema to amplify the voice of indie filmmakers with compelling stories to tell. With features, documentaries, short films, industry events and immersive VR experiences, Raindance is a place to see the kind of fascinating, multi-faceted characters who thrive in today’s crazy world of indie film. T

Tickets on sale now:


Nathalie Ishak as Reporter
Jon Campling as Speaker
Martin Kentish as Cameraman
Vanda Ladeira as Patriot #1
Tracy Gardener as Patriot #2
Elliot Grove as Elliot Grove

Director: Simon Hunter
Concept: Peter King
Executive Producer: Elliot Grove
Producer: George Moore Chadwick
Director of Photography: Zoran Veljkovic
Editors: Flock Edit – Elodie Fouqueau, Zoé Desgraupes Ufuk Gokkaya

Production Designer: Ivory Campbell

1st AD: Laura Gregory
2nd AD: Orlando Bryant
3rd AD: Hamed Torabi
1st AC/Additional Cinematography: Asaturs Keimatlans
2nd AC/Additional Cinematography: Martin Kentish
Sound Recordist: Tam Paul-Worika
Boom Operator: Simon Marett
BTS shooter: Amanda Mcfeat

VFX: We Are Tilt
VFX Supervisor: Ivor Sims
VFX artists: Stig Coldham & Roberto Aguilar
Colourist: Michael Pearce
Sound Design and Mixer: Nick Hinton
5.1 Up Mix: Harry Parsons
Graphics Designer/Info Films: Bailey Graham
Logo graphics: Dominic Thackray

27th Raindance Film Festival 18-29th September 2019
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Filed under: Festivals, Filmmaking, Raindance Film Festival

Raindance Film Festival 2019 Programme

We’re very excited to reveal the Raindance Film Festival 2019 programme.

Celebrating its 27th year, the Festival will take place in London’s West End from 18-29 September, screening over 200 projects – including features, documentaries, shorts, web series, virtual reality and music videos.

Against a backdrop of divisive politics and global turmoil, Raindance uses the medium of cinema to amplify the voice of indie filmmakers with compelling stories to tell. Join us to celebrate the world, international, European and UK premieres of the best of indie cinema.

The Jury

The jury comprises Rachel Shenton and Chris Overton (winners of the Academy Award® for Best Live Action Short Film For The Silent Child), David Yates (director,Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises), Tom Felton (Harry Potter franchise, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Himesh Patel (Yesterday), Kacey Ainsworth (Eastenders, Granchester), Babou Ceesay (Eye In The Sky, Dark Mon£y), Ed Skrein (Deadpool),Ella Balinska (Charlie’s Angels), Susan Wokoma (Year of the Rabbit), Ophelia Lovibond (Guardians of the Galaxy), Hugh Skinner (Fleabag, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again), Billy Zane (Titanic),Tom Ellis (Lucifer),Ruth Bradley (Grabbers, Humans), Chloe Pirrie (The Game), Nathaniel Martello-White (Cla’am), Josh Dylan (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) award-winning singer songwriter Emeli Sandé, and Bastille singer and songwriter Dan Smith.

Opening Night

Raindance opens 18 September with the World Premiere of Krow’s Transformation (dir: Gina Hole Lazarowich, Canada), documenting Canadian transgender model Krow Kian. A successful female model as a teen, the film charts Krow’s transition over a 3-year period, including Krow walking the catwalk for Louis Vuitton’s iconic SS19 show in Paris – his first show since transitioning to a male. The film incorporates conversations between Krow and his mother, plus stories from other trans people in Krow’s circle. Krow Kian and first-time filmmaker Gina Hole Lazarowich are due to attend the gala premiere at Vue West End. A party at Café De Paris will follow, featuring Guilty Pleasures

Book Opening Night Gala Tickets (with Opening Night Party)

Closing Night

The festival closes 29 September with the UK Premiere of post-modern comedy Aren’t You Happy (dir: Susanne Heinrich, Germany). The debut feature from Susanne Heinrich brings together theory, feminism, humour and a bubblegum pop palate of colour as we follow a girl roaming a city looking for a place to sleep. Don’t miss Raindance’s fabulous closing night party after!

Book Closing Night Gala Tickets (with Closing Night Party)

Feature Films in Competition

Best International Film

7 Reasons To Run Away (dir: Gerard Quinto, Esteve Soler, David Torras, Spain) – UK Premiere

The family, the poor kid, the sixth-floor neighbours, the tenant and the agent, the business couple, the man left behind by progress, and the couple about to get married. Seven stories that mix horror and comedy, seven moments of black comedy, seven surreal visions of a dysfunctional society.

Aurora (dir: Miia Tervo, Finland)

In this romantic and sometimes melancholy comedy Aurora, a commitment-phobic party animal, meets Iranian Darian one night at a hot-dog stand in Lapland. Darian is running from death and Aurora is running from love. They need each other in order to finally stop running.

