Raindance Film Festival 2017 Programme

We’re excited to announce finally reveal the Raindance Film Festival 2017 programme.

Celebrating its 25th year, the Festival will take place in London’s West End from September 20th – October 1st, 2017, screening over 200 projects – including features, shorts, web series, virtual reality and music videos.

A champion of indie filmmaking, Raindance Film Festival 2017 will celebrate the world, international, European and UK premieres of the best of indie cinema.

The Jury

This year’s jury members comprise of some of the best names in British talent, including Jamie Campbell Bower (The Twilight SagaSweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), Jack O’Connell (Starred Up, ’71), Sean Bean (Game of Thrones), Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who, Shallow Grave), Ewen Bremner (Wonder Woman, Trainspotting), Celia Imrie (Calendar Girls, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), and Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Secrets & Lies), Nicholas Lyndhurst (Only Fools and Horses), Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Hotel Rwanda), Josh Whitehouse (Northern Soul), Neil Marshall (The Descent) and Rachel Portman (Chocolat).

Opening Night

The International Premiere of Atsuko Hirayanagi’s Oh Lucy! (USA), starring Josh Hartnett, will open the festival. The film is a drama-comedy and tells the story of Setsuko Kawashima, a lonely, chain-smoking office lady in Tokyo who is past her prime and adopts an American alter ego.

Oh Lucy! premiered at Cannes Film Festival in the Critics’ Week sidebar, where it was named a “Cannes Hidden Gem… moving but blackly hilarious debut feature” by The Hollywood Reporter.

The Feature Films

In Competition

Maya Dardel
Directed by Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak (USA)

A famous writer claims on NPR that she intends to end her life and male writers may compete to become executor of her estate. Men drive up the mountain and are challenged intellectually and erotically until one discovers Maya’s end game.
Cast: Lena Olin, Rosanna Arquette, Nathan Keyes

Directed by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri (Japan) -UK Premiere

Kengo Yatabe’s mother dies and his father is in a coma. He, like his father, was good at kendo. Those days are long gone and he now lofts around as a security guard and generally wastes time. Meeting the young Tooru, Kengo is inspired and decides to shape up.
Cast: Atsuko Maeda, Jun Fubuki, Kaoru Kobayashi

Directed by Koichiro Miki (Japan) European Premiere

Eight years after the indiscriminate killing spree committed in Akihabara, two girls search for their role in life.
Cast: Ayami Nakajo, Jun Shison, Yuta Koseki, Yosuke Sugino

The Constitution
Directed by Rajko Grlc (Croatia) – UK Premiere

The story 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.
Cast: Nebojsa Glogovac, Dejan Acimovic, Ksenija Marinkovic

Hello Again
Directed by Tom Gustafson (USA) – UK Premiere

Inspired by Arthur Schnitzler’s controversial 1896 play Der Reigen and the classic 1950 Max Ophuls film LA Ronde, in the early ’90s the Lincoln Center commissioned Broadway composer Michael John LaChiusa to create the musical Hello Again. This film adaptation explores 10 fleeting love affairs across 10 periods of time in New York City history, through 10 lust-fueled episodes.

The Traveller
Directed by Hadi Ghandour (France, Lebanon) – UK Premiere

A travel agent who has never travelled is sent on a business trip to Paris, only to find himself confronted by temptations that he cannot handle.

Swaying Mariko
Directed by Koji Segawa (Japan) – International Premiere

Mariko, a seemingly normal housewife, has been with her younger husband, Tomoharu, for six years but is dissatisfied daily. Despite having a son together, Tomoharu is often absent from home and she suspects that he might be having an affair.

High & Outside: A Baseball Noir
Directed by Evald Johnson (USA) – World Premiere

In the streets of Los Angeles, a minor league baseball player recklessly claws to keep his dreams alive. Geoffrey Lewis, Phil Donlon, David Yow, Ernie Hudson, Jason Richter and Lindsey Haun star in this dark drama that explores the dangerous nature of living in someone else’s shadow.

Black Hollow Cage
Directed by Sadrac González-Perellón (Spain) – UK Premiere

A girl who lives secluded in a house in the woods with only the company of her father and a wolfhound finds among the trees a mysterious cubic device with the ability to change the past.

Directed by Tony Gatlif (France)

An emotionally charged storytelling style that spread from poor urban communities in Greece and Turkey to the islands of the Aegean.


Best Documentary Feature

The Family I Had
Directed by Katie Green and Carlyle Rubin (USA) – UK Premiere

In The Family I Had, a mother recalls how her brilliant teenage son came to shatter their idyllic family through one horribly violent and shocking act. Now left to pick up the pieces, the survivors test the boundaries of their newly defined reality in the moving true crime exploration of the nature and limits of familial love.
Cast: Charity, Paris, Ella, Kyla

RiverBlue: Can Fashion Save the Planet?
Directed by David McIlvride and Roger Williams (Canada) – UK Premiere

RiverBlue follows internationally celebrated river conservationist Mark Angelo on an around-the-world journey by river that uncovers the dark side of the fashion industry. Infiltrating one of the world’s most pollutive industries, and speaking with fashion designers and water protectors world-wide, RiverBlue reveals stunning and shocking images that will forever change the way we look at the clothes we wear. Cast: Jason Priestley

On Yoga The Architecture of Peace
Directed by Heitor Dhalia (Brazil, USA) – UK Premiere

On Yoga: The Architecture of Peace is based on Michael O’Neill’s book of the same name. This project tells the story of the 10 years the author spent photographing Yoga’s great masters. By posing very human questions from our current perspective, and mixing it with elements of movement and experiential sound, the film results in a new view of the art of Yoga.
Michael O’Neill, Edie Stern, Deepak Chopra, Mooji, Elena Brower

