Film - Raindance 2017 Award Winners

The Raindance Film Festival has announced this year's award winners...

With the 25th edition coming to a close on Sunday, the Festival received a record-breaking number of submissions from over 200 countries, the highest it has received to date, including features, shorts, webfest, VR and music videos.

The Constitution was the biggest winner of the Festival, receiving three awards: Best Film, Best Screenplay and Best Performance for Nebojša Glogovac. A film about loss of community, The Constitution follows four people who live in the same building, but avoid each other because of the differences in their assets, sexual habits, nationality and religion.

Jeannie Donohoe (Game), Marta Savina (Viola, Franca) and Nathaniel Martello-White (Cla’am) were the big winners in the Shorts Programme, with Game receiving the award for Best Short, Viola, Franca receiving the Special Jury Mention for Best Short and Cla’am winning Best UK Short.

The Film of the Festival Award went to Hector Valdez’s Peaches. The film, set somewhere in the Carribean, in a future that never was, follows a man who will find any means necessary to fix what happened when his girlfriend decides to leave him after a disastrous anniversary getaway.

Peaches generated a lot of buzz during the Festival, particularly from Raindance Founder Elliot Grove who stated that, “We chose Peaches as Film of the Festival because of the spirit in which it was made. A retro-futuristic voyage, this film interweaves time travel, whilst firmly rooted on 70’s Hollywood’s vision of the future. The film cleverly interweaves style and synthesised music rooted firmly in the 1970s to create a relentlessly upbeat movie with characters that are hilariously oblivious to the complexities of basic morality.”

As a result of this win and as per Raindance tradition, Hector Valdez will be asked to direct next year’s Official Festival Trailer. 

Iconic British Filmmaker Guy Ritchie received the Festival’s second Raindance Auteur Award recognizing his achievements in filmmaking and ongoing contribution to the film industry. 

In some of the other categories, Best Director was awarded to Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak for Maya Dardel, a film about a Famous writer who claims on NPR that she intends to end her life and offers the opportunity for male writers to compete to become executor of her estate.

Jason Wingard’s In Another Life was awarded Best UK Feature. Set against the backdrop of the Calais jungle camp, the film follows Syrian refugee Adnan as he battles to be reunited with his wife in the UK.

Rayhana’s I Still Hide To Smoke received the Discovery Award for Best Debut Feature. The film set during the 1995, Algerian Civil War, follows Fatima, a middle-aged masseuse who runs a hammam where all local women meet to cleanse their bodies and spirits.

Best Documentary went to RiverBlue: Can Fashion Save The Planet, which follows internationally celebrated river conservationist Mark Angelo on an around-the-world journey by river that uncovers the dark side of the fashion industry. Raindance has also added a Special Jury Mention for Best Documentary award for The Family I Had, which was narrowly pipped to the post, about a mother recalling how her brilliant teenage son came to shatter their idyllic family through one horribly violent and shocking act.

We also see Riders of the Well of Death win the coveted Best Documentary Short about a group of daredevil Indian drivers who play with gravity, speed and chance as they race their motorbikes around the ‘well of death’, as well as Vladimir Todorov’s Flutter take the prize for Best Animated Short which is set in a world where everyone can defy gravity.

The Best Music Video Award went to Terror – with music by indie-pop sol act Steady Holiday, the video the story of a woman, who whilst cleaning her house, finds a creature living in her couch that will not die.

The winning films were selected from 14 categories by the Festival’s jury members, which included Christopher Ecclestone, Sean Bean, Jack O’Connell, Celia Imrie and Ewen Bremner, among many others (full list below).

This year also saw the introduction of the Raindance VRX Awards, VRX Summit, VRX Market in the newly established VR strand which also includes the VR Arcade which debuted last year, alongside established strands including LGBT and China Day, the Festival also showcased its fifth annual Web Series, third annual Co-production Forum, a Music strand and also hosted an array of creative industry panels, including the ever popular Live! Ammunition! event, which provides filmmakers with the opportunity to pitch ideas for their films to a panel of industry executives.