By The Name Of Tania (dir: Mary Jiménez, Bénédicte Liénard, Belgium) – UK Premiere

The Amazon flows lazily through the goldmine-gashed landscape of northern Peru. Using real eyewitness accounts, directors Bénédicte Liénard and Mary Jiménez tell the story of a young woman who winds up forced into prostitution when her initially hopeful attempt to escape the stifling limitations of village life goes wrong. Step by step, she is robbed of her moral and physical integrity. The film reconstitutes a space of dignity and returns voice and identity to that which has been formally rendered name¬less. With its powerful imagery, the girl’s traumatic odyssey embodies the horrific devastation visited upon the natural world by contemporary industrial society

Greener Grass (dir: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe, USA) – UK Premiere

Writers, directors and stars Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe create a hilariously deadpan hellscape of competitive suburbia with a boldly stylized absurdist chain of events that unfurls with increasing fervor after one soccer mom gifts another her infant daughter just to be polite.

Jirga (dir: Benjamin Gilmour, Australia) – UK Premiere

An ex-soldier returns to Afghanistan to find the family of a civilian he accidentally killed during the war. Seeking forgiveness, he puts his life in the hands of the village justice system – the Jirga.

The Man Who Surprised Everyone (dir: Natasha Merkulova & Aleksey Chupov, Russia)

Egor is a fearless state forest guard in the Siberian Taiga. He is a good family man, respected by his fellow villagers and together with his wife Natalia they are expecting a second child. But one day Egor finds out that he has cancer and only two months left to live. No traditional medicine or shamanic magic can save him. Finally, left with no other options, he takes a desperate attempt to trick death. As disguise Egor chooses to take the identity of a woman.

Browse all the Feature films and book tickets here

Best UK Feature

Hurt By Paradise (dir: Greta Bellamacina, UK) – UK Premiere

Hurt By Paradise is the debut feature by writer/director Greta Bellamacina. It is the story of Celeste – a young poet and single mother – her comedically unsuccessful attempts to get her first book published and find her father, and her co-dependent friendship with her babysitter Stella- a failed actress captivated by an online love affair…

My View: Clem Burke (dir: Philip Sansom, UK) – UK Premiere

An access all areas documentary about musician Clem Burke. A look back at forty years on the road, performing with one of the world’s most iconic bands: Blondie.

On The President’s Orders (dir: James Jones, Olivier Sarbil, UK)

The searing story of President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody campaign against drug dealers and addicts in the Philippines is told through unprecedented and intimate access to both sides of the war: a kill squad in the Manila police, and an ordinary family from the slums.

Schemers (dir: David McLean, UK)

His football career over, Davie starts promoting gigs in Dundee with his friends John and Scot – leading to a hugely ambitious Iron Maiden show. Out of his depth and deep in debt with Fergie, a gangster of legendary violence, Davie needs to pull off the biggest scheme of his life.

Thirst for Justice (dir: Leana Hosea, UK) – European Premiere

American may appear to be a democracy which guarantees freedom of speech and basic rights, but at its heart lies a great injustice. Against the odds, several extraordinary citizens band together to fight for their basic right to clean water – from Flint to the Navajo Nation, via Standing Rock.

Browse all the Feature films and book tickets here

Best Documentary Feature

Nothing Fancy (dir: Elizabeth Carroll, UK) – European Premiere

An intimate, candid look at the curious world of 95-year-old cookbook author and British expatriate Diana Kennedy. Standing barely five feet tall with a distinct English accent, Diana is a formidable critic of anyone who doesn’t agree with her views on Mexican culinary traditions, or, God forbid, doesn’t recycle.

Driven to Abstraction (dir: Daria Price, USA) – World Premiere

The art world was rocked by the greatest hoax in the history of modern American art: an $80 million forgery that brought down Knoedler, New York City’s oldest and most venerable gallery. Was Knoedler’s esteemed director the victim of a con artist, or did she suspect the fake?

Family in Transition (dir: Ofir Trainin, Uri Levy, Israel) – World Premiere

In Nahariya, a small traditional town in Israel, a family’s life changes when the father reveals that she is a transgender woman. The mother stays with her spouse, but just when it seems that life is back to normal, everything is shaken up again.

Who Made You? (dir: Iiris Härmä, Finland) – UK Premiere

Who Made You? leads us into the world of cyborgs, sex robots, and androids. Artificial intelligence is interacting with our mental and physical existence like never before. What do these developments mean for humanity, community, and how will they affect our perception of what it is to be human?

Why Are We Creative (dir: Hermann Vaske , Germany) – UK Premiere

Why Are We Creative is an exploration of the many facets of creativity – artistic, cultural, political, philosophical, and scientific. A personal road movie through the land of inspiration, featuring many of the world’s most influential creatives, including over fifty Nobel Prize laureates and Academy Award winners.

