2017 Austin Film Festival: Scott Frank

A 3-part series of reflections on observations made by top Hollywood writer.

One of the panels I attended at the recent Austin Film Festival featured Scott Frank. Moderated by Craig Mazin, Frank — whose screenwriting credits include Dead Again, Little Man Tate, Malice, Out of Sight, Minority Report, Marley & Me, and Logan — delved deep into his creative and writing process. I thumbed my way through copious notes on my iPhone notes app. Over the past few days, I’ve done a series of reflections based on comments made by Frank during the talk.

Scott Frank

Part 1: “The first paragraph of a screenplay can tell you if they can write.
The first five pages can tell you if they have a voice.”

Part 2: “It has to come from character. I’m always going back to the people.”

Part 3: “You can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader.”

Twitter: @scottfrank.


2017 Austin Film Festival: Scott Frank was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

2017 Austin Film Festival: Scott Frank (Part 3)

Reflections on observations by Out of Sight and Minority Report screenwriter.

One of the panels I attended at the recent Austin Film Festival featured Scott Frank. Moderated by Craig Mazin, Frank — whose screenwriting credits include Dead Again, Little Man Tate, Malice, Out of Sight, Minority Report, Marley & Me, and Logan — delved deep into his creative and writing process. I thumbed my way through copious notes on my iPhone notes app. Over the past few days, I’ve done a series of reflections based on comments made by Frank during the talk.

Scott Frank

Today:

You can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader.
You’re using words in your script and reading books feeds that.
I read everything. Always learning how writers write.

It’s simple: Writers read.

Why?

It’s about words.

As Scott says, we use words in our writing. Reading exposes us to new ways to use words. As Rumer Godden wrote:

“A writer who has never explored words, who has never searched, seeded, sieved, sifted through his knowledge and memory… dictionaries, thesaurus, poems, favorite paragraphs, to find the right word, is like someone owning a gold mine who has never mined it.”

It’s about writing.

When we read, we take in how a writer writes. Whether conscious or unconscious, that can influence how we write.

It’s about the soul.

Creative expression is an outer exhibition of energy. Stories feed the soul and refuel our creativity.

Watch movies. Watch TV. But don’t forget: Read.

Words of wisdom from Scott Frank.

On November, his new series ‘Godless’ debuts on Netflix.

Jeff Daniels in ‘Godless’.

‘Godless’ website here.

Twitter: @scottfrank.


2017 Austin Film Festival: Scott Frank (Part 3) was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

2017 Austin Film Festival: Scott Frank (Part 2)

Reflections on observations by Out of Sight and Minority Report screenwriter.

One of the panels I attended at the Austin Film Festival featured Scott Frank. Moderated by Craig Mazin, Frank — whose screenwriting credits include Dead Again, Little Man Tate, Malice, Out of Sight, Minority Report, Marley & Me, and Logan — delved deep into his creative and writing process. I thumbed my way through copious notes on my iPhone notes app. Over the next several days, I’ll do a series of reflections based on comments made by Frank during the talk.

Scott Frank

Today:

It has to come from character. I’m always going back to the people.

Why character?
It’s about what makes a person a person.
What do they want?
What do they fear?

It’s the low grade fever of what your characters are about.

What is it that speaks to me?
Is this a character I like?

These are my hastily typed takes on what Scott was saying, so perhaps more paraphrased than actual quotes. However, during his talk, it was abundantly clear how critically important Scott believes working with characters is to crafting a story. Indeed, the references above are scattered throughout his comments as he kept returning to the subject again and again.

Those of you who have followed my blog for any time know that I promote character based screenwriting. My mantra:

“Start with character. End with character. Find the story in-between.”

Based on what I heard in Scott’s comments, I feel safe in saying I think he aligns with this perspective.

So what’s the big deal of working with characters?

Characters are Plot.

Their wants, needs, fears, personal histories, backstories, and destinies — especially the Protagonist — emerge as the backbone of the story’s structure.

Characters are Theme.

