Raindance Senior Progammer Martyna Selects Her Festival Highlights - Raindance

This year Raindance saw 8929 film submissions with over 4,000 hours of film watched! The brave individual who oversaw the entire submission process is none other than Raindance festival senior programmer Martyna Szmytkowska. She selects her top 5 picks you make sure to see at the festival this year.




Directed by Marialy Rivas

Launching the festival this year, PRINCESITA tells the story of twelve-year-old Tamara, raised in a cult community in southern Chile. Thought by their leader Miguel to be the golden child, Tamara is allowed to undertake education outside of the cult. Her growing awareness of life in the outside world however makes her realise that her role is not to be the Chosen One, but rather to bear it. As her second feature, Marialy Rivas does a subtle job in weaving the film’s heavy and bleak subject-matter into the film’s lighter, more accessible tone. A heart-wrenching coming-of-age story, PRINCESITA is a dazzling visual feast and deservedly in competition for Best International Feature in addition to many other awards at Raindance this year.

PRINCESITA will be part of the 26th Raindance Film Festival Opening Night with an ensuing party. Book your tickets here.

Southern Belle

Directed by Nicolas Peduzzi

Taelor Ranzauis is without a doubt a fascinating filmic character. At the age of 15, Taelor’s life is turned upside down when her billionaire father is mysteriously murdered. Growing up in the gated ghettos of Houston, Texas, she decides to emancipate herself from her mother and live her life dangerously on the road. Filled with drug abuse, alcohol and guns, Taelor’s exploits nevertheless stem from the violence and recklessness of the rich white ghettos where she grew up. SOUTHERN BELLE provides a rare look at a troubled, multi-faceted character so difficult to comprehend within her alienating environment.

SOUTHERN BELLE screening on Friday 28th September will be followed by a Q&A with director Nicholas Peduzzi. Book your tickets here.

When Margaux Meets Margaux

Directed by Sophie Fillières

Wouldn’t we like to know what we will be like in 10 or 20 years’ time? Sophie Fillières’ witty exploration of this in WHEN MARGAUX MEETS MARGAUX shows how some mistakes we are sometimes better off in making. A young woman called Margaux divides her days between shoplifting and two uninteresting boyfriends whilst living with her best friend, Esther. Meanwhile, an older woman called Margaux attends the funeral of her old flatmate, Esther, with whom she long ago lost touch. After the two Margauxes meet at a house party, they begin to believe they are the same person at different ages. And while young Margaux realises she can ask older Margaux about the outcomes of her one-night stands, the older Margaux becomes convinced that she could potentially prevent young Margaux from making the same bad decisions that resulted in her unsatisfying middle-age life. Although a story both light and entertaining, the film is neither stupid nor silly: instead it spins a coming-of-age tale in an original and quirky way.

WHEN MARGAUX MEETS MARGAUX screening on Thursday 4th October will be followed by a Q&A with Sophie Fillières. Book your tickets here.  


Directed by Rene Eller

A gang of eight privileged teens embark on a wild journey through the dark heart of suburbia. Their hedonistic attitudes and lack of inhibition lead them into lucrative sex work, but their greed quickly envelops them in a web of abuse, blackmail and self-destruction. Told through various different perspectives, their unreliable accounts unravel as they try to explain the death of one of their members and the involvement of a local politician in their operations. Breath-taking and suspenseful from start to finish, Rene Eller has masterfully structured his film to become progressively darker and perverted with every plot twist. Cleverly written and put together, WE is a gripping, mature achievement for a debut filmmaker.

WE screening on Friday 5th October will be followed by a Q&A with cast members Maxime Jacobs, Laura Drosopoulos, Folkert Verdoorn and Gaia Cozijn. Book your tickets here. 

Silent Night

Directed by Piotr Domalewski

SILENT NIGHT opens on the night of Christmas Eve, stripped of any anticipation of family harmony. Adam (DAWID OGRODNIK, from the Academy Award Winner IDA) makes a surprise visit to Poland, navigating his family’s broken relationships whilst unravelling unspoken hurt. He confronts his younger brother’s unexplained resentment, the abuse his sister is suffering at the hands of her husband, his father’s struggle with alcoholism, and his sour mother – whose dreams to sustain their family togetherness slowly crumbles. Despite its bleak subject matter, compassion is the prevailing thread running through the film as characters are depicted with such warmth and authenticity without exaggerating the heavy-handedness of their reunion. Debut filmmaker Piotr Domalewski tangibly explores family relations dealing with the promises, disappointments and realities of Polish immigration. Winning Best Film at Gdynia Film Festival, SILENT NIGHT is now in selection for Raindance’s Best Discovery award.

SILENT NIGHT screening on Friday 5th October will be followed by a Q&A with director Piotr Domalewski. Book your tickets here.



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

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