Thirst for Justice

Browse all the Feature films and book tickets here

The Discovery Award – Best Debut Feature

A Dobugawa Dream (dir: Asato Watanabe, Japan) – International Premiere

After the death of his classmate, a young boy shuts himself away from his friends and family. One day something cracks inside of him and he decides to wander through the streets to find a new path.

Alice (dir: Josephine Mackerras, Australia/France)

After discovering that her husband’s addiction to escorts has left their family penniless, Alice finds herself drawn into the world of high-end prostitution as a means of caring for herself and her child.

Miguelito (dir: Sam Zubrycki, Australia/Puerto Rico/Colombia/US) – European Premiere

In Colombia and Puerto Rico in 1973, every radio station played songs by a boy called Miguelito. Many still remember him, but what happened to him? Miguelito takes an upbeat road trip through Latin America, uncovering the memories of those who were affected by his music and short-lived career.

Oray (dir: Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay, Germany) – UK Premiere

Oray strives to be a better person but struggles with his shady past. His dream of being a good Muslim and the perfect husband is suddenly shattered while arguing with his wife. Oray goes to Cologne, where he tries to rebuild his life in a new Muslim community. But he is constantly torn between his faith, everyday reality and identity.

Platform (dir: Sahar Mosayebi, Iran) – UK Premiere

The story of Shahrbanu, Sohaila, and Elaheh Mansourian, three sisters who are Wushu fighters. Born into a poor family, their father made them work in the fields to support the family. When their father left, they sought a better life – and joined the Iranian national Wushu team.

The Waiter (dir: Steve Krikris, Greece) – UK Premiere

Renos is a professional waiter, ambiguous, lonely, a meticulous observer of people. When he unwittingly becomes entangled in the mysterious disappearance of his neighbour, he is led on a ride that will alter his well-kept routine and change his life. A film equal parts character study and paradoxical murder story.

Browse all the Feature films and book tickets here

The Shorts

Best Short Of The Festival

Feathers (dir: A.V. Rockwell, USA) – UK Premiere

Elizier, an emotionally-dejected new enrollee at The Edward R. Mill School for Lost Boys, must overcome memories of a tragic past, and the present hazing by his peers, in order to tackle larger issues dominating his young life.

Pearl (dir:Yuchao Feng,China/US) – European Premiere

Six-year-old Lin lives in an isolated fishing village with her brother and their widowed mother. When the family is given an opportunity to start a new life, Lin has a startling revelation. A melancholy tale inspired by real events.

New Land Broken Road (dir: Kavich Neang,Cambodia/Malaysia) – UK Premiere

Phnom Penh at night. Three young hip hop dancers drive a single motorbike and stop on a muddy, deserted road. They meet a young street vendor whose cart is full of colours.

Milton (dir: Tim Wilkime, USA) – UK Premiere

A guy makes a bad first impression when he meets his girlfriend’s family as they gather at her grandfather’s deathbed.

Brotherhood (dir: Meryam Joobeur, Canada) – UK Premiere

Mohamed is a hardened shepherd living in rural Tunisia with his wife and two sons. He is deeply shaken when his oldest son Malik returns home after a long journey with a mysterious new wife. Tensions between father and son rise over three days until they reach breaking point.

Browse all the shorts and book tickets here

Best UK Short Film

The Devil’s Harmony (dir: Dylan Holmes Williams, UK) – UK Premiere

As the nerdy captain of the a cappella club, Kiera is an easy target for bullies. But her club possesses a secret power: when they sing ‘Devil’s Harmony’, listeners fall into a never-ending sleep. Kiera covertly wreaks revenge against the bullies, until a charismatic former bully expresses affection for her…

November 1st (dir: Charlie Manton, UK) – UK Premiere

A mother and daughter travel across the state to witness a long overdue execution.

Pagans (dir: Lucy Luscombe, UK)

Three young women learn about loss over the course of one Bonfire Night that takes them on a surreal journey into the depths of the English countryside.

Strange Days (dir: Alice Seabright,UK) – UK Premiere

Nina can’t stop thinking about Carla, who went missing when they were teenagers.

This is the Winter (dir: Peter King, UK) – World Premiere

2023. A separatist movement has ignited civil war in the north of England. The government has built a wall, dividing the country, to protect people in the south. Trapped in a refugee camp north of the border, a teenage girl has to choose between her father and her politics.

Browse all the shorts and book tickets here

Best Animated Short

Brexicuted (dir: Chris Shepherd, France)

This satirical animation considers why Brexit is happening. A variety of British characters, interviewed the day after the UK voted to leave the EU, speak about what motivated their decision.