Directed by John Hopkins (Canada) – European Premiere

Endangered giant bluefin tuna have returned to Prince Edward Island, Canada in surprising abundance after a disappearance from overfishing. But something strange is going on. With stunning cinematography, filmmaker John Hopkins’s acclaimed documentary explores the mystery of why normally wary bluefin tuna no longer fear humans and turning into pets.
Cast: Dr. Carl Safina, Brian Skerry, Dr. Boris Worm, Capt. Jamie Bruce, Capt.Jeff MacNeill

Speak Up
Directed by Stéphane de Freitas and Ladj Ly (France) – UK Premiere

Every year, at the University of Saint-Denis, a competition is held to decide “The Best Orator in the 93”. Any student can participate and many prepare with the help of professional advisors. Armed with new-found knowledge, Leïla, Elhadj, Eddy and the others face off in a bid to become the best orator in the 93.
Cast: Leïla Alaouf, Souleïla Mahiddin, Eddy Moniot, Elhadj Touré


The Discovery Award – Best Debut Feature

A Trip to the Moon
Directed by Joaquin Cambre, Argentina, UK Premiere

Tomas is an outcast young teenager trying to pass an exam. His family is constantly pressing him and his mother forces him to take antipsychotic drugs. In his need to escape, Tomas plans an intriguing trip to the moon. In this particular journey where reality and fiction mingles, he will disentangle an old family secret.
Cast: Ángelo Mutti Spinetta, Leticia Brédice, Germán Palacios, Ángela Torres, Luis Machín

I Still Hide To Smoke
Directed by Rayhana Obermeyer, France

Fatima, a strong-minded woman, is the lead masseuse of a hammam in Algiers. This is 1995 and the situation is tense in the capital. The day ahead promises to be hectic for all, and for Fatima in particular. Already, while walking to her place of work, she is the distant witness of a terrorist attack. At the hammam, Fatima should feel better, but the atmosphere proves electric in her small enclosed world, she has great difficulty in maintaining order.

Directed by Matan Yair (Israel, Poland) – UK Premiere

17-year-old Asher has always been the wild troublemaker at school. While his oppressive father sees him as a natural successor to his scaffolding business, Asher forges a special connection with Rami, his new literature teacher, and begins to glimpse new possibilities for himself. That is, until an unexpected tragedy occurs, and changes everything.
Cast: Asher Lax, Ami Smolartchik, Jacob Chen

Children of the Night
Directed by Andrea De Sica (Italy) – UK Premiere

Giulio, a seventeen-year-old from a well-to-do family, is sent to a boarding school. In this isolated place in the Alps, where iron-clad rules limit all contact with the outside, he makes friends with Edoardo, who is rather odd. Their friendship is sealed by frequent escapes at night, when the surveillance of the students seems to lapse.

The Story of a Satellite
Directed by Sonia Albert-Sobrinoa and Miriam Albert-Sobrino (Spain) – European Premiere

Almost 20 years after losing his father to a freak satellite-related accident, Rafael, an undertaker, realizes that his whole life has been orbiting in the wrong direction. With the help of his own “Sancho Panza”, Melito, Rafael will begin a transformational journey that he could never have anticipated.


Best UK Feature

In Another Life
Directed by Jason Wingard – World Premiere

Our once beautiful homeland has become uninhabitable. Too dangerous to walk the streets, drive a car, visit friends. Many have already left Syria, risking their lives on the open water. Giving all we had to the ruthless opportunists who trade in the currency of human misery. Europe was meant to offer us hope.
Cast: Mudar Abbara, Elie Haddad, Yousef Hayyan Jubeh, Toyah Frantzen

Directed by Madeleine Farley – World Premiere

Stooge is a feature documentary about Robert Pargiter, Iggy Pop’s No1 fan. It covers the three years leading up to his 50th birthday when he tries to track his hero down in a final absolution. His journey has taken him all over the world in search of redemption after years of struggling with addiction, and of celebrating the communal lust that is Rock’n Roll.
Cast: Rober Pargiter, Pete Thellusson, Iggy Pop, Scott Asheton, Steve Mackay

The Dark Mile
Gary Love – UK Premiere

“Deliverance” meets “Rosemary’s Baby” – The Dark Mile is a psychological thriller built around a strong central relationship of two very different yet sympathetic characters. A tense psychological horror-thriller, The Dark Mile blends The Wicker Man, Deliverance and Duel, to come up with a film rich in atmosphere and tension. London couple Louise and Clare (Rebecca Calder and Deirdre Mullins) book a sailing trip in the Highlands to recover from a personal tragedy. The location may be idyllic but soon they are tormented by a black industrial barge that follows them, and by the dysfunctional folk on board… Hints of the occult and paganism point to dark times ahead as tension mounts.
Cast: Rebecca Calder, Deirdre Mullins, Finlay MacMillan, Paul Brannigan, Sheila Hancock

Directed by Simon Hunter

Edith Moore (Edie) is a bitter, gruff woman in her eighties. Following her husband’s death, she decides to take herself off to the Highlands on a climbing trip that her father had planned for them many years before.
Cast: Sheila Hancock, Kevin Guthrie, Amy Manson, Paul Brannigan

Directed by R. Paul Wilson – World Premiere

After witnessing a brutal murder, a young single mother becomes a pawn in a deadly game of deception. To protect her son and start a new life she must outwit an ambitious prosecutor, a corrupt detective and a desperate killer.
Cast: Kate McLaughlin, Catriona Evans, Jim Sweeney, Gianni Capaldi, Atta Yaqub


The Shorts

Best International Short Film

Directed by Jeannie Donohoe (USA) – UK Premiere

A new kid in town shows up at the high school boys’ basketball tryouts and instantly makes an impression. Will talent and drive be enough to make the team?
Cast: Rick Fox, Nicole Williams, Tye White, Jamie McShane, Charles Parnell

Directed by Karishma Dube (India, USA)

