Category: Uncategorized

27th Raindance Film Festival Highlights

The Raindance Film Festival returned to London 18-29 September for its 27th edition. 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. Whether it’s honest narratives from trans people, exposing environmental crimes, or tales of vulnerable individuals forced by fate to make risky choices, Raindance is a champion of the underdog, the marginalised, and the independently minded. 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. The 27th Raindance Film Festival included 92 feature films, with 13 World Premieres, 10 International Premieres, 9 European Premieres and 54 UK premieres. The programme also included 108 short films, 19 music videos, and 30 VR experiences.

Despite Brexit uncertainty, we brought the boldest and freshest talent from the world of indie filmmaking to the heart of London. Raindance is proud to have a global vision, not a narrow one, and this year’s festival had an incredible range of stories from Britain and across the world. And remember that Raindance means Raindance.

We look forward to welcoming you back in 2020.

Elliot Grove

Elliot Grove

Raindance Film Festival | The British Independent Film Awards


“This leading indie festival has become our homegrown answer to Sundance”
Metro newspaper: “5 UK film festivals to fit in this year”
“Simply the best chance to see some of the most interesting independent cinema”
Evening Standard
“Annual celebration of all things indie”
Time Out
“Some of the most exciting and pioneering indie filmmakers around”
GQ, #2 in “10 coolest things to do in London this week”
“Forget Sundance, we’re all about Raindance”
Evening Standard, ES Magazine



Engaged Audience


Films Submitted


Participating Countries


Selected Films


Registered Press


Registered Industry


Hosted by the May Fair Hotel, supported by Heart of London Business Alliance, Two Keys Mixers and Tequila Patrón

The inaugural Raindance Icon Award was awarded to Academy Award and BAFTA winning actress Olivia Colman. The Raindance Icon Award is a natural evolution of Raindance’s Auteur Award, whose past recipients were directors Terry Gilliam, Guy Richie and Ken Loach. Renamed the Raindance Icon Award, this annual award now has a broader mandate to honour and celebrate the true icons of independent film: the men and women who have made an enduring impression via the medium of film.

“Raindance has reigned over Britain’s independent film scene for 27 years. Many of our industry’s most important voices have been amplified because of Raindance, and it remains a place where non-mainstream stories can be told, and where underdogs can flourish. I’m incredibly proud to be the recipient of the Raindance Icon Award.”

Olivia Colman

Special guests included Raindance 2019 Jurors Ella Balinska (top left, photo by Roger Alarcon), Hugh Skinner (top right, photo by Bertie Watson), Kacey Ainsworth (bottom left, photo by Bertie Watson) and Josh Dylan (bottom right, photo by Roger Alarcon), as well as Ed Skrein, Susan Wokoma, Chloe Pirrie, Janna Vanderham and Sadie Frost among others.

The event was preceded by the Programme Launch at Vue West End, in Leicester Square, with the nominees being presented by Raindance  2019 Juror Susan Wokoma.


Supported by Lumix, Telefilm Canada, Vue, The Telegraph, Bulmers, Two Keys Mixers, Theodore Gin, and Heart of London Business Alliance

The 27th Raindance Film Festival launched in London with the exclusive World Premiere of KROW’S TRANSFORMATION, followed by a Q&A with Director Gina Hole Lazarowich and the main subjects, Krow Kian, Kas Baker, Emily Seal, and Ashton Sciacallo, hosted by The Telegraph. This took place at the Vue West End, in Leicester Square.

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 premiere was followed by after party at Café de Paris, celebrating independent cinema with a live performances by Winter Youth, who are subjects in the film, as well as Guilty Pleasures, with a selection of their all-time hits.

Photos by Charlotte Lake


The Raindance Industry Forum returned for 2019, showcasing quality events on every single day of the festival. Highlights included Masterclasses on Cinematography, Casting, and Writing for Indie Horror. We had two LIVE Podcast Recordings with leading industry figures, and a special partnered event with high end talent from GERMAN FILMS.

Never shying away from the political, we also hosted a series of conversations that look critically at our industry, striving away from the theoretical, and looking at practical, actionable advice on what needs to change.

We also welcomed back crowd-favourite Raindance events such as the LIVE AMMO! film pitching event, Boozin’ & Schmoozin’, and Anatomy of a Reel.