My Generation (dir: Ludovic Houplain, France)

What if we put down our smartphones and opened our eyes wide shut? My Generation is an 8 minute travelling shot, where we go through different worlds, encountering contemporary art, GAFA, sport, religion, pornography, politics, finance, sacred cows, generalised surveillance, all opium of the people.

The Mystical Journey of Jimmy Page’s ’59 Telecaster (dir: Smith & Foulkes, UK) – World Premiere

When legendary guitarist Jimmy Page met the Fender Telecaster, rock history was made. Created as part of Led Zeppelin’s 50th anniversary celebrations this animated short takes viewers on a psychedelic tour through a pivotal time in music, shaped around Jimmy’s own words on his relationship with the iconic guitar.

The Opposites Game (dir: Anna Samo, Lisa LaBracio, USA)

A classroom erupts into a war of words as students grapple with a seemingly simple prompt: what is the opposite of a gun?

The Woman Who Turns Into a Castle (dir: Kathrin Steinbacher, UK)

An animated documentary about a woman who turns into a castle, based on Oliver Sacks’s case study.

Browse all the shorts and book tickets here

Best Documentary Short

99 Problems (dir: Ross Killeen, Ireland)

The inside scoop on the murky world of the ice cream business. Through the eyes of Pinky, the self-declared ‘King of the Ice Cream Men’, we’re taken into this unregulated industry where rival drivers will stop at nothing to protect their livelihoods.

Here, We Are (dir: Viviana Zuñiga, Mexico)

Rafael and Joel live in Santiago Tuxtla, a town in the state of Veracruz, Mexico that has been affected by the war on drugs. They have found a way to retain their humanity – through music. It builds community and combats fear, violence, and sadness.

Heroin Hearse (dir: Ryan Buckley, USA) – International Premiere

In the overdose capital of America, Dwayne Woods turns a vintage hearse into a mobile pulpit, preaching a message of life through the imagery of death. When he opens a rehab at the ground zero for heroin use, Dwayne hopes sheer compassion will trump experience when recruiting his first client.

Inferno (dir: Patrick Fileti, Mexico/Australia) – European Premiere

Inferno is an explosive portrait of the lives of pyrotechnic artists and their families in the lead up to the festival of San Juan de Dios, where blazing revelry engulfs the town.

Kamali (dir: Sasha Rainbow,UK) – European Premiere

Kamali is the only female skateboarder in her fishing village. Her timorous mother, Suganthi undertakes a pilgrimage in a quest for self-discovery. Separated for the first time, they must each find freedom in a man’s world.

Browse all the shorts and book tickets here

Raindance Immersive

Best Immersive Game

Doctor Who: The Edge of Time (dir: Marcus Moresby, UK) – UK Premiere

Join the Doctor on a mission to save the universe. Doctor Who: The Edge of Time lets fans embark on an adventure through space and time! Travel across the universe, visit alien locations, pilot the TARDIS, and solve the mystery of the controlling force behind the Reality Virus.

No Man’s Sky: BEYOND (dir: Sean Murray, Grant Duncan, Ryan Doyle, David Ream, UK) 

No Man’s Sky: BEYOND is a Virtual Reality space exploration game set in a procedurally generated fictional universe. Inspired by the adventure and imagination from classic science-fiction, No Man’s Sky presents you with a galaxy to explore, filled with unique planets and lifeforms, and constant danger and action.

The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets (dir: James Hunt, Sweden) – World Premiere

The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets is an interactive tale of childlike wonder. Help your grandfather solve the mystery of the stolen pets by exploring wonderful miniature worlds, crafted from the ground up for Virtual Reality. Every world is unique, full of interactions and colourful life.

The Infinite Hotel (dir: Kevin Beimers, UK) – World Premiere

The Infinite Hotel is universe’s most luxurious holiday destination, boasting an infinite number of floors, an infinite number of rooms, and an infinite number of things that could go wrong. You’re the elevator operator. Time to get to work.

Get your Raindance Immersive (XR) Passes here

Best Interactive Narrative Experience

A Box In The Desert (dir: Owen Hindley, Nanna Gunnars, Ástþór Ágústsson, Iceland) 

Imagine you find yourself trapped inside an invisible box in an endless desert. A stranger appears telling you that you’re “saved” – but are they speaking the truth? Should you instead trust this voice in your head? Is it actually better to remain in the box, safe from harm? Forever?

INORI (dir: Miwa Komatsu) – UK Premiere

In this virtual world, constructed by contemporary artist Miwa Komatsu, mystical creatures guide you through a journey of self-reflection, assertion, and spiritual reincarnation. You will be able to forge a connection with the world around you, as well as with your inner self, bringing blessings from the unreal into your reality.

Ray Sparks (dir: Rafael Pavon, Spain) – World Premiere

Ray is explosive. Ray is electrifying. Ray is restless. But he is also very, very shy. Immerse yourself in a VR fairy tale and play with Ray to gain his trust.