The film explores the reality of being a closeted lesbian in contemporary India. Tara, a feisty teenager begins to risks family and tradition as she pursues her attraction towards her housemaid, Devi. When they are caught together at a dinner party, Tara must suddenly define who she really is.
Cast: Priyanka Bose, Aditi Vasudev, Tanvi Azmi

Directed by Dea Kulumbegahsvili (France, Georgia)

A lonely horseman wanders past the river of forgetfulness and through a rural Georgian village, where both children and adults explore life’s more instinctual pleasures.
Cast: Dato Gogoladze, Vika Chocheva, Mikheil Gomiahsvili

Mixtape Marauders
Directed by Peter Edlund (USA) – International Premiere

A nine-song visual mixtape following two young stoners into a world of mindless day jobs, petty drug deals and obsessive mixtape curation.
Cast: Peter McNally, Ian Edlund, Emily Chisholm, Madeline Anderson

Viola, Franca
Directed by Marta Savina (Italy) – UK Premiere

In 1965 Sicily, a 17 year-old girl single-handedly alters the course of Italian history with an unexpected act of defiance that causes a short circuit in her traditionalist community.
Cast: Claudia Gusmano, Carlo Calderone, Ninni Bruschetta, Maurizio Puglisi


Best UK Short Film


Directed by Aneil Karia

Jess is an 18 year-old from London balancing her responsibilities as a daughter with her ambitions of a career in dance. When she is confronted with just how cold and unjust life can be during a journey to work, her perspective of the world around her begins to shift.
Cast: Jasmine Breinburg, Taurean Steele, Carl Prekopp

Directed by Eva Riley – European Premiere

Sally’s secretive evening job as a medical roleplay actress forces her to face up to feelings she thought she had under control.
Cast: Charlotte Spencer

Directed by Nathaniel Martello-White – European Premiere

A dark, surreal comedy about a local man who becomes convinced that a vast conspiracy is behind the impossibly rapid gentrification in his London area. But is it all in his head, or is the truth even darker than he imagines?
Cast: Joel Fry, Ivanno Jeremiah, Brian Bovell

Wild Horses
Directed by Rory Alexander Stewart

Joan has been housebound with M.E. for most of her adolescence. Now in slow recovery, her urge for independence is causing friction with her mother. When Joan’s tutor encourages her to push herself she throws caution to the wind, leaving home in search of new experiences. And a horse.
Cast: Emma Curtis, Emma Cater, Ainslie Henderson, Stephanie Compton

Directed by Joseph A. Adesunloye, World Premiere

Friends Adam and Luke are the life of the party. When they decide that Luke should host a party at his house, what was meant to be a night of fun without responsibilities turns out to be a nightmare for Adam.
Cast: Adam Strawford, Guetan Calvin-Elito, Michelle Tiwo, Amy Lynch


The Virtual Reality

Best Interactive Narrative VR Experience

Life Of Us
Directed by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin (USA)

Breathe fire, swim underwater, survive the Ice Age, and soar over volcanoes as you evolve through different creatures and a billion years of evolution in this action packed, multi-person VR adventure! Experience new voices, bodies, and special abilities before joining a post-singularity intergalactic dance party set to original music by Pharrell Williams. Created by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin, with music by Pharrell Williams. A Within Original, produced by Chris Milk, Megan Ellison through her Annapurna Pictures, and Made with Unity.

Manifest 99
Directed by Adam Volker and Bohdon Sayre (USA) – World Premiere

Created by Flight School Studio, Manifest 99 is an eerie story about finding redemption in the afterlife. Set on a mysterious train, rambling through an unknown void, you assist four travel companions on their journey to their final destination. Using character engagement as a method of movement, Manifest 99 explores scale and navigation unlike any other interactive VR experience.

Directed by Rafael Pavón (Spain) – World Premiere

Ray is a VR fairy tale created by Future Lighthouse. It combines 360º stereoscopic video, impressive visual effects and arresting soundtrack. Immerse yourself in Lucy’s room the night when Ray, a nosy beam of light, comes to play on her dreams. Ray is also an interactive experience where Ray is alive, and you can play with it using voice recognition and gestures.
Cast: Laia Manzanares

Treehugger: Wawona
Directed by Robin McNicholas, Barney Steel and Ersin Han Ersin (UK)

Treehugger: Wawona, the latest virtual reality installation from Marshmallow Laser Feast, reveals the secret life of the giant sequoia and never-before-seen inner workings of the world’s largest tree. Treehugger uniquely illustrates the sequoia’s immense scale and questions our relationship with the natural world at a time of crisis and change.


Best Mobile Interactive VR Experience

Directed by Yuli Levtov (UK)

Horizons is a series of interactive VR music journeys where you control the music, and the music controls the world. Make an otherworldly jungle come alive with sound, or travel at breakneck speed through colourful hyperspace. Featuring music from Bonobo, Reuben Cainer and My Panda Shall Fly.

In the Eyes of the Animal
Directed by Robin McNicholas, Barney Steel and Ersin Han Ersin (UK)

In the Eyes of the Animal allows you to explore the forest through the eyes of four woodland species. It is an artistic interpretation of how animals view the world and their living environment.