Whatever thematic point of a story is, it’s invariably tied to the emotional and psychological journey of the Protagonist and other key characters.

Characters are Dialogue.

Scott hit on this point a few times in his talk. For example, he said, “If I can write dialogue, I can hear the characters, and I know I can continue process.” His comment reminded me of the response the great playwright August Wilson gave when asked how he wrote such great dialogue: “I don’t. They do.” The ‘they’ in question were his characters.

In sum, characters are STORY. Everything you need to know is right there inhabited within and by your characters.

It has to come from character. I’m always going back to the people.

Great advice. Always lean into your characters. Always go back to the people who exist within your story universe.

More tomorrow from the 2017 Austin Film Festival panel featuring Scott Frank.

Here is a teaser for Scott’s Netflix series ‘Godless’ which he wrote and directed. The series debuts this on November 22.

‘Godless’ website here.

Twitter: @scottfrank.


2017 Austin Film Festival: Scott Frank (Part 2) was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

2017 Austin Film Festival: Scott Frank (Part 1)

Reflections on observations by Out of Sight and Minority Report screenwriter.

One of the panels I attended at the Austin Film Festival featured Scott Frank. Moderated by Craig Mazin, Frank — whose screenwriting credits include Dead Again, Little Man Tate, Malice, Out of Sight, Minority Report, Marley & Me, and Logan — delved deep into his creative and writing process. I thumbed my way through copious notes on my iPhone notes app. Over the next several days, I’ll do a series of reflections based on comments made by Frank during the talk.

Scott Frank

Today:

The first paragraph of a screenplay can tell you if they can write.
The first five pages can tell you if they have a voice.

Both of these are critical. And as Scott notes, both need to be apparent at the earliest stages of a script’s pages.

How can you tell if a writer can write from the first paragraph of a script?

They have a solid grasp of and love for the English language.
They know how to immediately set the tone and atmosphere of the piece.
They are smart enough to write something which is entertaining.
They are clever enough to exploit a narrative element which hooks the reader.
They embrace visual writing.
They engage the reader’s emotional life.

Bottom line, as per Scott Frank, they establish right up front that they are in control. They know the craft, they know this story universe, and they know how they want to tell the story.

All that in a first paragraph.

How can you tell if a writer has a voice from the first five script pages?

They create a consistent tone throughout the script’s opening.
They convey personality through both dialogue and scene description.
They match style to genre as an active reflection of the story’s feel.
They exhibit something distinctive in the interplay of moments and scenes.
They make a reader feel there is a real character telling the story.

From their words on the page, the writer exhibits a unique narrative voice, specific to this story, this writer, these pages.

All that in a script’s first five pages.

It’s a lot to ask. It also speaks to how important it is to accomplish both goals straightaway in a script. It not only can grab a reader’s attention and propel them into the story, it also creates a kind of mental lens through which one interprets and experiences the entire rest of the story.

When you know the writer can write… has a firm control of the story… has a distinctive voice… and that’s all established from the first paragraph through the first five pages…

That sets us up to look forward to the rest of the script with anticipation and hope that these pages we’re going through…

It’s a good read.

More tomorrow from the 2017 Austin Film Festival panel featuring Scott Frank.

Here is the trailer for Scott’s Netflix series ‘Godless’ which he wrote and directed. The series debuts this month.

Those of us in attendance at Scott’s Austin Film Festival panel got a sneak preview of a second ‘Godless’ trailer. The series looks great, really looking forward to watching it!

‘Godless’ website here.