The Line (dir: Ricardo Laganaro, Brasil) – UK Premiere

A full body VR interactive narrative experience about love and fear of change. Set in a scale model of 1940s São Paulo, The Line invites us into the world of Pedro and Rosa, two miniature dolls who are perfect for each other, but reluctant to live out their love story.

Get your Raindance Immersive (XR) Passes here

Best Cinematic Experience

Afterlife (dir: Luisa Valencia, Canada) – International Premiere

After the tragic death of their five-year-old son, a family struggles with their loss and attempts to mend their frayed bonds. Experience the struggle through the child’s ghostly eyes, exploring a multiverse of different reality paths, as his family acknowledges his absence – or presence – in their lives. 

Butterfly Dance (dir: Tan Seng Kiat, Taiwan) – International Premiere

An unknown couple appear in the darkness in a cinema. As a 35mm film is being played, frame by frame, it feels like a love affair is emerging, and only you and the film know the secret of the affair. 

Only The Mountain Remains (dir: Chiang Wei Liang, Taiwan) – UK Premiere

At a deserted petrol station at the bottom of a mountain, a man and a woman, both of whom are foreign to the country, are waiting for their contact. When they run into a police patrol, the chase begins.

Operation Othello: I Am Not What I Am (dir: Mary Chieffo, Jeff Liu, Viola Davis, Beth Grant, Josh Nelson, USA) – UK Premiere

Operation Othello presents original Shakespearean text in a way that is accessible and exciting for modern audiences. In the style of SherlockMinority Report and How to Get Away With Murder, this action-packed retelling follows events of scandal, intrigue, and betrayal in the perilous world of elite Navy SEALs. 

Get your Raindance Immersive (XR) Passes here

Best Documentary Experience

Ayahuasca: Kosmik Journey (dir: Jan Kounen, France/Luxembourg) – UK Premiere

A visionary experience through the realms of medicinal plants, led by an indigenous Shipibo traditional healer in the Amazon rainforest.

Memoria: Stories of La Garma (dir: Rafael Pavon, Spaik) – International Premiere

16,500 years ago, a group of humans came back to their shelter in Spain after hunting. The entrance had collapsed, leaving everything inside untouched. Narrated by Geraldine Chaplin, this VR experience invites you to explore the memories trapped in the cave, preserved for thousands of years.

Rise of Animals with David Attenborough (dir: Elliot Graves, UK) – World Premiere

Through the power of hand interaction you’ll discover and bring to life some of the first creatures that roamed the earth – all within your own environment. Driven by a voiceover from David Attenborough and using ultra-realistic real-time animation sequences, this powerful Mixed Reality experience is both educational and entertaining.

The Holy City (dir: Nimrod Shanit, Timur Musabay, Israel/Canada) – World Premiere

Transport yourself to the world’s spiritual epicentre in this engaging sensory narrative experience built using stunning photogrammetric scans of Jerusalem. THE HOLY CITY uses a series of challenging interactive games in room-scale environments to help nurture empathy and understanding across the Abrahamic cultures and religions that coinhabit the city.

Get your Raindance Immersive (XR) Passes here

Best Animated Experience

Battlescar – Punk Was Invented By Girls (dir: Martin Allais, Nico Casavecchia, France) – UK Premiere

1978, New York City. In the cell of a juvenile detention centre, Lupe, a Puerto Rican American sixteen-year-old, meets Debbie. Debbie introduces Lupe to the punk rock scene of the Lower East Side and the secret worlds of Alphabet City. Battlescar is an exploration of identity through immersive VR storytelling.

Glimpse (Preview) (dir: Benjamin Cleary, Michael O’Connor, UK) – UK Premiere

Glimpse is an animated interactive VR experience starring Taron Egerton (Rocketman) and Lucy Boynton (Bohemian Rhapsody), presented by Mr Kite and directed by Academy Award winning writer/director Benjamin Cleary and VR creator Michael O’Connor. A highly emotive visual feast set in the imaginative mind of a heartbroken panda named Herbie (Egerton) who has recently broken up with his girlfriend Rice (Boynton). Herbie is an illustrator and using his art we delve back through the memories of his relationship from the heartbreaking end to the beautiful beginning. A dreamlike voyage through his mind, his heart and his illustrations.

Gloomy Eyes (dir: Jorge Tereso, Fernando Maldonado, France) – UK Premiere

The sun got tired of humans and decided to never rise again. The darkness awoke the dead from their graves. A zombie kid called Gloomy and a mortal girl called Nena fall in love, forming a deep connection that even the most powerful man cannot destroy. Narrated by Colin Farrell.

Heart of Darkness (dir: Stuart ‘Sutu’ Campbell, Australia) – World Premiere

Inspired by Joseph Conrad’s novel, this sci-fi is set on the dwarf planet Ceres, where Astro-biologist Captain Kurtz has gone missing. Your mission is to find him. As you journey deep into the Ceres cave network you will learn the story of his disappearance via the onboard Artificial Intelligence, Teeva.

