Film - Raindance Film Festival Awards


Raindance Film Festival has announced this year's award winners. Here's the full list...

Press Release

At a time when fact is definitely stranger than fiction, documentaries dominated the Raindance Film Festival awards this year. Compelling stories honoured at this year’s awards tell of women in Peru forced into prostitution, the war on drugs, the rise of cyborgs and sex robots, sisterhood in sport in Iran, and the lives of the people living in China’s copycat cities. Three of the top prizes go to F-Rated documentaries, where either a senior figure in production was female—a director or a screenwriter—or they films included very strong female leads, not there just to support a male lead, or looked specifically at women's issues.

Written, directed and starring Alexandra Kotcheff and Hannah Leder, triple F-Rated feature THE PLANTERS is named Film Of The Festival. Other features with fascinating character-led narratives also triumph, telling of a waiter embroiled in the disappearance of a neighbour, a man who attempts to trick death by taking the identity of a woman, a new mother entangled in a web of bureaucracy, and a woman who becomes a high-end sex worker to support herself and her child.

In all, 10 prizes were awarded to features, 5 to shorts/music videos. Here's the full list of winners:



FILM OF THE FESTIVAL: THE PLANTERS

A dark Triple F-Rated comedy written by, directed & starring Alexandra Kotcheff and Hannah Leder, THE PLANTERS tells of a telemarketer who sucks at her job, doesn’t like people, and likes to bury stolen treasure – but her world starts looking up when she finds an unlikely friend in a Jesus loving vagrant with multiple personalities. A worthy Film Of The Festival.




BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE: BY THE NAME OF TANIA

F-rated hybrid documentary BY THE NAME OF TANIA (dir: Mary Jimenez, Bénédicte Liénard, Belgium/Netherlands/Peru) combines the true testimonials of many women forced into prostitution, creating one poignant central character: a young woman in Peru who is forced into sex work when her attempts to escape the limitations of her village go wrong.




BEST UK FEATURE: ON THE PRESIDENT’S ORDERS

Directed by Emmy-winners James Jones and Olivier Sarbil, ON THE PRESIDENT’S ORDERS (dir: James Jones & Olivier Sarbil, UK/USA/Philippines) is a daring account into the war on drugs that President Duterte has embroiled the Philippines in, told from the perspective of a kill squad in the Manila police, and an ordinary family from the slums.




BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: WHO MADE YOU?

Investigating the Artificial Intelligence technology, which poses possibly the defining ethical quandary of our time, the F-rated documentary WHO MADE YOU? (dir: Iiris Härmä, Finland) leads us into the world of cyborgs, sex robots and androids.




DISCOVERY AWARD – BEST DEBUT FEATURE: PLATFORM

The first feature by Sahar Mosayebi, F-rated documentary PLATFORM (dir: Sahar Mosayebi, Iran) tells the story of three sisters from a poor background who seek a better life and join the Iranian national Wushu team.




SPIRIT OF THE FESTIVAL AWARD: ALICE

The feature ALICE (dir: Josephine Mackerras, Australia/France) tells of a woman drawn into the world of high-end sex work when she discovers that her husband’s addiction to escorts has left their family penniless.




BEST DIRECTOR: STEVE KRIKRIS, THE WAITER

An assured debut feature, THE WAITER (dir: Steve Krikris, Greece), tells of a man who unwittingly becomes entangled in the mysterious disappearance of his neighbour – a film equal parts character study and paradoxical murder story.




BEST PERFORMANCE: EVGENIY TSYGANOV, THE MAN WHO SURPRISED EVERYONE

Russian actor Evgeniy Tsyganov plays a forest guard with terminal cancer who takes the identity of a woman in an attempt to trick death in THE MAN WHO SURPRISED EVERYONE (dir: Natasha Merkulova & Aleksey Chupov, Russia).




BEST SCREENPLAY: MIHA MAZZINI, ERASED

Writer and director Miha Mazzini tells the complex tale of a woman who becomes entangled in a web of bureaucracy of Kafkaesque proportions when her personal date goes missing after the birth of her baby in ERASED (dir: Miha Mazzini, Dusan Joksimovic, Slovenia)




BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: BASTIAN ESSER, THE REAL THING: REAL LIFE IN FAKE CITIES

Visually captivating, THE REAL THING: REAL LIFE IN FAKE CITIES (dir: Benoit Felici, France) documents the lives of those who live in China’s ‘copycat cities’, featuring duplicates of some of the worlds most famous landmarks.




FEATURE JURY

This years feature jury comprises Rachel Shenton and Chris Overton (winners of the Academy Award® for Best Live Action Short Film For The Silent Child), David Yates (director, Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises), Kacey Ainsworth (Eastenders, Granchester), Babou Ceesay (Eye In The Sky, Dark Mon£y), Ed Skrein (Deadpool), Ella Balinska (Charlie’s Angels), Susan Wokoma (Year of the Rabbit), Ophelia Lovibond (Guardians of the Galaxy), Hugh Skinner (W1A, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again), Billy Zane (Titanic), Tom Ellis (Lucifer), Ruth Bradley (Grabbers, Humans), Chloe Pirrie (The Game), Nathaniel Martello-White (Cla’am), Josh Dylan (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again), Tom Felton (Harry Potter), Himesh Patel (Yesterday), Dan Smith from the band Bastille, award-winning singer songwriter Emeli Sandé.


ACADEMY AWARD® QUALIFYING SHORTS PROGRAMMES

Raindance is now a triple Oscar qualifying festival. As of this year, the recipients of Raindance’s Best Animation Short and Best Documentary Short join Best Live Action Short in being eligible for consideration in the Short Film category of the Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run (provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules).

BEST SHORT OF THE FESTIVAL: Tensions rise when the son of a hardened shepherd living in rural Tunisia returns home with a mysterious new wife in BROTHERHOOD (dir: Meryam Joobeur, Canada).




BEST UK SHORT: The nerdy captain of the a cappella club finds a unique way to wreak revenge against bullies in THE DEVIL’S HARMONY (Dylan Holmes Williams, UK).




BEST ANIMATION SHORT: In THE OPPOSITES GAME (Anna Samo, Lisa LaBracio, USA) a classroom erupts into a war of words when asking what is the opposite of a gun? (Full 5 minute film below)




BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT: documenting the only female skateboarder in her fishing village, KAMALI (dir: Sasha Rainbow, UK) portrays women finding freedom in a man’s world.




BEST MUSIC VIDEO: Feet (CC Wade, UK).



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