2017 Austin Film Festival: Scott Frank (Part 1) was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

Up Next – Sitges Film Festival in Spain & London Film Festival in UK

Sitges Film Festival

The fall film festival season rages on…! Up next are two more film festivals in Europe. I’m stopping by the Sitges Film Festival in Spain, a prestigious genre/horror festival celebrating its 50th year. And then I’m heading up to London to catch the second half of the London Film Festival, celebrating its 64th year. Both festivals kick off this week and continue through next week for a total of 10 days (I love that festivals continue to run for 10 days, it’s always invigorating to stay and watch films for that long). This is my first time attending both festivals, which makes me anxious but it’s also exciting. Attending a film festival for the first time is always daunting, but once I figure everything out and settle in for screenings, all is well again. ›››

Continue reading Up Next – Sitges Film Festival in Spain & London Film Festival in UK


FirstShowing.net

Award Winners – Raindance Film Festival 2017

The 25th Raindance Film Festival in partnership with Lexus announced this year’s Festival Awards’ winners at its awards ceremony at the May Fair Hotel on 29 September.

This year, Raindance Film Festival received a record-breaking number of submissions from over 120 countries and screened more than 200 projects, including features, shorts, music videos, web series and VR experiences. 2017 saw the introduction of the Raindance VRX Awards, celebrating pioneering VR experiences by independent creators from across the world.

A champion of independent filmmaking, Raindance aims to honour the best of indie cinema from across the world. Award winners were chosen by our amazing Jury, which consists of some of the best names in British talent, including Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) and Celia Imrie (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel). Read on to see the full list of winners.

 

In Competition

Best Film

The Constitution

WINNER: The Constitution (dir. Rajko Grlic)

Hello Again (dir. Tom Gustafson)

The Traveller (dir. Hadi Ghandour)

Swaying Mariko (dir. Koji Segawa)

Mukoku (dir. Kazuyoshi Kumakiri)

Noise (dir. Yusaku Matsumoto)

Maya Dardel (dir. Zachary Cotler & Magdalena Zyzak)

High & Outside: A Baseball Noir (dir. Evald Johnson)

Black Hollow Cage (dir. Sadrac González-Perellón)

Djam (dir. Tony Gatlif)

Best Director

WINNERMaya Dardel (dir. Zachary Cotler & Magdalena Zyzak)

Hello Again (dir. Tom Gustafson)

The Traveller (dir. Hadi Ghandour)

Mukoku (dir. Kazuyoshi Kumakiri)

Djam (dir. Tony Gatlif)

Best Screenplay

WINNER: The Constitution (written by Rajko Grlic and Ante Tomić)

Hello Again (written by Cory Krueckeberg)

High & Outside: A Baseball Noir (written by Dan O’Dair)

Black Hollow Cage (written by Sadrac González-Perellón)

Swaying Mariko (written by Koji Segawa)

Best Performance

WINNER: The Constitution – Nebojša Glogovac (dir. Rajko Grlic)

Black Hollow Cage – Lowena McDonell (dir. Sadrac González-Perellón)

Djam – Daphne Patakia (dir. Tony Gatlif)

The Traveller – Rodrigue Sleiman (dir. Hadi Ghandour)

Maya Dardel – Lena Olin (dir. Zachary Cotler & Magdalena Zyzak)

Features

Best UK Feature

In Another Life

WINNERIn Another Life (dir. Jason Wingard)

The Dark Mile (dir. Gary Love)

Edie (dir. Simon Hunter)

Stooge (dir. Madeleine Farley)

Isolani (dir. R. Paul Wilson)

Best Documentary Feature

WINNERRiverBlue: Can Fashion Save the Planet? (David McIlvride & Roger Williams)

Bluefin (dir. John Hopkins)

Home Truth (dir. April Hayes & Katia Maguire)

On Yoga: The Architecture of Peace (dir. Heitor Dhalia)

SPECIAL JURY MENTION:The Family I Had (dir, Katie Green & Carlye Rubin)

Speak Up (dir. Stéphane de Freitas & Ladj Ly)

Discovery Award

WINNERI Still Hide to Smoke (dir. Rayhana)

A Trip to the Moon (dir. Joaquín Cambre)

Children of the Night (dir. Andrea de Sica)

Scaffolding (dir. Matan Yair)

The Story of a Satellite (dir. Sonia Albert-Sobrino & Miriam Albert-Sobrino)

 