Get your Raindance Immersive (XR) Passes here

Artistic Achievement

Ayahuasca: Kosmik Journey (dir: Jan Kounen, France/Luxembourg) – UK Premiere

Battlescar – Punk Was Invented By Girls (dir: Martin Allais, Nico Casavecchia, France) – UK Premiere

Doctor Who: The Edge of Time (dir: Marcus Moresby, UK) – UK Premiere

Glimpse (Preview) (dir: Benjamin Cleary, Michael O’Connor, UK) – UK Premiere

Gloomy Eyes (dir: Jorge Tereso, Fernando Maldonado, France) – UK Premiere

Heart of Darkness (dir: Stuart ‘Sutu’ Campbell, Australia) – World Premiere

Audio Achievement

Battlescar – Punk Was Invented By Girls (dir: Martin Allais, Nico Casavecchia, France) – UK Premiere

Doctor Who: The Edge of Time (dir: Marcus Moresby, UK) – UK Premiere

Glimpse (Preview) (dir: Benjamin Cleary, Michael O’Connor, UK) – UK Premiere

Gloomy Eyes (dir: Jorge Tereso, Fernando Maldonado, France) – UK Premiere

INORI (dir: Miwa Komatsu) – UK Premiere

Operation Othello: I Am Not What I Am (dir: Mary Chieffo, Jeff Liu, Viola Davis, Beth Grant, Josh Nelson, USA) – UK Premiere

British Award: Best UK Experience

Cosmos Within Us (dir: Tupac Martir, UK/Luxembourg) – UK Premiere

We are drawn into the mind of Aiken, a sixty-year-old man suffering from Alzheimer’s. As we wander, his memories shape-shift, as if in a state of constant reconstruction. However, his precious childhood moments feel tainted. Concealed in oblivion, there is one memory he’s trying to forget.

Doctor Who: The Edge of Time (dir: Marcus Moresby, UK) – UK Premiere

Glimpse (Preview) (dir: Benjamin Cleary, Michael O’Connor, UK) – UK Premiere

Rise of Animals with David Attenborough (dir: Elliot Graves, UK) – World Premiere

Through the power of hand interaction you’ll discover and bring to life some of the first creatures that roamed the earth – all within your own environment. Driven by a voiceover from David Attenborough and using ultra-realistic real-time animation sequences, this powerful Mixed Reality experience is both educational and entertaining.

Get your Raindance Immersive (XR) Passes here

Discovery Award: Best Debut Experience

Anonymous (dir: Samantha Kingston, Mary Matheson, Marisol Grandon, UK) – World Premiere

Anonymous is a 360 narrative film telling the personal tale of the child of an alcoholic. After 28 years, Samantha shares her story of living with an alcohol dependent parent, hiding the secret, and dealing with their death.

Playing God (dir: Ben Fredericks, UK) – World Premiere

An interactive sci-fi drama that forces you to make difficult decisions during a humanitarian crisis. Based on the Spaceship Earth theory, which explores the philosophy of life boat ethics, PLAYING GOD aims to confront audiences with a new take on the global refugee crisis that is affecting society today.

See, Saw – Seen (dir: Paula Canovas del Vas, UK) – World Premiere

See, Saw – Seen is a multi-person, room-scale VR installation that blends fashion with art, aiming to objectify the audience, reversing the traditional roles played by the fashion industry over the past decades. Placed in the centre of attention, the audience experiences first-hand notions of voyeurism and feminism in the context of fashion, whilst discovering the mental universe of Paula Canovas del Vas Spring/Summer 2020 collection.

Afterlife (dir: Luisa Valencia, Canada) – International Premiere

Spirit of Raindance: Best Immersive Experience of the Festival

The winners of the immersive awards will be in competition for the festival’s special award, Spirit of Raindance: Best Immersive Experience of the Festival.

Get your Raindance Immersive (XR) Passes here

The Web Series

All Web Series will compete for two awards: the Jury Award and the Audience Award.

See the full programme

Filed under: Festivals, Raindance Film Festival

Why Are There Fewer and Fewer Young Cinema Goers?

Attracting young audiences to the cinema has been an ongoing issue over the last decade. According to the BFI, 15-24 year olds regularly made up over 40% of the audience in the1990s. In 2017, however, they represented just 28%. Though this age group still continues to dominate the majority of cinema-goers, it is important to prevent this number from dropping further. Why has this number changed so drastically? In this article, I’m going to look at some of the reason for this change in audiences, and at what Raindance is doing to address it.