The Unfinished
Directed by Balthazar Auxietre (France) – International Premiere

In the museum, at night, the statues come alive. Through flashbacks, the viewer is told the love story behind the unfinished statue in the center of the room, and gets to interact with it to finish the unfinished, and free the sculptures within. This majestic ballet in VR unfolds to the score of The Planets by Gustav Holst.
Cast: Raphaelle Boitel, Pauline Journe, Tarek Aitmeddour

Virtual Virtual Reality
Directed by Samantha Gorman and Adam Veal (USA) – UK Premiere

Created by Tender Claws, Virtual Virtual Reality is a meta-satire about VR in VR. Welcome to “Activitude”: Real Labor Like You’re Really There! Cater to the whims of A.I. clients, or put on VR headsets in VR to escape into Activitude’s layers of reality as Chaz, the A.I overlord, attempts to boot you out PERMANENTLY.
Cast: Ted Evans, Jared Ramirez, Skip Pippo, Alice Winslow, Hugh Kennedy


Best Cinematic Narrative VR Experience

Directed by Jérome Blanquet (France) – UK Premiere

Alexandro volunteers for an experiment carried out to study dreams in this poetic trip into the future. He can’t imagine that he will be subjected to the intrusion of Elsa, a form of Artificial Intelligence who desires to digitize his subconscious in order to feed off of it.
Cast: Bill Skarsgard, Pom Klementieff, Lizzie Brocheré, Amira Casar

Broken Night
Directed by Alon Benari and Tal Zubalsky (USA) – UK Premiere

A woman and her husband return home one evening to discover an intruder. As she recounts the events of that evening to a police detective, the viewer chooses which of her memories to follow. Exploring the nature of memory itself, Broken Night takes the viewer on a psychological journey to uncover the truth of what transpired.
Cast: Emily Mortimer, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Nathanson, Josh Green

The Tragic Story of Betty Corrigall
Directed by Peter Boyd Maclean (UK) – European Premiere

Abandoned by her whaler lover and left pregnant, Betty Corrigall drowned herself to escape her shame in the 1770s. Gather round the smoky peat fire to hear storyteller Tom Muir recall her tragic fate as Virtual Reality meets the centuries old tradition of oral storytelling.
Cast: Betty Corrigall, Tom Muir, Barbara Scollay, Willy Sinclair, James Watson

Directed by Nathalie Mathe and Ryan Lynch (USA) – European Premiere

What happens when a young female coder joins a male-dominated floundering startup that’s deep in an identity crisis? UTURN is an immersive live-action VR comedy where viewers get to experience both sides of the gender divide.
Cast: Sophia DiPaola, Steve Goldbloom, Marc Fong Jr., Wynton Odd, Shruti Tewari


Best Documentary VR Experience

First Impressions
Directed by Francesca Panetta and Nicole Jackson (UK)

Created by the Guardian VR team using the latest research in neural development and colour vision in infants, this 360º film allows you to experience and interact with the world from the point of view of a baby. It’s a period that none of us remember but is the most crucial stage of our development.
Cast: Chetna Pandya, Natascha McElhone

Iranian Kurdish Female Fighters
Directed by Namak Khoshnaw (Iraq, UK) – World Premiere

17-year-old Aso Saqzi ran away from home in Iran to join the battle against the Islamic State. She is not alone. Hundreds of Iranian Kurds, many of them young women, have volunteered to defeat IS – and to fight for a Kurdish homeland.

Songs of the Vine
Directed by Maira Clancy and Blake Montgomery (USA, Peru) – European Premiere

Songs of the Vine’ focuses on the healing modalities and medicine songs of the Shipibo, an indigenous group well-known for its tradition of plant-spirit shamanism and mastery of the visionary ayahuasca medicine. Through the immersion of VR, the film illustrates an ancient but increasingly relevant dynamic between humans and nature.
Cast: Ynes Sanchez Gonzalez, Jose Lopez Sanchez, Lila Lopez Sanchez, Laura Lopez Sanchez, Damian Pacaya Rodriguez

¡Viva La Evolución!
Directed by Fifer Garbesi (Cuba) – UK Premiere

As American culture streams into Cuba for the first time in 50 years, DJ Joyvan Guevara struggles between the new opportunity for global success and a responsibility to the culture he helped build in the face of commercialization.
Cast: Joyvan Guevara


Best Animation VR Experience

Arden’s Wake
Directed by Eugene Chung (USA) – UK Premiere

A young woman lives with her father in a lighthouse perched atop an Endless Sea. When he goes missing, she must descend deep into the post-apocalyptic waters previously forbidden to her, embarking on a thrilling journey of family history and self-discovery. From the creators of the magnificent Allumette, Arden’s Wake continues the elegant evolution of storytelling from Penrose Studios.

Dear Angelica
Directed by Wesley Allsbrook and Saschka Unseld (USA) -UK Premiere

From Emmy Award winning Oculus Story Studio comes Dear Angelica, a journey through the magical and dreamlike ways we remember our loved ones. Entirely painted by hand inside of VR by artist Wesley Allsbrook, Dear Angelica plays out in a series of memories that unfold around you. An immersive, illustrative short story starring Geena Davis and Mae Whitman.
Cast: Geena Davis, Mae Whitman

Rain or Shine
Directed by Felix Massie (UK)

Rain or Shine is Nexus’ interactive 360° mobile VR short film made for Google Spotlight Stories. Directed by Felix Massie, Rain or Shine follows Ella, a charismatic young girl who loves being outside in the sunshine, but whenever she puts her sunglasses on all loveliness disappears – her very own raincloud appears above her head.

Song of the Sea
Directed by Jerrica Cleland and Tomm Moore (Ireland, UK, Denmark) – International Premiere

The Song of the Sea Virtual Reality experience is inspired by our Oscar-nominated hand-drawn animated feature film Song of the Sea by Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon.
Cast: Jon Kenny


Best Music VR Experience

Beethoven’s Fifth
Directed by Jessica Brillhart (USA)

A journey into interstellar space with a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, First Movement by the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Cast: Esa-Pekka Salonen

Chapita: Mind Enterprises
Directed by Eran Amir (UK)

Chapita is brought to life in this VR experience combining an ambitious 360º storytelling experience with cinemagraphs and clonemotion technology. The result is an immersive narrative in which the dancer leads us into a multi-coloured world of choreographed dance loops, set against a backdrop of stark contrast that lends a sense of infinite space.
Cast: Mimi Jeong