Shorts

Best Short of the Festival

Viola, Franca

SPECIAL JURY MENTION: Viola, Franca (dir. Marta Savina)

Lethe (dir. Dea Kulumbegahsvili)

Goddess (dir. Karishma Dube)

Mixtape Marauders (dir. Peter Edlund)

WINNER: Game (dir. Jeannie Donohoe)

Best UK Short

SPECIAL JURY MENTION: Cla’am (dir. Nathaniel Martello-White)

Diagnosis (dir. Eva Riley)

Wild Horses (dir. Rory Alexander Stewart)

Work (dir. Aneil Karia)

46.0 (dir. Joseph A. Adesunloye)

Best Documentary Short

WINNERRiders of the Wall of Death (dir. Erik Morales)

American Psychosis (dir. Amanda Zackem)

Without Sun (dir. Paul de Ruijter)

My Deadly, Beautiful City (dir. Victoria Fiore)

Ink, Cocks & Rock’n’Roll (dir. Matt Harlock)

Best Animation Short

WINNER: Flutter (dir. Vladimir Todorov)

White Tunnel (dir. Lan-Chi Chien & Chin-Wei Chang)

Johnnos’s Dead (dir. Chris Shepherd)

Nocturne (dir. Anne Breymann)

Notes on Monstropedia (dir. Koji Yamamura)

Best of Music Video

WINNERTerror (dir. Joseph Armario)

Everybody (dir. Benjamin Roberds)

The Wolf (dir. Ezequiel Torres, Pablo Rafael Roldán & Fer Suniga)

Don’t Pull Away (dir. Tamar Glezerman)

The Strangle of Anna (dir. Dawn Shadforth)

 

VRX Awards

Best Cinematic Narrative VR Experience

Alteration

WINNERAlteration (by Jérôme Blanquet and OKIO-Studio)

Broken Night (by Alon Benari and Tal Zubalsky)

The Tragic Story of Betty Corrigall (by Peter Boyd Maclean and the BBC)

UTURN (by Nathalie Mathe)

Best Documentary VR Experience

WINNER: First Impressions (by Francesca Panetta, Nicole Jackson and the Guardian VR)

Iranian Kurdish Female Fighters (by Namak Khoshnaw and the BBC)

Songs of Vine (by Maira Clancy and Blake Montgomery)

¡Viva La Evolución! (by Fifer Garbesi)

Best Interactive Narrative VR Experience

WINNER: Manifest 99 (by Flight School Studio)

Life of Us (by Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin and Within)

Ray (by Future Lighthouse)

Treehugger: Wawona (by Marshmallow Laser Feast)

Best Mobile Interactive VR Experience

WINNER: Virtual Virtual Reality (by Tender Claws)

The Unfinished (by Innerspace VR)

In the Eyes of the Animal (by Marshmallow Laser Feast)

Horizons (by Horizons Music)

Best Animation VR Experience

WINNER: Dear Angelica (by Wesley Allsbrook and Saschka Unseld)

Arden’s Wake: The Prologue (by Eugene Chung and Penrose Studios)

Rain or Shine (by Nexus Studios)

Song of the Sea (by Cartoon Saloon)

Best Music VR Experience

WINNER: Beethoven’s Fifth (by Jessica Brillhart)

Mind Enterprises: Chapita (by Nexus Studios)

Peroration Six (by Floating Points)

Reeps One: Does Not Exist (by Reeps One, The Mill and Aurelia Soundworks)

Best Branded VR Experience

WINNER: The Chainsmokers Paris VR (by Brynley Bibson and Russ Harding)

Manchester City – Match Day (by JAUNT VR)

Snatch VR Heist Experience (by Sony Pictures Television Networks and Future Lighthouse)

Welcome To Laphroaig (by East City Films / VR City)

Best Sensual VR Experience

WINNER: Through You (by Lily Baldwin and Saschka Unseld)

Second Date (by Jennifer Lyon Bell)

In My Shoes: Intimacy (by Jane Gauntlett and Andrew Somerville)

Come! (by Michel Reilhac)