Notable Industry speakers and guests included representatives from companies such as Sony MusicStamp AudioScreenSkillsKing’s College LondonFilmDooMandyPeccadillo PicturesThe Tip Off PodcastBAFTAFestival FormulaIndustry MindsITV RestorationSociographBBC Writers’ RoomDreamax MediaBBC, and Vue Entertainment.


In Partnership with Filmarket Hub

Another special event worthy of mention is the London TV Pitchbox. The second UK edition of Filmarket Hub’s pitching event was a great success, including high profile guests from AMP International, Euston Films, Evolutionary Films, Ingenious, NBCUniversal, Rocliffe Productions, Ruby Rock Pictures, Salon Pictures,⁠ Sky,Wild Bunch TV, Working Title Television and World Productions

Special guest Peter Harness opened the event with a case study based on his experience writing on top shows such as ‘Doctor Who’, ‘McMafia’, ‘Wallander’ and the upcoming BBC Mini-series ‘The War of the Worlds’.

Photos by Marie-Helene Junker.


This year’s festival image was a linear reinterpretation of Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus – a symbol of love and beauty, but equally defiant and empowered. That’s because in the year of Brexit, Raindance’s continent focus was Europe, with an emphasis on strong and empowered European women in the EU Female Gaze strand. Key titles included LUNA, a dark coming-of-age tale, AURORA, a romantic, melancholy comedy, and EMMA PEETERS, and independent comedy with a lighter shade of dark.

The guest continent was also reflected in the festival trailer, a political satire titled Raindance Means Raindance. The trailer is 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.

Europe was also present in the Industry Forum with the German Films collaboration TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN, a cross-comparison of up-and-coming British and German talent, with participants including actors Maria Dragus and Christian Friedel, and director Anca Miruna Lazarescu.


In partnership with Bose

Raindance Immersive, in partnership with Bose, showcased this year’s selection of 29 Immersive experiences, 10 of which had their world premiere at Raindance. The gallery, hosted at OXO2 in London’s Southbank, included Mixed Reality (MR) experiences, multi-person VR experiences, Immersive Games, VR animations and curated mobile playlists showcasing 360° films.

Highlights of the gallery included COSMOS WITHIN US (Winner of the Spirit of Raindance: Best Immersive Experience of the Festival award), a room-scale VR experience that mixes immersive soundscapes with scent and touch, the UK premiere of GLOOMY EYES (Winner of the Artistic Achievement and Audio Achievement awards) starring Colin Farrel, and A BOX IN THE DESERT (Winner of the Best Interactive Narrative Experience award), an interactive theatre performance with live actors in VR. With 10 award categories to recognise creative excellence and technical achievement, Raindance is only festival in Britain to celebrate XR on such a large scale.

Festival-goers were also able to try innovative audio AR experiences created by the Bose AR community, showcasing the power of Bose AR-enabled products such as Bose Frames, Bose Headphones 700 and QC35 headphones II.

Nominees came together to discuss their work at the Raindance Immersive Stories Summit, the annual symposium of eye-opening talks and panel discussions, shining the spotlight on leading creators and new voices and including a keynote speech by Matt Neutra, Lead Experience Engineer at Bose.

Photos by Charlotte Lake.


In Partnership with De Montfort University

We hosted the second edition of the Raindance Emerging Filmmakers’ Day offering a full day of free events for young filmmakers hungry for that insider knowledge on how films get made. The programme included a special presentation by Raindance Postgraduate partner institution De Montfort University, a Freelance 101 session by The Freelance Circle, and a Pitching Skills talk by our very own Elliot Grove.

We were also honoured to welcome award-winning actor Ed Skrein (Deadopool, Game of Thrones, left  photo below) as our very special guest speaker!

The event ended with attendees being able to watch free film screenings and workshops, choosing between award-nominated films from the Raindance Festival programme and special Bose AR Masterclass.


This year, Raindance Higher Education extended its festival presence with a whole day of screenings of film made by our students, reflecting the full breadth of their work and talent. Students from Raindance’s two Higher National Diploma programmes (HND in Film and HND in Acting & Filmmaking) presented a selection of their work in three showcases, ranging from documentary to narrative shorts.

In the MA Showcase, students in the Raindance Postgraduate Degree in Film presented films made as part of their curricular. Every student gets to designed their own learning pathway, and each film reflects the variety of interest and international background of their creators. Representatives from De Montfort University,  partner university of Raindance Postgraduate, were also in attendance.