Streaming Services

According to the European Commission Media, 56% of film viewers said they streamed films from free websites while 68% said they downloaded free files to store on personal drives. There are many reasons for this diversion to streaming networks, but a key motive for young cinema-goers is the rising ticket prices. Some cinemas charge the same amount for one film that streaming sites charge for an entire month, simultaneously providing users with an array of options rather than just a single viewing. At the same time, 37% of young audiences feel that some films are interesting, but ‘not worth paying for the cinema experience.’

Home Availability

This is another issue 15-24 year-olds face when making viewing choices. According to, 46% of teenage viewers would go to the cinema less while 24% would probably stop going entirely in favour of watching the latest releases from their home. This is most likely due to the proximity of a cinema to their residence or other social gatherings. Younger audiences choose a cinema near shopping malls, popular restaurants and leisure centers as it allows them to have a complete evening out in one location — but if none of these are nearby options, the outing can often be seen as not worth it. Lack of company can also play a part according to Independent Cinema Office, with viewers preferring to visit cinemas with their family (55%), their partner (41%) and their friends (24%).

Cinema Location

The importance of a cinema’s location also plays into the issue of public transport, according to the Independent Cinema Office. Later screenings provide for a more difficult commute home, as certain routes may halt operations after a certain time.

Issues mentioned above, though impending, are not all that interfere with the attendance of young audiences to the cinema. Lack of appeal to foreign films with subtitles, preference of multiplex cinema vs. independent ones due to deals or events, and several more contribute to this ongoing issue.

Film clubs and training programmes are in existence, according to, and they’ve even proven effective. A majority of those who have experienced them recognise their benefits, agreeing that it ‘raised their curiosity for other types of cinema’ and led them to watch more diverse films (40% ‘strongly’ agree). 37% agreed that it ’raised their interest in cinema’ and led them to watch more films, and 43% ‘improved their film culture’ and strengthened their film knowledge.

What We’re Doing To Help: Crowdfunding Campaign

That being said, Raindance is getting involved in the effort to increase independent film consumption in 12-25 year-olds. We believe that independent cinema should be accessible to anyone, which is why we’ve decided to launch the Emerging Filmmakers’ Strand in 2018.

At the 27th Raindance Film Festival, Raindance will invite young audiences and schools from across London to this unique cinematic experience on the West End. This experience will include a series of special filmmaking masterclasses, followed by film screenings with Q&As. With your pledge, we can create more events for young audiences to be exposed to independent cinema.

Your contribution will help expose teens and young adults to what could be their first ever independent film experience. Contributions range from a $5 thank-you Tweet to a limited-edition tote bag, not to mention exclusive access to invite-only events. A donation not only benefits the students, but yourself as well! You will also get the opportunity to vote on which independent films should be screened based on your favourites.

Do you remember how you felt after seeing your first independent film? The feeling is difficult to forget. Donate now and help us share that feeling with young audience members!

Filed under: Promotion, Marketing and Distribution, Raindance Film Festival, UncategorizedTagged with: , , , ,

Independent Film Matters More Than Ever

We need your support to expose under-25’s to independent film

We live in very troubled times. I don’t know, but I hate watching the news. Knife crime. Troubles in the East. Ecological disaster. Brexit brohaha. Politcal firestorms in America and Europe. There’s so much hatred!

Here’s where cinema comes in: Is not the world’s hatred caused by basic misunderstanding? What better way to break down the barriers of hatred than through the power of film?

Did you know that less than 5% of under 25’s have seen an independent film? Raindance is going to do something about it.
And we need your help!

We’ve launched the Emerging Filmmakers Day – to bring under-25’s to the cinema – for free. So they can see the types of films that are NOT sanitised by Hollywood. So they can experience films that can change lives. So they can learn how to make movies themselves. So they can leave crime and drugs behind. so they can contribute positively to our world.

Independent films matter more than ever. The stories and the pictures they paint matter more than ever before. Creativity matters more than ever. Culture matters more than ever. And that’s why Raindance matters: today, and for our future.

Make no mistake about it: Raindance is in fighting mode. Independent film can change these horrible times for the good. Please donate to our crowdfunding campaign.

Why is independent film so important?

Independent films are the dances of protest; their poems are the poems of insurrection; their buildings edify dissent. Independent film celebrates those who challenge society, the musicians who sing for freedom, and the artists who revolt against the forces that validate oppression.

Independent films stand up for the vulnerable, the marginalised, the outsiders, the rebels, the dreamers, the poets, the imaginative.Independent film exposes the evils of the world and offers solutions. Independent film changes people’s lives. Forever.

Raindance is a platform for those who love and question and include. We are used to being called maverick and outsider. We’ve been truly independent for a quarter century. We believe the films we screen will change people’s lives. and we want to expand our reach to the Under-25s who we know are dazzled by the bright lights of Hollywood movies.