Best Social Impact VR Experience

WINNER: Munduruku: The Fight to Defend the Heart of the Amazon (by Greenpeace)

42 Days (by Animal Equality)

Aftershock: Nepal’s Untold Water Story (by WaterAid)

You Are There. On the road to ending Polio (by Unicef)

Best Sound Design VR Experience

WINNER: Reeps One: Does Not Exist (by Aurelia Soundworks and Reeps One)

Life of Us (by Within)

The Resistance of Honey (by Peter Boyd Maclean, Bioni Samp and BBC)

The Tragic Story of Betty Corrigall (by Peter Boyd Maclean and BBC)

Special Prize Winner: Best Storytelling in #VR

Arden’s Wake

WINNER: Arden’s Wake (by Eugene Chung and Penrose Studios)

 

The post Award Winners – Raindance Film Festival 2017 appeared first on Raindance.

Raindance

Nobody’s Clapping – How to Survive a Bad Festival Screening

Guest Post by B. O’Malley

It was Park City, Utah, in the year 2000. I’d just completed my second feature film, Minimum Wage, about a talent agent who sells his soul to the devil. The film was invited to play the No Dance Film Festival, a small, but decent little festival that ran concurrently with the Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals.

The film that played was a digital output from an Avid editing system. It had temp sound with zero sound mix, and absolutely no finishing. The editing wasn’t even complete.

Even it had been a complete film, with fine finishing and audio and color, the film had no business being within 200 miles of a film festival, let alone playing in Park City. It was a wreck of a screenplay.

Yet there we were. On a weekday morning in Park City, in some convention-ish center ballroom of some sort, playing this Avid output of this terrible feature film, to a teeming throng of probably 30 people.

Within 2 minutes, the crowd was down to 25 people. I knew all was lost.

The good news is, it wasn’t my first film screening where the audience left, or stayed unwillingly glued to their seats in an obviously polite gesture of pity. So I happened to be armed with two key skills on that fateful January morning in Utah:

A) How to handle a “meh” audience reaction to my films with relative aplomb
B) How not to get hurt

And you wanna know a secret? Those aren’t hard skills to learn. If you ever find yourself in a situation where your film might not be going over so well with a crowd, consider a few of my helpful hints on how to cope:

Rule #1: Don’t Panic!™

Believe it or not, there is absolutely nothing at stake with your film screening that’s worth panicking over, or even sweating over. It might seem hard to believe, after working for years on your film, jumping through hoops, pushing the final cut over the line, winning a roll of the dice to get into a festival, and then spending all the time and money to get yourself out to the screening…

… But it’s true.

Your film screening may be worth planning for, executing for, and worth pursuing and exploiting any good opportunities that may develop from it, but it’s absolutely not worth panicking over.

If people walk out, fuck ’em.

If people walk in, who cares?

If people don’t laugh, or cry, or clap, to hell with the bloody lot of ’em. They’re not the film’s only audience. There’s lots more audience ahead. In theaters, on streaming, on spinning golden discs that are quickly going the way of the dodo.

Festival audiences are savvy. And worth listening to. And any first audience of any type will give you a fairly good idea of whether or not your film is working. But remember: the demographic composition of most film festival audiences tends to be fairly heavily weighted towards filmmakers, and/or cinephiles. Sure, they know their craft, most of them at least, and sure, they tend make no bones about tearing a film down or singing its praises in detailed, frame-by-frame glory, and yeah, they probably have a blog, but in truth, they represent only one small sliver of the audience your film will hopefully find its way to.

What’s the worst that could happen? Could one of them with a big blog and a vendetta for your film kill your career, or your film’s chances? Sure.

But it’s unlikely.

And unlikely is not worth panicking over.

Rule #2: Don’t be crushed, but be crushed

High school kids get crushed when someone doesn’t like them. Filmmakers don’t get that privilege.

Why? Because you’ve spent the better part of your short film career telling everybody who’ll listen that “Filmmaking is war.” Trust me, you’ve used the metaphor. Maybe not lately, but if you’re a filmmaker, you’ve used it.