Supported by German Films, Bulmers, Green and Blacks and Dalston’s

The 27th edition of the festival ended with a screening of closing night film AREN’T YOU HAPPY? – a postmodern comedy in pink and blue by first-time feature film director Susanne Heinrich, who was in attendance for a Q&A after the screening.

Festival attendees celebrated the end of the festival with a Closing Night Party at the stunning OXO2 in the Oxo Tower Wharf, surrounded by breathtaking views over London and the river Thames.


Sponsored by Stamp Audio

To recognise the outstanding achievements of the filmmakers showcased at the 27th Raindance Film Festival, 10 jury prizes were awarded to features and 5 to shorts/music videos at the Raindance Awards Ceremony.  Feature winners were awarded a share of CDN $100,000 in audio and music post-production prizes, provided by STAMP AUDIO as part of its continuing Filmmaker Grant Initiative. And as of this year, Raindance is a triple Oscar qualifying festival: the recipients of 3 of the shorts awards are eligible for consideration in the Short Film category of the Academy Awards®.

Powerful documentaries BY THE NAME OF TANIA, ON THE PRESIDENT’S ORDERS, PLATFORM, WHO MADE YOU? triumphed at the festival by winning Best International Feature, Best UK Feature, Discovery Award and Best Documentary Feature respectively.

Written, directed and starring Alexandra Kotcheff and Hannah Leder, triple F-Rated feature THE PLANTERS was named Film Of The Festival.

Director Steve Krikris won for THE WAITER, with further awards for ALICE (Spirit of the Festival Award), THE MAN WHO SURPRISED EVERYONE (Best Performance), THE REAL THING: REAL LIFE IN FAKE CITIES (Best Cinematography), ERASED (Best Screenplay).

Amongst the shorts, BROTHERHOOD was awarded Short of the Festival.

Photos by Charlotte Lake


Developed by FilmBath and now expanding across the UK, the F-Rating is a new film rating which highlights films made by and featuring women.

We adopted the F-Rating system for the second year in a row because we are committed to all aspects of inclusion both in front of the screen and behind the camera. In 2018, we were the first top 50 Film Festival to do so. We aim to support and promote women and redress the imbalance in the film industry.

More than 60 titles in the programme, ranging from shorts and documentaries to full-length narrative features, have been given the rating. The F is given to any film written by a woman or directed by a woman. Any film that meets both criteria and features women in significant on-screen roles is awarded a Triple F-Rating.

Over one-third of this year’s features were F-rated (30 films, up from 27 in 2018), including the F-rated opening night film, and the Triple F-rated closing night film. F-rated shorts have increased from 35 in 2018 to 58 this year.

F-rated films triumphed at the festival awards, including triple F-rated film THE PLANTERS, and F-rated documentaries BY THE NAME OF TANIAWHO MADE YOU?, and PLATFORM.


In Partnership With Greencopper

Raindance was pleased to partner with Greencopper for the second year in a row in order to develop a cutting edge film festival app which is an important part of Raindance’s continuing effort to cut down on paper waste. We are proud of being the first film festival that Greencopper has collaborated with and have decided to continue our work with them for 2019 in order to bring our community of filmmakers and members another innovative and easy way to be informed about our ongoing schedule of courses and events.



From top left: Olivia Colman (The Crown, photo by Roger Alarcon), Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, photo by Roger Alarcon), Tom Felton (Harry Potter, photo by Bertie Watson), Tanya Burr (Youtuber, photo by Roger Alarcon), Sadie Frost (Bram Stoker’s Dracula, photo by Roger Alarcon), Chloe Pirrie (Troy: Fall of a City, photo by Bertie Watson), Dominique Moore (Horrible Histories, photo by Bertie Watson), Susan Wokoma (Chewing Gum, photo by Roger Alarcon), Joanna Vanderham (Warrior, photo by Roger Alarcon), Ed Skrein (Deadpool, photo by Bertie Watson), Victoria Yeates (Call the Midwife, photo by Bertie Watson), Craig Roberts (Submarine, photo by Roger Alarcon), Greta Bellamacina (director, Hurt by Paradise, photo by Roger Alarcon), Nathaniel Martello-White (director, Cla’am, photo by Bertie Watson), Jasmine Jobson (Top Boy, photo by Bertie Watson), Mike Edmonds (Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi, photo by Roger Alarcon).