If you feel the same way, you can’t be passive or silent. Neither can we. Raindance needs to step it up in 2019, and so do you. Be bigger, bolder, louder, stronger, more open, more productive, more engaged, more organised, more public, more creative.

Support our Emerging Filmmmakers Days

Raindance is non-profit. We’ve never had a penny of public funding since we started in 1992 – and that’s a good thing too – we can respond instantly to issues . Like we are doing here: to bring Under-25’s to independent film – in a cinema! Our Emerging Filmmaker Days needs your support. We need your support to make this happen.

With your support, we step it up together. We go on together. We get stronger. You can help us change people’s lives.

There are many other ways you can support our work at Raindance.
Call me on 0207 930 3412 to discuss your options further. Or email me here.

Support our work at Raindance. Help us bring Under-25’s to Raindance.

Thank you.

Now, Let’s Make Movies. The power of film.

Elliot Grove

Elliot Grove, Founder, Raindance | British Independent Film Awards

Filed under: Acting, Directing, Documentary, Festivals, Filmmaking, Filmmaking Career, In Our Opinion, News, Producing, Promotion, Marketing and Distribution, Raindance Film Festival, ScreenwritingTagged with: , ,

6 Reasons To Attend The Independent Filmmakers’ Ball

Filmmaking can sometimes lead to the depths of isolation. Every waking moment is spent chained to a never-ending film project. The inability to edit one’s own life is undeniably frustrating. Unshakeable focus and unwavering passion can generate feelings of captivity.

This solitary darkness can be soothing to the artistic soul, for sure.

You know what else is good for the artist? A colossal party brimming with fellow film enthusiasts. But where on earth would you find all these film lovers under the same roof at the same time?

On Wednesday 1st May, Raindance is throwing you a party: The Independent Filmmaker’s Ball.

Put on your best threads, leave your basement and join us for a night of frivolous tomfoolery designed to support and acknowledge Independent Film.

If you still need some prying away from all that hard work, here is a list of five reasons to join us.

1. Networking/Cannes

If you are amused by people who find film trivia too abstract or people who find commentary on every feature/short/documentary/Game of Thrones episode irritating beyond belief, fear not! We have rustled up a space for you and your fellow film aficionados to join together to talk about all things film. If you’ve been banned from speaking at the dinner table then welcome to your arena of adoring listeners.

If you are one of the lucky few who hasn’t managed to offend your friends/family/colleagues/pets with your inane film chatter, of course, you are also welcome.

There is also Cannes to think of. If you are heading off to France in a couple of weeks time and would like to make some allies on home ground before the departure, this could be the time. Alternatively, if you want to forge the path for years to come or meet some British filmmakers who are a part of Cannes, the Independent Filmmaker’s Ball is a great night for making friends.

2. Raffle

As well as throwing you a great big old party, we’re going to give you some things as well.

At the Independent Ball, there will be a raffle with prizes from some of the top companies in the film business, totalling over £7,000! There will be some lovely people wandering around at the beginning of the evening selling tickets for the raffle. Find out about the prizes here.

3. Fundraising

Proceeds from the raffle will go to Emerging Filmmaker’s Day at the 27th Raindance Film Festival. Launched in 2018 as a day of free events aimed at 18 to 25 year-old filmmakers, the aim is to expand the initiative to a programme of free events across the 2019 edition of the festival, including masterclasses, workshops with industry experts, networking sessions and free screenings of cult indie films.

Last year’s Emerging Filmmaker’s Day included a screening and Q&A organised by VICE Film School, a Pitching Skills class with Raindance Founder Elliot Grove, and special guest Amanda Seyfried, who presented her recent short Holy Moses.

4. The Party

Everyone loves a party, especially one that is held at one of the most famous entertainment venues in London: Café de Paris. Everyone knows that the film industry has the best parties, and everyone knows that Raindance has the best parties in the film industry because we’re not snooty.

Louise Brooks made history when she worked at the Café de Paris in December 1924, introducing the Charleston to London. Other famous guests have included Marlene Dietrich, Noel Coward, Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly.

Look at the guest list!

Guest List

Special guests may include:

Let’s make new history on the 1st May!

5. The Band

Live Act by Natty Congeroo & The Flames of Rhythm

Get set to be blown away by DJ, singer and frontman Natty Congeroo & The Flames of Rhythm. A sizzling sextet of killer diller thrillers, mixing red hot swing, jazz, rhythm & blues, this is the live show that’ll have hands clappin’ & feet tappin’!

6. The Theme

Fitting perfectly with the venue, this year’s ball is back for a swing-era special, inspired by 1930s and ’40s musicals – think Broadway Melody and Top Hat, or more contemporary reinterpretations such as La La Land. Get some outfit ideas here, and make sure to add these classic musicals to your viewing list.

What are you waiting for?
Buy your tickets before it’s too late!

Filed under: Filmmaking, Raindance Film FestivalTagged with: , , , ,