Floating Points: Peroration Six
Directed by Fabien Coupez (USA) – World Premiere

Get blown away by the force of elements inside this stunning VR experience! Set in the middle of the iconic Utah desert, this mesmerizing live performance will take you on an incredible journey that will unleash the natural and supernatural elements.
Cast: Sam Shepherd, David Okumu, Alex Reeve, Leo Taylor, Phillip Granell, Paloma Deike, Anisa Arslanagic, Magda Pietraszewska

Reeps One: Does Not Exist
Directed by John Hendicott and Gawain Liddiard (UK, USA) – UK Premiere

Does Not Exist drops you into the centre of Reeps One’s first virtual reality beatbox performance – exploring the latest technology for VR and head-tracked 3D spatial audio. Working in 360º from the ground up, the track was composed to fully utilise the 360º sonic and visual space, creating a totally new style of music video.
Cast: Reeps One


Best Branded VR Experience

Manchester City – Match Day
Directed by Adam May (UK) – World Premiere

Get closer to the matchday action at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium in a new 360º fan experience. From the tunnel to the player, changing rooms to the grass being cut, experience a behind the scenes view of Etihad Stadium in full matchday action. A can’t-miss for football and sports fans across the world.

Snatch VR Heist Experience
Directed by Rafael Pavón and Nicolás Alcalá (Spain, USA) – UK Premiere

Inspired by a real-life heist in London, Crackle’s new series, Snatch, centers on a group of twenty-something, up-and-coming hustlers who are suddenly thrust into the high-stakes world of organized crime.
Cast: Rupert Grint, Phoebe Dynevor, Luke Pasqualino, Lucien Laviscount

The Chainsmokers Paris VR
Directed by Brynley Gibson and Russell Harding (UK) – European Premiere

Go on an epic journey with Grammy-winning DJ Duo and The Chainsmokers as you travel through dreamlike environments. Influence new remixes of the hit song Paris based on the choices you make. Choose a new path each time you enter the experience, let the music engulf you as you lean into it, or simply lean back and enjoy the daydream.
Cast: Drew Taggart, Alex Pall

Welcome To Laphroaig
Directed by Darren Emerson (UK) – World Premiere

Created by VR City, this 360º film takes you on an epic journey into the heart of the historic Laphroaig whiskey distillery on the beautiful island of Islay. 


Best Sensual VR Experience

Come! (Viens!)
Directed by Michel Reilhac (France)

Three women and four men, all naked, appear out of nowhere in the white, sunny space of a bright room outside of time. They meet, touch, share their energy, and are transformed spiritually, letting themselves become one with the world.
Cast: Amador Jojo, Ayoti, Christophe De La Pointe, De La Fouquette, Flozif, Yumie Volupté, Fox

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

In My Shoes: Intimacy is a 360º experience which explores the power of human connection. Put aside your inhibitions, let these strangers guide you through their impromptu, unconventional and intense moments of intimacy. Intimacy is a first-person documentary designed for two people to experience three encounters from six very different perspectives.
Cast: Sarah Cowan, George Collie, Daniel James, Ellie Stamp, Neil Connolly, Stella Taylor

Second Date
Directed by Jennifer Lyon Bell, Netherlands (USA) – World Premiere

Set on an Amsterdam houseboat, Second Date is a lighthearted, unscripted Virtual Reality portrait of two young people fumbling towards ecstasy. Trying to find common ground, their conversation veers from clumsy to joyous and back again – until they finally start connecting for real.
Cast: Anne De Winter, Bishop Black

Through You
Directed by Saschka Unseld and Lily Baldwin (USA)

Using dance to inhabit a common mortal story of love born, lived, lost, burned and seemingly gone forever, Through You is a live-action VR richly infused with an atmosphere of raw passion.
Cast: Joanna Kotze, Amari Cheatom, Marni Thomas Wood


Best Social Impact VR Experience

42 Days
Directed by Animal Equality (USA, Spain)

Imagine you’ve just been born, but you have no mother to keep you warm. You are afraid. Just one chick among billions. And your life will only last until you’re big enough to slaughter. This is the stark reality for billions of young chickens around the world.
Cast: Amanda Abbington

Aftershock: Nepal’s Untold Water Story
Directed by Catherine Feltham (UK)

Two earthquakes. One lifeline. One man’s remarkable journey. This VR film follows Krishna, the only plumber in his district, as he works tirelessly to help repair his community’s vital water system which was damaged during the 2015 Nepal earthquakes.
Cast: Krishna Sunuwar

Munduruku: The Fight to Defend the Heart of the Amazon
Directed by James Manisty and Grace Boyle (UK, Brazil)

Combining cutting-edge Virtual Reality filmmaking and multisensory storytelling, Munduruku opens a window into the lives, stories and struggle of the Munduruku Indigenous People in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

You Are There. On the road to ending Polio
Directed by Peter Collis and Vanessa Moussa (UK, USA, France, Switzerland)

You Are There takes us to a Kenyan village to meet a nine-year-old boy, Job, infected with polio and Sabina, a dedicated vaccinator, on her travels to do whatever it takes to spare other children his fate.
Cast: Ewan McGregor


Best Sound Design VR Experience

Life Of Us
Directed by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin (USA)

Breathe fire, swim underwater, survive the Ice Age, and soar over volcanoes as you evolve through different creatures and a billion years of evolution in this action packed, multi-person VR adventure! Experience new voices, bodies, and special abilities before joining a post-singularity intergalactic dance party set to original music by Pharrell Williams. Created by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin, with music by Pharrell Williams. A Within Original, produced by Chris Milk, Megan Ellison through her Annapurna Pictures, and Made with Unity.

