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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

Nimic

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.

Alice

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

About 

Photo Credit Jay Brooks / BIFA 2015

Elliot Grove is the founder of Raindance Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards. He has produced over 700 hundred short films and also five feature films, including the multi-award-winning The Living and the Dead in 2006, Deadly Virtues in 2013 and AMBER in 2017. He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia and America.

Raindance trailer 2017

Elliot has written three books which have become industry standards: Raindance Writers’ Lab: Write + Sell the Hot Screenplay, now in its second edition, Raindance Producers’ Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking and Beginning Filmmaking: 100 Easy Steps from Script to Screen (Professional Media Practice).

In 2009 he was awarded a PhD for services to film education.

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