If filmmaking is war, then you don’t get to cry when things don’t go your way.

Those brave men in the Spitfires. Those brave women in the makeshift bomb shelters. They didn’t cry.

That’s war, baby. So if you wanna cry, you can pack up your 4K wallet cam with the custom PL lens rig and your big fat ideas on how to revolutionize the next reboot of Batman and you can go straight home and cry in your embroidered little “filmmaker” throw pillow.

I get it though. The idea is: your screening isn’t going so well, so you pout, hoping others will see your pouting and change their behavior, a la engage in some fake laughing or clapping for your benefit.

It’s a good idea. For a three-year-old. But for a grown filmmaker, it’s more than weak tea—it embarrasses the rest of us in the craft.

But in another sense, in a private sense, being crushed IS okay. Let the lack of clapping and laughing soak into your pores. Let it grip your heart. Let it sink into your colon with so much agony that it makes food poisoning seem like a holiday picnic.

Getting crushed on the inside is essential to growing as an artist. There’s nothing like sitting in a theater full of people who aren’t laughing to make you really, really want to get better at making people laugh. There’s nothing like stewing in your own juices as an audience buries their noses into their food cameras while the zenith of your film’s dramatic journey unspools.

Feel it. Live in it. Let the agony change you.

But don’t let them see you get crushed. If you do, you could alter your audience’s behavior, as they coalesce around a fake reaction in order to make you feel better. No other force warps an artist more than false flattery, or congratulations when they’re not deserved.

Rule #3: Watch faces, not your film

Seeing a film with an audience for the first time is one of the most thrilling experiences a filmmaker can have.

If it’s going well.

If it’s not, why keep staring at the thing? You’ve seen it.

Turn around, watch your audience. Not in a creepy way, but in a casual-creepy way. You know your film’s beats like the back of your hand (or you should.) Gauge facial reactions when those beats hit. Gauge your audience as those beats approach.

Watching an audience watch your film adds a dimension to your education as a filmmaker like no other. It’s been said by better filmmakers than I that “You write the film when you write the film, then you write it again when you shoot it, then you write it again when you edit it.”

I’d like to add “You write it yet again when you watch it with an audience.”

Rule #4: Don’t be a snot in the Q & A

So your screening sucked. As we covered earlier, it could be that your film actually sucks, or it could just be the audience. (Err on the former. You’re an artist.) Either way, pointing fingers or shifting blame during the Q&A after the screening is not the way to vent your frustrations.

Here are a few case study quotes from Q&A’s. You tell me if they’re appropriate or not appropriate:

A) “We had a great time shooting it. So much fun and so many great people.”
B) “The scene with the candy truck would’ve been a lot stronger, had Alan not forgotten the spaghetti.”
C) “The producer was a total knob. I hope a tree falls on him.”

Here are the correct answers:

Wait. You know what? I’m not gonna list the answers, because you should know the answers, because you’re an adult and a filmmaker and a decent human being. Did you forget? Well, don’t. And don’t let all that’s good about you go flying out the window just because you’re upset at your bad screening.

Why? See #1: It’s not worth it.

Passive aggression, blame, pettiness, self-aggrandizement – these are the 4 deadly sins of the post-screening Q & A, but they rear their ugly heads much more often after a screening-gone-wrong. If they do rear their heads, lop them off. Then burn them.

What it all boils down to is that a bad screening at a festival isn’t going to end you, and it isn’t going to end your film. What ends you, and what ends your film, and what ultimately ends your film career, is if you handle your bad film screening… badly.

So be ready for the festival to drop the ball with the film projector, or the sound, and be ready for the audience to not like your film, and be ready to watch as half of them walk out.

Because those moments aren’t supposed to destroy you.

They’re supposed to build you.

The post Nobody’s Clapping – How to Survive a Bad Festival Screening appeared first on Raindance.