Reeps One: Does Not Exist
Directed by John Hendicott and Gawain Liddiard (UK, USA) – UK Premiere

Does Not Exist drops you into the centre of Reeps One’s first virtual reality beatbox performance – exploring the latest technology for VR and head-tracked 3D spatial audio. Working in 360º from the ground up, the track was composed to fully utilise the 360º sonic and visual space, creating a totally new style of music video.
Cast: Reeps One

The Resistance of Honey
Directed by Peter Boyd Maclean (UK) – UK Premiere

Step inside the world of Bioni Samp, an urban beekeeper who makes honey–and music–from his bees. A fascinating, mind-expanding glimpse into the extraordinary world inside the beehive.
Cast: Bioni Samp

The Tragic Story of Betty Corrigall
Directed by Peter Boyd Maclean (UK) – European Premiere

Abandoned by her whaler lover and left pregnant, Betty Corrigall drowned herself to escape her shame in the 1770s. Gather round the smoky peat fire to hear storyteller Tom Muir recall her tragic fate as Virtual Reality meets the centuries old tradition of oral storytelling.
Cast: Betty Corrigall, Tom Muir, Barbara Scollay, Willy Sinclair, James Watson


The Web Series

Best International Web Series

The Adventures of A Broken Heart
Directed by Ariel Martínez Herrera (Argentina)

If the heart could talk, this would be its first television show. With the special appearances of Rabid Penis, Drunk Liver and Operated Kidney

High Life
Directed by Glen Dolman and Luke Eve (Australia)

Genevieve, a very sensible, creative and overachieving 17-year-old student in a respectable, middle class family, seems to be having the perfect ride, until her sanity spectacularly unravels in her manic episode of Bipolar Disorder.
Cast: Lily Hatwell, Ezekiel Simat, Di Adams

The Break Up List
Directed by Aaron Khoo (Singapore)

When Luke Wong gets dumped by his girlfriend of 6 years, his whole world crumbles around him. Joe, his best buddy, is also abandoned by his girlfriend on the same day, leading the two set off on a journey to rebuild their lives and survive singlehood.
Cast: Benjamin Kheng, Elliot Lucas Marcell Tan

Directed by Julien Bittner, France

A mute musician in search of new inspiration after getting famous on the internet
Cast: Hélène Kuhn, Martin Nissen

Save Me
Directed by Fab Filippo and Dylan Pearce (Canada)

Save Me drops us into random lives, mid-sentence. We get to know people through storylines that unravel with humour and pathos and a built-in ticking time bomb – that one of them at some point will be blindsided by a medical emergency
Cast: Fab Filippo, Amy Matysio, Suresh John

Clash of the Narratives
Directed by Robin Forestier-Walker

Exploring what its like to be on two opposing sides of a narrative.
Cast: Irma Inashvili, Tamara Chergoleishvili


See the full programme

The post Raindance Film Festival 2017 Programme appeared first on Raindance.


First Trailer for Indie Sci-Fi Film ‘Rememory’ Starring Peter Dinklage

Rememory Trailer

«The machine is incredible!» «Pure, unfiltered truth.» Ready to remember all of your memories? Lionsgate has debuted the official trailer for an indie sci-fi film titled Rememory, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. This is one of a few subtle indie sci-fi films that played at the festival, along with Marjorie Prime and The Discovery. The gimmick in this is a device that can extract, record and play a person’s memories. The inventor is found dead, and his wife retreats into her home until a mysterious man shows up and begins investigating what exactly happened. Peter Dinklage stars, with Julia Ormond, Martin Donovan, Evelyne Brochu, Henry Ian Cusick, and the late Anton Yelchin. The film received pretty bad reviews out of Sundance, and while I am somewhat intrigued, this trailer doesn’t really grab me. ›››

Continue reading First Trailer for Indie Sci-Fi Film ‘Rememory’ Starring Peter Dinklage


12 Types of People Who Attend Film Festivals

You might cut deals at work, you might be quiet at events and loud at home. But what type of person are you during film festivals? See if you are the type of person to attend a film festival.

There ‘re so many benefits to attending film festivals:

  • see great movies
  • listen and learn at talks, panels and special events
  • meet filmmakers from all over the world
  • networking events galore

In order to get the most out of your film festival experience, it’s important to decide what your goal is before you attend, as how you spend your time will differ depending on what you want to get out of it, be it to meet a load of new people or to find inspiration by watching as many films as you can fit it. Here are the 12 types of people you’ll meet at film festivals – which type are you?

12 Types of People Who Attend Film Festivals

1. The Networker


Goal = meet smart people
The networker aims to meet and make lasting connections with other professionals in the film industry. Chances are, they have a lot of connections on social media and have connected to attendees ahead of time . You’ll probably see this person chatting up multiple groups of people during our gala nights and handing out business cards.

2. The Sponge

Goal = learning

This is the person who’s at the festival to soak up as much information as possible. You’ll probably see this person juggling a laptop, smartphone, and notebook with a pen, and diligently taking notes (or live-tweeting) from each. The biggest struggle this person faces is deciding on which sessions to attend!

3. The Innovator

Goal = get inspired

If you watch TED Talks on a daily basis and your favourite book is about Steve Jobs, you might fall into the “innovator” category. These are the people who go to festivals to get inspiration and spark some creativity. Entrepreneurs, thinkers, and problem solvers would fall under this bucket.

4. The Superfan

Goal = meet the keynote speakers, special guests and celebrities

You’ll find this person all over social media before you even arrive at the festival. One superfan festival habit includes excessively tweeting to the hashtag that you’re “so excited to meet @celebrity’. Superfans never forget to include a Twitter handle in the hope that he or she will get a retweet or reply.

5. The Job Seeker

Attend film festivals
Goal = find work

Job seekers might have a few different reasons for coming to a festival, depending on which stage of the job hunt they’re in. If this person is in the awareness stage, he or she might simply listen and learn about film companies, jobs, and people they’d like to work with. If this person is beyond that awareness stage, he or she may have already made connections well ahead of time via LinkedIn or Twitter, and wants to give them an elevator pitch in person, along with a resume or portfolio.