Filed under: Uncategorized

6 Iconic Hairstyles That Will Never Be Forgotten

Beyond acting, clothing, make up and hairstyle are a large part of character interpretation. Carrie Fisher, Audrey Hepburn and a lot of other actresses and actors launched popular styles by playing iconic characters. If these styles were surprising at the beginning, most of them became fashion along the years. Whatever they are, these hairstyles were copied, changed, and revisited by people of all over the world for decades. If people know these characters, it’s partly because of the iconic work of their hairstylists. Their haircuts gave them credibility and made the roles unforgettable, because years later, we can’t forget them…


Permanent Curls – Grease (1978)

Christine George and Charlene Murray (hairstylist and hairdresser) designed this style composed of height and volume that made Sandy Olsson (also known as Olivia Newton-John) remarkable. Who never dreamt to have the same blonde curls in the 80’s? Today, curls are still in fashion – and seem to be perennially fashionable – but the watchword “The bigger, the better” is over. Things had changed during these 40 years: now, hair doesn’t touch the sky and curls don’t rise so much. Permanents look more natural than 80’s ones, with wider and more curved curls.


Flat bob (and the lock!) – There’s Something About Mary (1998)

End of the 90’s, beginning of the 21st century… The time of long hair is over! The bobbed hairstyle is back, and Cameron Diaz (who plays the role of Mary) contributed a lot to the bob cut becoming fashion again. We all remember her hair lock – that never became fashion, fortunately! Let’s mention the key hair stylists who designed it: Voni Hinkle and Gunnar Swanson.

At the present time, the bob cut has a lot of variants: short, long, angled, or curly among others. More appreciated by middle-aged women a few years ago, now this hairstyle is worn by ladies of all ages and has become a trendy hairstyle, probably thanks to Lucy Hale and Emily Ratajkowski.


Bun – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Nellie Manley designed this hairstyle for Audrey Hepburn. In Breakfast at Tiffany’s she wore her hair in a king-size but refined bun. She often added some jewels on her bun, the “chic detail” that made it a legend. We can say that she was one of the first (and not the last) to wear it on red carpets. 58 years later, the bun is always worn by a lot of women and it never goes out of fashion. This is clearly the most generalised hairstyle, thanks to its many variations: French twist, loose bun, low bun updo… Women can wear it on any situation, which makes the success of this hairstyle.


Double bun – Star Wars (1977)

The double (big) bun of Princess Leia was made by the hairstylist Pat McDermott. This hairstyle had been inspirited by the one of “Hopi” women, a Native American tribe, recognised for populating North America – and especially the Arizona state – from the 18th century, and who became known during the 20th century thanks to photography. These Hopi women are very involved in tribe social life, they have more power in society than men, and were enlisting men during the Mexican Civil War: the director George Lucas found these personality traits interesting for the character of Leia.  Carrie Fisher – who played Leia – confessed that the hairstyle took two hours every morning (and said she used to sleep in it at the same time, and woke up pretty!). But she also added that she didn’t really like this hairstyle. If some women do wear a double bun, we haven’t seen it that big for a while!


Red hair – The Fifth Element (1997)

At the time of its release, The Fifth Element was the most expensive European film ever made, with a budget of $90,000,000. Luckily, Luc Besson’s movie found a real success. The main actress, Milla Jovovich, playing the role of Leeloo, wears an acid orange blunt-cut bob. Even if there are a lot of other uncommon hairstyles in the movie, Leeloo’s is the most impressive one. Richard Ward took care of Milla Jovovich’s hair during the shooting. But a set secret is that Milla’s hair became damaged by the colouring process, and she had to wear a wig in some scenes to protect it. We couldn’t say that this hairstyle inspired a lot of people (expect maybe punks), but for sure it made the character – and the movie – unforgettable.


Pigtails – The Addams Family (1991)

The Addams Family – directed by Barry Sonnenfeld – is the film adaptation of the 1964 same-titled series, based on Addam’s cartoon characters. So, as you can guess, the Addams family has persisted for years ! The little “Wednesday” performed by Christina Ricci, Addams’ daughter, has strange – and dark – hobbies. Apart from her black clothes contrasting her pale face, her hairstyle is the key detail of the character. Wearing dark middle parted pigtails, her look has become unforgettable. Designed by Christopher Shihar, it inevitably reminds us of the schoolchild cliché, as a lot of pupils wear pigtails on their uniform.