This is the first year Raindance has announced the 10 winners of its inaugural VRX Awards, showing the expansion of the VR strand since its initial conception last year. Eugene Chung won The Special Prize for Best Storytelling in Virtual Reality for Arden’s Wake about a young woman who lives with her father in a lighthouse perched atop the endless sea. The winners of the ten categories including Best Interactive Narrative VR Experience and Best Cinematic Narrative VR Experience can be found in the full list below.

Hosted by Raindance Founder, Elliot Grove, jury member Treva Etienne (Terminator: Salvation, Pirates Of The Caribbean) was also in attendance at The Mayfair Hotel, London to present an award to the winners as was Johanna von Fischer (director of British Independent Film Awards 2006 – 2015) and Rosa Bosch (producer at B&W Films). Similarly for the VRX Awards a who’s who of VR visionaries presented awards including Reshu Sidhu of Framestore, as well as Sol Rogers – BAFTA VR executive.

Michael Berry’s Stuck will close the Festival on Sunday, October 1st at Vue West End in London.

Best Film - The Constitution
Best Director – Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak (Maya Dardel)
Best Performance – Nebojša Glogovac (The Constitution)
Best Screenplay – Rajko Grlc and Ante Tomic (The Constitution)
Best UK Feature – In Another Life
Best Documentary Feature – RiverBlue: Can Fashion Save The Planet?
Special Jury Mention For Best Documentary Feature – The Family I Had
Discovery Award – I Still Hide To Smoke
Film of the Festival Award – Peaches
Best Short of the Festival– Game
Special Jury Mention For Best Short of the Festival – Viola, Franca
Best UK Short– Cla’am
Best Documentary Short – Riders of the Well of Death
Best Animation Short - Flutter
Best Music Video – Terror


Best Interactive Narrative VR Experience - Manifest 99
Best Mobile Interactive VR Experience - Virtual Virtual Reality
Best Cinematic Narrative VR Experience - Alteration
Best Documentary VR Experience - First Impressions
Best Animation VR Experience - Dear Angelica
Best Music VR Experience - Beethoven's Fifth
Best Branded VR Experience - The Chainsmokers: Paris
Best Sensual VR Experience - Through You
Best Social Impact VR Experience - Munduruku: The Fight to Defend the Heart of the Amazon,
Best Sound Design VR Experience - Reeps One: Does Not Exist
Special Prize: Best Storytelling in Virtual Reality - Arden's Wake


Sean Bean (Game Of Thrones, Lord of the Rings)
Nigel Albermaniche (Production Sound Mixer)
Rosa Bosch (Co-founder of Tequilla Gang, producer at B&W Films)
Simon Boswell (Composer)
Ewen Bremner (Trainspotting, Judge Dread)
Jamie Campbell Bower (Will, RocknRolla)
Ed Caruana (Writer – Gorillaz, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Rick Darge (Zen Dog, Satacracy88)
Ate de Jong (Drop Dead Fred, Deadly Virtues)
Christopher Ecclestone (Doctor Who, 28 Days Later)
Treva Etienne (Terminator: Salvation, Pirates of the Carribean)
Don Hill (Vice Chair of Drama at the University of California)
Aleks Dimitrijevic (Producer – The Smalls)
Celia Imrie (Ab Fab: The Movie, Bridget Jones’s Diary)
Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Broadchurch, 28 Days)
Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Black Sails, Hotel Rwanda)
Karen Lindsay-Stewart (Casting Director – The Woman In Black, Harry Potter 1&2)
Nicholas Lyndhurst (Goodnight Sweetheart, Only Fools and Horses)
Neil Marshall (Director / Writer / Editor – Game Of Thrones, The Descent)
Ali Mashayekhi (Producer – Let’s Rap, Piece Of Mind)
Jack O’Connell (Unbroken, ‘71)
Rachel Portman (OBE) (Composer – Chocolat, Emma)
Nik Powell (Executive Producer – Brimstone, Little Voice)
Patrick Tucker (Director / Lecturer)
Zoran Veljkovic (Cinematographer – Bridge, After Fall Winter)
Johanna von Fischer (Director / Producer – British Independent Film Awards 2006 – 2015)
Debbie Wiseman (MBE) (Composer – Wolf Hall, Wilde)

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