Film - Raindance Film Festival Launch


Tony Cross headed into Leicester Square yesterday to watch the Programme launch for the 26th Raindance Film Festival...

So, I'm at the launch of the Raindance Film Festival and feeling that slight sense of awkwardness I always feel when, as a part time critic, I attend a proper film event. That's not Raindance’s fault btw. They have been more than friendly. It is more the feeling that I am here under false pretences. However. Enough about me. What of the Festival itself?

Well, it has a fascinating selection of films from a genuinely diverse list of film makers. According to Elliot Grove - the Festival’s founder - in his introductory speech, films from 119 countries were presented for selection and half of the films in the Festival itself were directed by female directors, which is to be applauded.

I found it interesting how much of the presentation was made up of thanking sponsors and hearing from them. I don't begrudge this. Often the only way to find arts in the 21st century is to support it with sponsorship. This isn't new. Artists have always relied on help from the wealthy to get things done. A lot of what we now call great art was bought and paid for to massage the ego of a Prince here or a Duke there. And this is how it will stay until governments are prepared to foot the bill for a lot more art than they do now, or more British people are going to buy tickets to watch films that don't involve Superheroes or whatever or, more importantly, British cinema chains are going to be willing to stick their necks out a little more and give screen time to independent and foreign films - even British films themselves (see my comments on this when reviewing ‘Journey’s End’ for additional thoughts on this) - so it is nice to see Vue Cinemas getting behind the Festival.

There was a little speech from the Chilean Cultural Attaché as Chile is the country of this year’s Festival with ‘Princesita’, directed by Marialy Rivas, the film that kicks everything off. Chile is high on my list of countries to visit being geographically fascinating (if you're that way inclined.)

There's also an ‘immersive strand’ - Raindance Immersive Stories & Interactive Worlds - designed to showcase artistic developments in the virtual, augmented and interactive space. 33 Virtual Reality Experiences have been selected, including one by Dame Judi Dench called My Oak Tree VR. This part of the Festival sounds genuinely interesting. It's where the world is going to, think of how you can find a way of balancing the individual experience with the communal one (and people forget sometimes that watching a film in a cinema is a communal experience.) I'm flagging this up as something I'm going to try and get to experience. If I can. [Find the full list of Immersive stories HERE - Ed]

I don't intend to break down a full list of what's on [find a summary below – Ed] but what leapt to my mind - which is increasingly out on its own - were ‘When Margaux Meets Margaux’, directed by Sophie Fillières, which sounds like it has thematic similarities with ‘Ana By Day’, directed by Andrea Jurrieta (but having seen neither that's just guess work from me.) Then there is ‘We The Kings’, a British film, directed by Lauren Mackenzie, Ederlezi Rising, directed by Lazar Bodorza, which is a Serbia SF film, ‘A Crimson Star’, directed by Aya Igashi, ‘Love at Least’, directed by Kosai Sekoje and ‘The End of Wind’ directed by Fog Forest. The latter in particular sounds right up my cinematic street.

But there's lots to see and some industry events that a budding - oh god the clichés, the clichés - film maker might want to attend.

Support your local Film festivals, support independent films and broaden a horizon or two. You never know one of these films might change your world.



Celebrating its 26th year, Raindance Film Festival will take place in London’s West End from Wednesday 26 September until Sunday 7 October, 2018.
Follow Tony on Twitter @Lokster71

Image - Raindance

In recognition of the outstanding achievements of this year’s filmmakers, a specially selected jury will watch each of the films nominated in the following categories: Best International Film, Best UK Film, Best Director, Best Performance, Best Script, Best Cinematography, Discovery Award and Best Documentary.

Films nominated for Best International Film include:

Princesita (Chile/Argentina/Spain); 
Family (Israel/Germany); 
Love at Least (Japan); 
We (The Netherlands/Belgium);
A Crimson Star (Japan); 
The End of Wind (China);
Saviours (USA);
M (France).

Films nominated for Best UK Film include:

Nightshooters

Additional narrative features are considered in the Discovery Award, which is given to Best Debut Film. Films nominated in this category include 

Ana By Day (Spain)
Borders, Raindrops (Republic of Srpska/Bosnia and Herzegovina/Montenegro/Serbia/Sweden/UK)
 Ederlezi Rising (Serbia),
Silent Night (Poland),

Films vying for the Best Documentary Award include

Ballet Now (USA), 
Nossa Chape (Brazil, Colombia, Spain) 

The international short film competition slate includes

Souls of Totality (dir: Richard Raymond, UK/USA)
June 21 (dir: Nagisa Morimoto, France)
Imfura (dir: Ishimwe Samuel, Switzerland/Rwanda)
Clean Blood (dir: Jordan Michael Blake, USA)

Find out more and view the whole programme on the Raindance website at https://www.raindance.org/raindance-film-festival-2018-programme/