Raindance

The Venice Film Festival is a Wonderful Film Fest That Stole My Heart

Venice Film Festival

“Venice was and is full of lost places where people put up for sale the last worn bits of their souls, hoping no one will buy.” (-Ray Bradbury) The canals, the tiny streets, the little bridges, the amazing food. There’s so much to love about Venice, the beautiful Italian city on the water. I wasn’t sure what to expect attending the Venice Film Festival for my first time, but at the end of it all, I have to admit it is a wonderful festival in an extremely lovely city. At the beginning of the fest, I wrote about how much I love the Telluride Film Festival and how sad I was to skip that fest and attend this one instead. But, Venice stole my heart, and has shown me there’s just as much to love about this festival as there is about Telluride. Not only do they show some of the best films every year, but there is a charm to the city that can’t be found nearly anywhere else. ›››

Continue reading The Venice Film Festival is a Wonderful Film Fest That Stole My Heart


FirstShowing.net

First time at Raindance Film Festival

Why go to film festivals?

Film festivals are the first place where you can see the films everyone will be talking about tomorrow. Not just that, attending a film festival means you’ll be packing a lot of different experiences and discovering so many new artists it’ll make your head spin.

Who should come to Raindance Film Festival?

Raindance is run by film lovers and for film lovers. We love discovering new films from all over the world and sharing them with audiences here in London. Everyone is welcome: film lovers, open minds, or even if you’re just curious about what it is we do come and watch a film with us. There is something for everyone.

What is the difference between UK, European, National, International and World premieres?

There are different types of film premiere at Raindance:

  • A UK Premiere is a film’s first public screening in the UK
  • A European Premiere is the first public screening in Europe
  • A National Premiere is a film’s first public screening in its home country
  • An International Premiere is a film’s first public screening outside of its home country
  • A World Premiere is a film’s first public screening in the world

What is a Gala?

Gala nights are special, red carpet events, in celebration of something – whether it’s the opening of the Festival (e.g. Opening Night Gala), or in recognition of something (e.g. the Charity Gala). These are your chance to get your glad rags on and make a night of it.

I don’t know anything about films, should I still come?

Of course! Raindance has been screening the most original, groundbreaking films for 25 years, which means that you can see some of the best films from across the world in this festival. Film festivals are not just for film critics or film professionals; Raindance is run by film lovers, and anyone who has any interest in film is welcome here!

Is there a dress code?

Most events at Raindance Film Festival are fairly informal, which means you can come in your usual everyday wear. Some people choose to dress a bit smarter for evening screenings, but it’s not obligatory – wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Gala nights and parties will have their specific dress codes on the invitations.

Don’t be late

Screenings will start sharp at the time indicated on your ticket. There are no trailers or adverts like you would get in a normal cinema, so in order to ensure that the screening runs smoothly, ensure that you’re in your seat by the film’s start time.

Q&A etiquette

Many screenings will be followed by a Q&A with filmmakers, giving you the opportunity to ask them questions about the film. Keep your questions clear and concise in order to then allow the filmmaker time to answer and allow as many people as possible the chance to ask questions.

Will there be snacks (popcorn, drinks, etc.)?

For those of you who like to sip on something or munch on popcorn at the cinema, you’ll be able to access the snack counter before the screening starts.

What is a Pass and what does it entitle me to?

Passes provide access to a range of screenings and events throughout Raindance Film Festival, which will vary depending on which pass you have purchased. Please refer to your confirmation or email or this page for further information.

Where do I pick up my pass?

Passes can be picked up from the Box Office Desk in the Foyer at Vue West End from the first day of the festival. Please bring your confirmation email. If you haven’t pre-bought your Pass online, then you will be able to buy one in-person here as well.

Do I need to bring anything?

Bring some friends! Films are better this way. You and your friends should also bring confirmation emails if you’ve booked tickets/passes in advance, and your ID.

Plan out your schedule

There are many film screenings and events at Raindance Film Festival, so it’s understandable if you’re not sure where to start. If you want to browse the films in the selection, have a look at the programme or download the official Raindance Film Festival app. If you’re thinking of attending a few screenings, why not book a Festival Pass.