6. The Deal Maker

Attend film festivals
Goal = establish a business partnership

Similar to the “networker”, the deal maker attends festivals with the goal of creating business partnerships. This could be for a co-production, to set up a sponsorship deal, or sign up a filmmaker to another project. This person might even take a tip from the networker, making lasting relationships first and doing business sometime after the film festival, But don’t count on it. They are usually moving too fast for anything like a relationship to stick.

7. The Blogger

Goal = write lots of content

This is a person who attends film festivals specifically for blog (or other content) fodder. You’ll see this person listening to panels, speakers and filmmaker Q&As while writing down an outline or quotes on a laptop. When meeting bloggers in-person at a film festival, watch out – because they might try to write down some quotes from your conversation (after asking for permission of course).

8. The Teacher

Goal = report back

I don’t mean teacher in the traditional sense, but rather the person you send to a festival to come back with awesome takeaways. The teacher should take excellent notes and relay them back to his or her team. This person might even write up a wiki page or create a presentation to show your team when they return.

9. The Thought Leader

Goal = stay successful

These are generally the festival speakers. These folks talk specifically about a subject matter they know almost everything about. They’ve probably written books, made Oscar nominated films and countless blog articles on the same topic and have loads of followers on social media. It might seem like they have a buzz on, but really they’re just riding the adrenaline from taking the stage.

10. The Spy

Attend film festivals
Goal = Competitive Intelligence

This is the person who goes to festivals solely to check out the competition. This person might ask ‘what does the competition’s film look like? What are they doing right? What are they doing wrong?’ Then this information is compiled, analysed, and turned into a plan of action. Attending festivals as a spy is actually a popular tactic. Beware, however, that it can turn you into a jealous person incapable of doing anything.

11. The Salesperson

Attend film festivals
Goal = Make a sale

Similar to the deal maker, a salesperson aims to close on a deal. The difference here is that salespeople are usually only interested in selling their film or services. Fair game is sales agents, distributors and students too naive to ask money for their services. This interaction could happen during the festival, or sometime after when the prospect has thought the deal over.

12. The Partier

Attend Film Festivals
Goal = have fun

Finally we’ve reached the inevitable. You know, the person who raves at all the parties, dances with everyone at the concert, and seriously takes advantage of the free drinks. It’s okay to have a little party whilst at festivals. In fact it could be a great way to break the ice! However, I’d suggest attending festivals with some of the first eleven goals in mind — you’ll be a lot more productive that way.

Which type of festival goer are you? Whichever you are, join us at Raindance Film Festival 2017 to fulfil your festival potential!

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First Full Trailer for Armando Iannucci’s New Film ‘The Death of Stalin’

The Death of Stalin Trailer

«I have no idea what is going on!» Entertainment One in the UK has debuted the first official trailer for Armando Iannucci’s new film, The Death of Stalin, a darkly comic look at the internal political landscape of 1950’s Soviet Russia. Based on Fabien Nury’s graphic novel, film is about Russian dictator Joseph Stalin’s last days and the disorganized chaos of the regime after his death in 1953 and 30 years of iron-fisted rule. Adrian McLoughlin plays Joseph Stalin, with an ensemble cast of characters including Rupert Friend, Steve Buscemi, Olga Kurylenko, Jason Isaacs, Andrea Riseborough, Jeffrey Tambor, Paddy Considine, Michael Palin, and Jonathan Aris. This looks like another brilliant, hilarious political satire from Armando Iannucci that might be perfect entertainment for the times. Just fire up the trailer and enjoy. ›››

Continue reading First Full Trailer for Armando Iannucci’s New Film ‘The Death of Stalin’


Studio Ghibli is Back from the Dead! Miyazaki is Developing New Film

Studio Ghibli

Can you believe it?! I don’t know if I do?! Reports are going around that Studio Ghibli has re-opened its doors, started hiring a new team of animators, and will soon start working on a brand new project. It was massive, heartbreaking news a fear years ago when legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement (after finishing The Wind Rises in 2013) and then subsequently the studio he helped start, Studio Ghibli, decided to stop making new films and instead focus on monetizing their old filmography. In the last few years, Miyazaki kept himself busy by making an animated short film for the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo. But now the studio is back from the dead and Miyazaki has a new idea for a film, which is what this is about. ›››

Continue reading Studio Ghibli is Back from the Dead! Miyazaki is Developing New Film


Film Festivals: Five Types

You have finished your film and now you want to get it out there under the noses of acquisition executives, right? But which film festival do you send it to? There’s over five types of film festivals. With over 5,000 film festivals around the world, negotiating a film festival strategy can be overwhelming.

Before you embark on your festival hunt it’s helpful to plan your strategy – and decide what your priorities are.

There are really 4 basic reasons to attend a film festival:

  • to expose your film to acquisition executives and hopefully sell your film
  • to win awards
  • to get reviewed and interviewed to create buzz

The question is, which reason are you attending film festivals? And what of the cost of submitting and attending film festivals? Are there any film festivals where you can submit or free?

Film festivals are divided into categories based on the number of acquisition executives that attend. Major and mini major film festivals charge submission fees. It is here that your film has it’s best chance of being seen by a distibutor.

1. Majors

The major film festivals, in rank, are: Cannes, Toronto, Sundance, Berlin, Rotterdam and Venice. Cannes is undoubtedly the premiere event. Toronto and Sundance vie for the number two spot, but since Sundance has become a launching pad for Hollywood films, I personally give the number two spot to Toronto – if for no other reason than the important slots it gives to foreign language films. Rotterdam is an amazing festival hosted by an amazing city. Berlin has an excellent festival with Europe’s most energetic and charismatic director. Venice is an important festival as well, but is becoming dangerously corporate.

2. Mini-majors

Mini-major festivals are also excellent festivals to launch your films, and vie with the majors for industry and celebrity turnout. Festivals such as SXSW, Locarno, San Sebastian, Raindance, Tribeca and Karlovy Vary have hundreds of celebrities and paparazzi attending and can be a useful springboard to getting your film noticed.