Filed under: Acting, In Our Opinion, Technical Craft, UncategorizedTagged with: , , , , ,

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: , , , ,

Four Things a Literary Agent Does

10 Strategic Steps To Get A Literary Agent | Four Things An Agent Does | What Does a Publisher Do? | How Much Do Literary Agents Charge? | The Query Letter | 10 Tips for Writing Loglines | How Creatives Reject RejectionGallery of Rejection

So you’ve written a great book. You’ve put the time, effort and tears into creating your masterpiece, but there’s one problem… you have no way to get people to read it. Sure, your mum and best friend are more than willing to give you praise for your work, but you deserve to see if your book can be enjoyed by the masses. But how do you get it into the hands of a publisher and therefore into the hands of readers? The answer is simple, you need a literary agent.

It must be said that most literary agents receive about a 15 percent of sales commission. “But why would I want to pay for an agent?” you might ask. You may find yourself wondering if dishing out extra money is worth it, but in the long-run it is.

Think of your agent as an investment. You may not get an immediate return, but your long-term gains will be much greater than they would be without one. Your book will, most likely, be purchased for a much greater amount when you have an expert advocating for it.

Here four things an agent does and why you should have one:

1. The job of an agent is to get your book purchased.

An agent acts as a middleman and will send out your manuscript to a potential publisher who would like to bid on it for its publication. Agents have a vast network of contacts and relationships with editors at publishing houses. They have the knowledge and experience to know what editors look for in a manuscript and know the best publications to send them to. An agent knows which publishing houses are on the lookout for the next big fantasy novel, a new horror writer, or which aren’t currently accepting submissions. In addition to the wide number of contacts they provide, agents bring a level of quality in the eyes of editors. Editors know that books submitted by an agent have been through a reviewing process, so those will usually go to the top of the pile. An agent wouldn’t represent a bad writer, so if you get one they believe you have a fighting chance and so will editors.

2. They try to get you the best deal.

An agent’s job is to negotiate all of the contracts with publishers. This part of their job is pretty straightforward because they make more money when you do. As someone who works on commission, it’s in their best interest to negotiate contracts that benefit you. Sure, you could try and do it yourself, but agents also take care of any disputes, royalties, and film rights. You may not know much about these issues, so it’s best to let a professional deal with them. Agents will also advocate for you in terms of negotiating an extension for a deadline and scheduling your book tour dates. Having someone to manage the business side of your book will free up your time and allow you to write a great sequel!

3. They offer valuable suggestions and advice.

A good agent will often give you input regarding your novel. They do this to help it become more marketable. The goal of an agent is to get your book sold to a publisher, so they will want to make sure it is the best it can be before its submission. Yes, they want to help you. No, you shouldn’t treat them like an editor and make them read your book line-by-line. Their job isn’t to offer you grammar revisions or help you learn how to write well. Their job is to offer suggestions and it’s your job as the writer to decide if you want to include them. An agent is all about the business behind your book, so they want to help you make changes that will sell more copies. 

4. You have someone who is ‘always on your side.’

It’s good to restate again that an agent won’t make money unless you do, so they will advocate on behalf of you. They want you to turn a profit so they make one as well. To do this, an agent will provide you will encouragement and try to keep you on the right path when it comes to writing. An agent will remind you about deadlines and be frank when it comes to revisions. They want your career to flourish, so they will be your ally throughout the process. But it’s important to keep in mind that they aren’t there to be your personal assistant or banker. An agent will want you to be successful and for you to find your audience.

Overall, a writer’s best ally is their literary agent. It’s important to invest in one so that your book will be successful. An agent brings so much to the table and is such an integral component of a writer’s toolkit. Don’t try to navigate the publishing process on your own; get an agent and get your book sold. 

Learn more about ‘What Literary Agents Do (And Don’t Do) For Writers.


Filed under: Promotion, Marketing and Distribution, Screenwriting, UncategorizedTagged with: , , ,

10 Feminist Film Festivals To Follow

On the first day of my internship here at Raindance Film Festival I was asked to write an article so I thought I would focus on my feminist side. As a Mexican Woman, I am not only looking for a feminist film festival, but for a festival that wants to create change in societies that need it the most, and that maintain true to their main beliefs. It is difficult to know how to judge a film festival, however all of these festivals stay true to their feminist viewpoints and help independent filmmakers around the world that have been underrepresented. As I am organising a feminist film festival in London and these is the list of festivals that I look up to.

