In response to the global pandemic, the 28th Raindance Film Festival will this year safely proceed as a hybrid of remote engagement and live activity, running 28 October – 7 November online and live in London.
Raindance recognises the need to radically adapt the usual festival format. Raindance also acknowledges the vital role that film plays in unifying, informing and inspiring people. The festival experience has therefore been refined, enabling Raindance to provide safe engagement whilst delivering all the atmosphere, affinity and camaraderie you’d expect from Britain’s biggest independent film festival.
“Storytelling brings us together,” says Raindance founder Elliot Grove. “This year more than ever, we need the medium of film to unite us, inspire us, and help us to feel empowered and not isolated. No matter where you are in the UK, as long as you have a screen you can be a part of the Raindance Film Festival. There’s no stopping us.”
OPENING GALA: STARDUST
The Raindance Film Festival will officially start on 28th October with the UK Premiere of STARDUST, directed by Gabriel Range. STARDUST stars Johnny Flynn (Emma, Beast) as a young David Bowie embarking on his first trip to America, revealing the inspirations and life events that gave birth to his iconic alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, charting the transformation of one of the world’s greatest cultural icons.
BAFTA-nominated director Gabriel Range will attend this red carpet event at The May Fair Hotel in London, and take part in a post-screening Q&A. The gala will have reduced audience capacity to adhere to social-distancing guidelines, and specially designed Raindance masks will be provided.
The online screening of STARDUST (Nov 6) includes a live online Q&A with Johnny Flynn.
CLOSING PREMIERE: HERE ARE THE YOUNG MEN
The festival closes on 7th November with the UK Premiere of HERE ARE THE YOUNG MEN, directed by Eion Macken. The story of three Dublin teenagers who leave school to a social vacuum of drinking and drugs, falling into shocking transgression, stars Dean-Charles Chapman, (1917, Game Of Thrones), Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma, The Witch), Finn Cole (Slaughterhouse Rulez, Animal Kingdom), and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo (Sing Street, Vikings).
Director Eoin Macken will attend this closing night film at Vue West End cinema, Raindance’s longtime venue partner, and take part in a post-screening Q&A.
ADDITIONAL IN-PERSON SCREENINGS AND EVENTS
In addition to the Opening Night and Closing Night films, in-person activity will include an off- competition gala screening of Japanese film TWICEBORN (dir: Hiroshi Akabane) at The May Fair Hotel.
A part of the SONICA music strand, JIMMY IS PUNK – THE STORY OF PANIC will premiere at the 100 Club, including a live Q&A with director Duco Donk plus members of punk band Panic. DIFFERENT JOHNS will premiere at Century Club, including a live Q&A with director Robert Carr, along with an exhibition of John Cohen’s photography from the 50s Beat Generation era including his iconic portraits of a young Bob Dylan.
The debut film by Darren Strowger, starring Jude Law and Rafferty Law, shot during lockdown, and with an original music score by The Who’s Pete Townshend, the World Premiere of short film THE HAT is nominated for Best UK Short and will benefit Teenage Cancer Trust and Teen Cancer America. The first in a planned series of shorts to benefit these charities, this private invitation-only event at Ham Yard Hotel will also have an exclusive music event.
Altogether, there will be six live in-person events. All in-person events will have limited capacity and will adhere to venue and UK Government guidelines.
FILM PROGRAMME POWERED BY SHIFT72 (28 October – 7 November)
Via online platform Shift72, this year’s festival will take the fascinating, multifaceted world of indie film to every corner of the UK, from Aberdeen to York, via anything from smartphones to cinematic LED TVs. Wherever you can connect to Wi-Fi, you can connect with Raindance. Find the Raindance Player here: https://cinema.raindance.org
Comprising over 50 film premieres, the online programme of independent features and documentaries is a cinematic snapshot of today’s world. And to make this the biggest and most accessible edition of Raindance ever, the full online programme of films, shorts, Q&As and VR experiences will be offered for FREE (pay-what-you-can donations are encouraged to help Raindance to continually support and champion indie film in the UK – and to celebrate the 28th Raindance, 28% of proceeds will be donated to charity.)
Recognising that COVID-19 is just one of many issues impacting our planet, strands encapsulate topics as diverse as the environment, inequality and creativity, altogether celebrating the cultural influence of cinema.