Is there assigned seating?

You can sit wherever you want in the screen as there is no assigned seating.

 

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7 Reasons To Attend The 25th Raindance Film Festival

Independent film is exploding!

For 25 years Raindance has been bringing the brightest and best independent film to the core of London’s West End. This year is no different. A fresh crop of brash, fresh and bold new talent hits Raindance. Feast you eyes on films that are nothing like Hollywood.

If you are serious about being independent or serious about independent film you won’t be missing this year’s festival celebrating the best in independent film from around the world.

1. London’s first Virtual Reality Arcade

With most indie filmmakers moving to creating content for the internet, learn how this new technology platform enables independent filmmakers to make movies and make money.

A series of lectures and debates as well as screenings of a select handful of world premiere experiences makes this a ‘must-attend’ for anyone interested in this new film and distribution frontier.
Friday/Saturday/Sunday September 29 – October 1, noon til 7pm at the prestigious Hospital Club
Get your Virtual Arcade Tickets here

2. Want to make a movie?

Take a first timer suffering from a plethora of networking nerves, add in one of Europe’s busiest networking locations, sprinkle on a few quid of cash bar drinks and PRESTO – the opportunity to meet new collaborators of a lifetime.

You can buy individual tickets now but’s a lot cheaper to buy a Raindance Festival Pass.

3. Amazing Short Films

Raindance has always championed short films as the laboratory of cinema. Over the years we have shown well over 3,000 of these short gems, including early wortk by Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk) and Gareth Edwards (Star Wars). We’ve 8 fantastic shorts programmes for you to enjoy. Remember that three Raindance shorts go onto the Oscars longlist: Best Animated, Best Documentary and Best Narrative Short.

Scope out the brightest and freshest new filmmaking talent

4. Live!Ammunition!

This is it! Your chance to pitch your idea for a movie directly to the people that matter: the people that decide which films get made and which get chosen to screen in cinemas and on TV.

Put a fiver in the hat and you get up to 2 minutes to convince the panel that yours is the next big thing. If you are boring they can and will gong you off. But they have to give you two good reasons why.

A tense and emotionally charged event that has launched many movies in it’s history, including ‘Meet The Parents’.

Friday 22 September 6:00pm Get your Live!Ammunition! tickets here [Free for Raindance members]

5. Web Series

We also have a stellar collection of Webseries pilots shown for the first time anywhere. These pilots were the best from the hundreds selected. Watch them, and all the events we’ve got planned as well, and engage in learning and networking.

Join us for a two-day Blowout of creativity and networking on Friday/Saturday 29/30 September

Read all about the Webseries programme here.

6. Great Documentaries

Raindance has garnered international acclaim for the quality of it’s documentaries. Also, being Raindance, these docs are unlikely to be seen anywhere else. Their subject matter and filmmaking style is far too contempory, and the topics too controversial, to be screened elsewhere.

Take the documentary tour and see what excites you here

Attend 25th Raindance.7. Get Partied Out!

We’ve never had more parties organised than this year. Our Opening Night Gala features the hottest indie film out there followed by the party of all parties featuring

Celebrate independent film on Wednesday September 2oth here

There’s 2 ways to attend:

1) with a Raindance Festival Pass
2) buy a Benefactors Package here [get behind the black curtain]

Cheapest way to Attend 25th Raindance

Do the maths: Tickets cost £13.00
Over 200 programmes and events
Earlybird Raindance Passes cost £49- £149 until August 20th
[members of Raindance always get the Earlybird price]
After August 20th Raindance Passes are £79 – £149

Attend all the screenings and events (except Opening and Closing night) for less than £1.00 per screening or event.

Get the lowdown. Attend 25th Raindance and Book Passes Online Here

Single tickets can be purchased from the box office now
book online here
– call the festival ticket hotline on 0207 930 3412
– at the Cinema Box Office at VUE Leicester Square from September 20th

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