This has an important year for women in film, from Hollywood where the heart of the industry is changing to give a voice to women, to every movement that now stretched around the world to stop normalising the abuse of women in the film industry. Most of all I believe this is how film and festivals should be used, to create a movement and develop new perspectives in their viewers.

These festivals have all focused on creating recognition for women behind the camera. In the film industry women around the world have been fighting for the chance to create what they believe in. All these festivals have have started a revolution in Film. They have spread the work of women that are worth watching and listening to. Especially relevant is the fact that no matter how big these Festivals, each one of them has began to create a change for all women around the world. They are one step closer to creating a change in women’s rights. There is no ranking within this list, all these festivals are worth following and if possible going to check them out.

Here is the list of Festivals I made, enjoy:

1) Cineffable (c.1989)

Cineffable is focused on presenting films made by Feminists and Lesbians. It has been going on for almost 30 years and they present over 50 screenings every year. They present films in French and English. MARCH

2) Women in Film and Television Vancouver (c.1989)

Created by women filmmakers, this film festival focuses on not only presenting films made by upcoming women filmmakers but it also educates them to go further. In addition this festival created an education center that focuses on getting education for indigenous women. MARCH

3) Feminale (c.1984)

Based in Dortmund and Cologne, this festival accepts films from all over the world and gives studying opportunities. Their prices vary in different amounts of money and most of the viewers are important people within the film industry. The festival looks for interesting feminist, political and social views within film.This festival is especially relevant because it is one of the few that have an audience of renowned filmmakers.  APRIL

4) African American Women in Cinema (1998)

Based in New York, the festival focuses on presenting films made by African American Women. The festival is one of the largest and feminist film festivals in the USA and one of the few focused on African American women. It has created a big change for female jobs in film. MARCH

5) London Feminist Film Festival (2013)

A small London-based festival that focuses on presenting films made by upcoming international women directors. Presents short films, documentaries, short documentaries and fiction films. The festival is completely volunteer run. The main focus is to create a movement and help women that have just began in the industry and have been underrepresented. Presenting films from all over the world no matter what language or background. AUGUST

6) Seoul International Women’s Film Festival (1997)

This is one of the most renowned feminist festivals in the world. It has given the opportunity to many female Korean filmmakers to study and create their projects. Not only that but it is very passionate and true about their beliefs to change women’s rights. As a result it has become a forefront to discovering female filmmakers in Asia. SEPTEMBER

7) Femcine (2016)

A film festival based in Chile. It has a very passionate group of people looking for a change within the industry. The Festival focuses on presenting documentaries from all over the world. It is a very politically charged group with a clear aim. In addition this festival is one of the most renowned one’s in Latin America. MARCH

8) Davis Feminist Film Festival (2005)

Focuses on underrepresented artists and particularly women and people of colour to raise consciousness about gender, race, class, sexuality, and other dimensions of social inequality. They look for films that will link together art and social issues. This festival presents films for free as a result they teach about feminism and many political opinions through film. AUTUMN

9) Chicago Feminist Film Festival (2016)

The Chicago Feminist Film Festival showcases independent, international film, predominantly shorts, spanning documentary, fiction, and experimental genres, and aims to address issues of gender, sexuality, race, and other forms of inequality often missing from mainstream media. This festival has been going on only for two years but it already has a strong presence therefore it is one to follow.  MARCH

10) Cascadia Film Festival (2002)

This Festival created by an ex-academy award president is presented in Bellingham WA. The festival contains a variety of films from all over the world with an incredible quality and level. The festival contains talks and appearances of some of the most prestigious women in the film industry. APRIL

These Film Festivals are opening new doors for women by putting together film and feminist.  I have chosen these Festivals because they are still fighting for their feminist believes and they are more radical, actively trying to make a change. Hope this list gives everyone something to think about. If anyone is interested here is a list of 90 more Feminist Film Festivals around the world. Lets change the Film industry and create equality within it.

Filed under: Festivals, Promotion, Marketing and Distribution, UncategorizedTagged with: , , , , , , ,

New Year’s Resolutions for Filmmakers: The 2019 Edition

The beginning of 2019 is on the horizon. Presents have been unwrapped. Crackers have been popped. Michael Buble’s heavenly voice will not grace our ears (and souls) for at least another year. Christmas has finally ended. Cue a collective sigh of despair.

However, all is not lost! The new year brings a fresh slate. If you’re a filmmaker, it’s time to master your art.

