Raindance’s film programmers discuss how they build a diverse programme, addressing the questions and challenges around fair representation within a major international festival.
Speakers: Suzanne Ballantyne, Raindance; Martyna Szmytkowska, Raindance; Pepe Ruiloba, Raindance; Baptiste Charles, Raindance
About the Speakers:
Suzanne Ballantyne’s career is as varied as the films she has discovered for Raindance. She studied dance at the National Ballet School of Canada and studied acting with the legendary acting teacher Eli Rill of the Actors Studio. With percussionist Ron Rulli and Aura Ursceanu she recorded a jazz album and acted in eight independent films in Toronto. As a film reviewer she reviewed over 350 films for the Toronto International Film Festival before moving back to London.
Suzanne co-founded the British Independent Film Awards. She also earned a Raindance Masters Degree in Independent Film. Suzanne has been the Head of Programming for Raindance since 1994. Many of the films she has discovered have gone on to achieve international acclaim.
Martyna Szmytkowska is Raindance’s senior programmer and programme manager and has helped with curating the Raindance Film Festival lineup since 2013. In her previous, pre-Raindance life she was a talent agent in one of the leading Polish talent agencies. She has an MA in Film History and Theory.
Pepe Ruiloba was born in Mexico City. He worked as Production Coordinator in films and commercials before joining the Guadalajara International Film Festival as Programmer & Coordinator of Premio Maguey, a competition that showcases LGBTQ+ cinema.
He recently programmed the Queer Strand of the Raindance Film Festival and is also a film critic for newspaper Reforma, one of the largest printed media company in Mexico and Latin America. Pepe has also been part of several film festival juries, including the Cannes Queer Palm in 2018.
Baptiste Charles is a writer and filmmaker from France. After graduating from business school with a Master’s Degree in Management of the Creative Industries, he became Programme Registrar of the MA in Filmmaking at Raindance.
He has been a programmer for the Raindance Film Festival, in the Queer Strand, since 2016, programming both feature and short films. He produced the hit web series ’Netflix & Kill’ in 2018 and the award-winning short film ‘Alder’ in 2019. In 2020, his first short film as a writer ‘U Up?’ was produced and shown on the festival circuit.
This Panel discussion is part of the Raindance Film Festival Industry Programme: Independent Film Beyond 2020. To access all panels purchase the UK All Access or International All Access Pass from £14.99.