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It’s year end again! All bloggers and social media experts are busily publishing their Top 10 Movie Lists of 2019.  Rather than duplicate the obvious I thought you would prefer a top ten of the Top 10 Lists – especially if there was any context behind the selection rationale. It might even assist you in choosing which movie to see next, which would make everyone at Raindance feel special.

Top 10 Movie Lists of 2019

These lists are all good, but very different. They are presented in no particular order.

1.The Best Undistributed Movies of 2019 by indiewire

We start the list off with this passionate list from indiewire. There is practically no chance you will be able to see many of these movies now their festival circuit is nearing completion. But you will be able to watch them online.

One of the films, Alice, was written, directed and produced by Raindance Alumni Josephine Mackerras. It deservedly won the Spirit of Raindance Award in 2019. It does have a UK distributor. We await the release date.

Alice Spirit of Raindance 2019 Award

2. The Telegraph Newspaper’s Top 10 List

One would not normally consider a super business newspaper, and huge Tory supporting publication to be very good at arts coverage. But Raindance jurors and frequent Raindance screening hosts Tim Robey and Robbie Collin consistency turn out some of the most thoughtful and intelligent reviews on the web. And not without a wicked sense of humour. Tim gave Cats his first ever zero star rating, for example.

Although the Telegraph covers the big Hollywood schlockbusters, the films Tim and Robbie have decided that left the lasting impressions were quiet love stories, strange thrillers and adventurous world cinema. Near the top of their list is For Sama – the British Independent Film Awards Best Film 2019.
Add these to your New Year watch list. Although their reviews are behind a pay wall, new subscriber can get limited access to their reviews.

3. James Merchant’s Top 10 list

You may not have heard of James unless you are an industry insider. I know James. – James and filmmaker Jesse Vile produced Raindance Film Festival way back in 2007 – a vintage year.

James is now th head of film and music at Trafalgar Releasing – the hugely successful and influential #eventcinema distribution company. What makes James’ list so interesting to me is that he sees tonnes of movies from all over the place.

1. The Irishman
2. Midsommar
3. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
4. Apollo 11
5. Hail Satan?
6. Booksmart
7. If Beale Street Could Talk
8. Monos
9. Dragged Across Concrete
10. American Factory
Huge caveat: Parasite is released next year in the UK so I haven’t included on this list, but it would absolutely be my #1 of the year.
Also loved: Diego Maradona, Vox Lux, Marriage Story, Under the Silver Lake, Velvet Buzzsaw, Fyre, Eighth Grade, Mid90s, Us, Knock Down the House.

4. IMDB’s Top 10

Founded by Col Needham a quarter century ago, IMDB is now this industry behemoth that has earned a secure place in the film industry as data cruncher and influencer. I first met Col the very first time he went to Cannes in the early naughties. Since then we have kept in touch. The IMDB list is not where you turn for the heavyweight films. Surprisingly, their list carries indies like ˆ and Mid Sommar as well as, at #37, Avengers – made by Raindance alumni The Russo Brothers. A well-balanced list.

5. Deadline’s Top 10 List

No filmmaker should pass a single day without reading all the cool tips and news on Deadline. Here is the Top Ten List from this year’s AFI Awards in December. Good solid choices here.

If you want a change of pace from actual movie watching, why not look at The Black Lists Top Unproduced Scripts – you’ll get an inkling which movies will be getting made in the next couple of years.

6. Screen-Space

Sydney based Simon Foster launched Screen-Space in 2012 to keep up with the changes in movie distribution. His Top Movies Lists of 2019 includes a wide range of films, both topical and entertaining. Simon’s thoughtful choices range from Once A Time In Hollywood to the engaging and multiple ward-winning Alice.

7. The Vuture’s Best Horror of 2019

New York Magazine has one of the best organised websites I know of. And it’s culture section is under “The Vulture” tab. Jordan Crucchiola is a witty and engaging reviewer. You can follow her on Twitter here. Her Top 10 Horror Movies of 2019 includes a Raindance Film Festival premiere: Knife + Heart.

8. The British Film Institute

Loved and loathed by independent filmmakers in the UK, the BFI nonetheless has compiled a pretty daunting and hip list of the best 50 films of 2019. It’s true that many of these were part-funded by the BFI – but should that make any difference? These results were complied from a poll of a hundred contributors to their magazine, Sight & Sound.

Ex-runner Ben Roberts has taken over as CEO and has amazingly ambitious plans for the organisation.

Interestingly, the best film of 2019, according to the BFI list, is Souvenir, which debuted at the Raindance Film Festival.

9. Screen International’s Best Movies Lists of 2019

Screen International is Britain’s only film trade paper – and a damn good one at that too. It’s roster of journalists is second-to-none. Editor Matt Muellor is a Raindance alumni. Features editor Charles Gant has been a long-time support of the British Independent Film Awards, and stringer Ben Dalton’s first London movie job was at the Raindance office in London!

Each of the staff were asked to pick their top five films of 2019. They’re published here.

Ben Dalton, bless, chose Greener Grass as his number one. It had it’s European premiere at Raindance 2019.

10 The Guardian’s Top Movies 2019 List

No European film article would would ever be complete without including The Guardian. Film editor and former Raindance juror Peter Bradshaw and his team has compiled a list of their top picks of 2019. It’s a wide range of films from The Joker to little known UK indies like Bait – a hypnotic take on tourists – and second home owners – ruining Cornwall which launched Mark Jenkin onto the homegrown cinema scene with immense wit and monochrome style.  Bait had it’s world premiere at Raindance.

Fade Out

Do you have a movie list you like? Please add it to the comments box below.

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About 

Photo Credit Jay Brooks / BIFA 2015

Elliot Grove is the founder of Raindance Film Festival (1993) and the British Independent Film Awards (1998). He has produced over 700 hundred short films and five feature films: the multi-award-winning The Living and the Dead (2006), Deadly Virtues (2013), AMBER (2017), Love is Thicker Than Water (2018) and the SWSX Grand Jury Prize winner Alice (2019). He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia and America.

Raindance trailer 2019

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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