If you’re not sure where to begin, here are 10 New Year’s Resolution suggestions for filmmakers both old and new alike:

1. Rejuvenate your social media.

Social media is a powerful tool when harnessed correctly. No longer do we have to suffer at the hands of the carrier pigeon – we now possess the power to be viewed globally at the click of a button. Review your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and think of ways in which they could be revitalised. If they cover a broad range of topics, maybe fine tune their focus. However, avoid being too repetitive. If it feels like your online voice is becoming monotonous – spice it up. It needn’t take loads of time either – read our article on how to build social media authority in 18 minutes per day. 

2. Watch the classics.

Great films are the elixir of life. You can never watch too many. The best way to improve as a filmmaker is to expose yourself to as many genres, directors, screen writers and cinematographers as is humanly possible. You will be a better filmmaker for it. Some of the classics, such as, Pulp Fiction, Memento, The Blair Witch Project and Oldboy, have previously been played at Raindance! So if you’re not sure where to begin, one of these would be great place to start.  

3. Collaborate.

What is better than one brain? Yes, you guessed correctly – two brains. Make this the year of collaboration. Commit to someone else’s project and you’ll start to formulate a network of talented filmmakers to help you out on all your future endeavours. Raindance is promoting a great new collaboration venture: Collab WritersJoin. It’s free. And don’t forget our monthly Boozin’ N’ Schmoozin’ – it’s a great place to meet collaborators.

4. Procrastinate less. Create More.

In this industry, it is easy to get stuck in a rut. Unfinished projects seem to be the filmmaker’s curse. So instead, make this year rain(dance) with your own film projects. Did you make two short films last year? Great. This year, make three. Scrap that, make five. Commit to them. You won’t regret it.

5. Experiment with form.

Don’t put yourself in a box. So what if you’ve only made dramas? This time, make a comedy. Have you only written short films before? Test yourself. This year, write a feature. You could even dabble in a bit of VR and become a multi format content creator. The comfort zone did not breed our generation’s great filmmakers, so get out of it while you can. There are no limits on what you can do. The only limit is yourself. So don’t build barriers, break them.

6. Add to your skill set.

Are you a director who refuses to touch a camera? Are you an editor who shys away from script-writing? Ask yourself why. There’s no reason you can’t learn a new skill. If you are a producer, learn to edit. If you are a writer, learn about different camera lenses. Why not attend our Saturday Film School and broaden your skill-set (and horizons)? The phrase ‘an old dog can’t learn new tricks’ is a load of billy b*ll*cks. Stop chewing the same bone again and again and find yourself a new one. A bigger, meatier one.

7. Read More

Some of the all-time greats originally started off as books. Timeless classics, such as Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Godfather and Trainspotting first began as best-selling novels. Books contain the recipe for a successful screenplay; in-depth character development, a considered plot and carefully composed dialogue. And the benefits don’t end there! Reading regularly will also help you mature your writing style; the more words you visually ingest, the wider your vocabulary will be. Frankly my dear, you should give a damn about reading.

8. Alter your Perspective on Rejection

Rejection is a part of life. Whether you’re a jilted lover or a 5th-time Oxbridge reject, rejection is a universal tragedy. It’s no different for filmmakers. As artists, you will be often faced with the dreaded word; ‘No’. Sadly, after being exposed again and again to a string of pitiless rebuffs, it is easy to fall into a black hole of self-pity. This year, grab rejection by the balls and use it for self-improvement, rather than self-deprecation. Think carefully about why your film, script or application didn’t succeed, join us in our famous gallery of rejection and use this time’s failure to pave the way to next year’s success. Once you understand that rejection is part of the game – you’ll automatically become a champion.

9. Balance is key.

What do filmmakers tend to have in common? They usually suffer from the burden of perfectionism. Whilst being a stickler for perfection may have its merits, becoming a workaholic, quite frankly, does not. So this year, push yourself. But don’t push yourself over the edge. Whilst setting challenges and keeping busy will make you a better filmmaker, if you don’t have a balance, you will quickly burn out. And so will your art.

10. Attend More Film Festivals.

Film festivals are an absolute blast. They are chock-full of life-affirming films, talented filmmakers and ardent film-enthusiasts. Not to mention, there are parties aplenty. So if you want to learn the inner workings of the industry, build a contact list as long as your arm and boogie the night away with like-minded people, then these are the places to be. Why not begin by attending our very own festival in September!



Filed under: Directing, Festivals, In Our Opinion, Uncategorized