3. City Festivals

There are many city festivals that attract the attention of filmmakers and filmgoers alike. They do not have a sizeable industry presence, very few acquisitions executives and are designed to appeal to the cineastes within their borders. Edinburgh, Leeds, Cambridge and London are some of the important UK festivals designed for local residents. Palm Springs, Telluride, San Francisco and Montreal are a few of the many in North America.

4. Genre Film Festivals

Certain film festivals cater to specific genres. If you make a horror film you would probably make Sitges your number one choice. London has the London Sci Fi and Fright Fest. While fewer acquisition executives attend genre festivals, those that do are there because they are interested in that genre. in marketing speak, these buyers are pre-qualified.

5. Mom and Pop

At the risk of sounding patronising, mom and pop festivals are small festivals that were created simply for the enjoyment of cinema. They are usually run by one or two people. Sometimes they offer wider themes, such as the Human Rights Festival or the Flare – the LGBTQ festival run by the British Film Institute. These festivals attract local press, but very few if any industry people and virtually no acquisitions executives attend.

Fade Out

Take the time to research film festivals. There is so much you can learn about the top festivals online. Meet other filmmakers at networking events and at local film festivals and get their recommendations. Beware the so-called festival experts who claim to have insider knowledge of the festival circuit based on trips to lowly rated mom and pop type festivals. These so-called consultants are the sort of people who will fail miserably to help you in a meaningful way and often have a series of cons and ploys they like to spring on festival virgins. Trust your instincts, and happy festival travelling.


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‘Film Your Nightmares’ and 6 More Tips from Horror Godfather Yoshihiro Nishimura

Japanese horror auteur Yoshihiro Nishimura’s latest, ‘Kodoku Meatball Machine’, confirms his rep as a wizard of carnage.

Filmmaker and make-up artist Yoshihiro Nishimura lives by his own rules. Known affectionately by fans as the uncontested godfather of contemporary Japanese horror, he’s responsible for cult classics such as Tokyo Gore Police and Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl. A glance at his IMDB page shows just how influential he’s been as a make-up artist: a veritable wizard of carnage. Japan’s Tom Savini.

Wherever Nishimura dives in, he makes a huge crimson splash—but he’s far more than just a bloody face. A bonafide jack-of-all-trades auteur, he’s a DIY screenwriter, producer, director, make-up artist, FX master and editor. Even better, in the process of achieving all that with minimal outside assistance, he has developed an unmistakable—and surprisingly hilarious—style. His latest victim is the Fantasia Film Festival, where his Kodoku Meatball Machine had a standout North American debut this past month.

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No Film School

Kill Or Be Killed — First Trailer for Voyeur Horror Film ‘Keep Watching’

Keep Watching Trailer

«They want us to fight back!» Voltage Pictures has released an official trailer for a horror film called Keep Watching, a creepy voyeur thriller about a family imprisoned by intruders. The concept of this one is a bit uncomfortable, but that’s what makes it horror, right? A bunch of cameras are rigged up in a house where a family is tormented, while live viewers can watch as they’re killed off. But they don’t know if what they’re watching is real or staged, they’re just told to «keep watching». (Cue eye roll now.) The cast includes Bella Thorne, Natalie Martinez, Christopher Baker, Ioan Gruffudd, and Chandler Riggs. This looks a bit too bland and uninteresting, despite the freaky concept. And I’m guessing no studio wants to deal with the backlash of releasing a movie about watching people die, but it is finished and just waiting for a release. ›››

Continue reading Kill Or Be Killed — First Trailer for Voyeur Horror Film ‘Keep Watching’


Filmmakers’ Short Film Tool Kit

Write It | Plan it | Shoot It | Direct It | Edit It | Show It

Let’s make a film!

Short films are some of the favourite films at Raindance Film Festival. The beauty of a short film is you don’t need to have experience, money or training to make one. A short can be anything from a few seconds (like a Vine video) to 45 minutes (according to the Oscars™).

This toolkit shows you how to make a short film.

Step 1. Get a script together

A short film is a unique type of story. Because it is short you can’t use the normal opening story techniques of a feature.

Here’s some ways professional screenwriters create stories for short films. You need to hook your audience. These story techniques condense the opening into a few seconds.

  • Universal moment: a short film favourite. Wedding, first kiss, national and religious holidays, championship sporting events
  • Cyclical story: stories that tend to start and end at the same place, but there is now new meaning
  • Time bomb: where something specific must happen in a certain time or else dire consequences will befall the character

Here’s some idea generation exercises. Can you write a hundred words on one of these? Could it become the basis for a short film?

– the office prank
– a day in the life of …
– the local bus stop

There are loads of tricks to generate ideas for shorts.

A script for a short need not be written in industry standard format. But it should be written in what filmmakers call a ‘Shot List’, a simple a one or two line description of each shot the camera takes.

[To get your very own professional script format guide send an email to Lexus@raindance.org]

Check out the other steps below and happy filmmaking!

Created for the LEXUS Short Film Competition

Write It | Plan it | Shoot It | Direct It | Edit It Show It

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Watch: Ruben Östlund’s Award-Winning Short Film ‘Incident by a Bank’

Incident by a Bank Short Film

More from the brilliant mind of Ruben Östlund! Vimeo has premiered his 2009 short film Incident by a Bank online in full for free, and it’s definitely worth watching. The short film won the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at the Berlin Film Festival in 2009, and played at tons of other festivals, picking up even more awards along the way. Incident by a Bank is an amusing, meticulous recreation of failed bank robbery. It’s presented in a single take where over 96 people perform intricate choreography for the camera. The film recreates an actual event that took place in Stockholm in June 2006. I’m a huge fan of Östlund, director of Force Majeure and this year’s The Square, and it’s exciting to go back and discover more of his older work. ›››

Continue reading Watch: Ruben Östlund’s Award-Winning Short Film ‘Incident by a Bank’


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