Film - Raindance Film Festival Awards Announced

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The 23rd annual Raindance Film Festival announced the winning films in 12 categories at their annual Awards ceremony at The May Fair Hotel last night...

The festival, which closes on Sunday 4th October, has hosted over 90 feature length films, 200 shorts and 30 industry events from more 48 countries. The winning films were selected from a shortlist by the 2015 Raindance jury, a panel of influential figures from the media world including Col Needham, Founder and CEO of IMDb, actress Sheridan Smith and actor Martin Freeman.

Datuna: Portrait of America, which was named Feature Film of the Festival, is a documentary about the life of David Datuna, a Georgia-born artist who creates very distinctive pieces on national identity. The film focuses on his piece ‘Portrait of America’, which debuted at the National Portrait gallery on President’s day, in the midst of personal health problems during his career. The film has been championed by Raindance as a documentary that carries a message - no matter what happens, never give up on your aspirations.

Kicking Off, winner of Best British Feature, stars Danielle Lineker, Greg McHugh (Fresh Meat) and Warren Brown (Luther) tells the story of passionate football fans take matters into their own hands following the decision of a referee to disallow a goal that would save their team from relegation, by planning a crime which causes chaos and catastrophe. Raindance describes the film as having stylistic features of British cinema classics such as ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’, with its insistence in breaking the fourth well fast-panning cuts.

The American short film Winter Light, winner of Short Film of the Festival, tells the story of an aging college professor who is drawn into an escalating battle of wills when he confronts two hunters trespassing on his property.

In Alice in Marialand winner of Best International Feature starring new Bond girl Stephanie Sigman, Mexican director Jesus Magana Vazquez has created a film which beautifully encapsulates what it means to fall in and out of love, the difficulties of moving on and the challenge of forgetting an unresolved past. Playing with the audience’s perceptions of the protagonists’ relationships, Vazquez ingeniously intertwines the power and parallels of love and hate; seamlessly gliding the characters between these emotions.

The winning films are as follows:

Best International Feature: Alice In Marialand

Best British Feature: Kicking Off

Best Debut Feature: Princess (reviewed by Chris Smith for us here)

Best Documentary Feature: Gored

Feature Film of the Festival: Datuna: Portrait of America

Best International Short: Home

Best UK Short: North

Best Animated Short: Palm Rot

Best Documentary Short: Walking Through Havana

Short Film of the Festival: Winter Light

Special Jury Prize for a Short: The House Job

Best Music Video: Stealing Sheep - Not Real

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