First time at Raindance Film Festival - Raindance

Why go to film festivals?

Film festivals are the first place where you can see the films everyone will be talking about tomorrow. Not just that, attending a film festival means you’ll be packing a lot of different experiences and discovering so many new artists it’ll make your head spin.

Who should come to Raindance Film Festival?

Raindance is run by film lovers and for film lovers. We love discovering new films from all over the world and sharing them with audiences here in London. Everyone is welcome: film lovers, open minds, or even if you’re just curious about what it is we do, come and watch a film with us. There is something for everyone.

What is the difference between UK, European, National, International and World premieres?

There are different types of film premiere at Raindance:

  • A UK Premiere is a film’s first public screening in the UK
  • A European Premiere is the first public screening in Europe
  • A National Premiere is a film’s first public screening in its home country
  • An International Premiere is a film’s first public screening outside of its home country
  • A World Premiere is a film’s first public screening in the world

What is a Gala?

Gala nights are special, red carpet events, in celebration of something – whether it’s the opening of the Festival (e.g. Opening Night Gala), or in recognition of something (e.g. the Charity Gala). These are your chance to get your glad rags on and make a night of it.

I don’t know anything about films, should I still come?

Of course! Raindance has been screening the most original, groundbreaking films for 25 years, which means that you can see some of the best films from across the world in this festival. Film festivals are not just for film critics or film professionals; Raindance is run by film lovers, and anyone who has any interest in film is welcome here!

Is there a dress code?

Most events at Raindance Film Festival are fairly informal, which means you can come in your usual everyday wear. Some people choose to dress a bit smarter for evening screenings, but it’s not obligatory – wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Gala nights and parties will have their specific dress codes on the invitations.

Don’t be late

Screenings will start sharp at the time indicated on your ticket. There are no trailers or adverts like you would get in a normal cinema, so in order to ensure that the screening runs smoothly, ensure that you’re in your seat by the film’s start time.

Q&A etiquette

Many screenings will be followed by a Q&A with filmmakers, giving you the opportunity to ask them questions about the film. Keep your questions clear and concise in order to then allow the filmmaker time to answer and allow as many people as possible the chance to ask questions.

Will there be snacks (popcorn, drinks, etc.)?

For those of you who like to sip on something or munch on popcorn at the cinema, you’ll be able to access the snack counter before the screening starts.

What is a Pass and what does it entitle me to?

Passes provide access to a range of screenings and events throughout Raindance Film Festival, which will vary depending on which pass you have purchased. Please refer to your confirmation or email or this page for further information.

Where do I pick up my pass?

Passes can be picked up from the Box Office Desk in the Foyer at Vue Piccadilly from the first day of the festival. Please bring your confirmation email. If you haven’t pre-bought your Pass online, then you will be able to buy one in-person here as well.

Do I need to bring anything?

Bring some friends! Films are better this way. You and your friends should also bring confirmation emails if you’ve booked tickets/passes in advance, and your ID.

Plan out your schedule

There are many film screenings and events at Raindance Film Festival, so it’s understandable if you’re not sure where to start. If you want to browse the films in the selection, have a look at the programme. If you’re thinking of attending a few screenings, why not book a Festival Pass.

Is there assigned seating?

You can sit wherever you want in the screen as there is no assigned seating.



Raindance aims to promote and support independent filmmaking and filmmakers.

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

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

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