The last couple of months of the festival season will go out with a bang in London, as the Raindance Film Festival begins next Wednesday, September 26th, with the Mexican film Here Comes the Devil
, which was very popular in TIFF this past month. Raindance slants itself quite firmly to independent cinema, showcasing films that have played at festivals such as Sundance and Fantasia, a focus on Quebec, a retrospective of Chris Marker, as well as conducting master classes and live music events. From the press release: The Raindance Film Festival's 20th lineup includes over 100 features, over 138 shorts and 64 UK Premieres, 13 International Premieres, 5 European Premieres, 20 World Premieres and 24 Directorial Debuts from 42 countries with another exceptional year of internationally acclaimed films, special live events, exclusive Q&As and masterclasses.
Opening the festival on Wednesday 26th September is the International Premiere of HERE COMES THE DEVIL - a powerful fantasy horror from Mexico.
Closing the festival on Sunday 7th October is the UK Premiere of SAL - from Chile. The film is a slanted take on a western - struggling writer Sergio tries to write one, and takes off to the 'driest desert on the planet' to find his perfect ending. Directed, written and produced by Diego Rougier, it is an action-packed modern-day western in it's own right.
The UK HOMEGROWN STRAND will showcase the best in British filmmaking talent, including three World Premieres: Love Tomorrow written and directed by Christopher Payne; City Slacker, a comedy starring Tom Conti from the writer of Dummy which previously screened at Raindance and Confine starring Daisy Lowe and Alfie Allen and Directed by Tobias Tobbell about a heist which goes wrong. Also in this year's UK strand is String Caesar, featuring Derek Jacobi as Caesar alongside real life prisoners bringing Julius Caesar into the 21st Century.
Exciting films emerge from the AMERICAN INDIE STRAND this year, including the World Premiere of Dark Hearts directed by Rudol Buitendach, former prize winner at Raindance and starring Sonja Kinski, daughter of Nastassja Kinski; The Grief Tourist directed by Suri Krishnama (also a former Raindance prize winner) starring Melanie Griffith and Michael Cudlitz; Mon Ami which recently screened to much acclaim at Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival, is a horror movie disguised as a buddy comedy; Me and You At the Zoo which screened at Sundance and provides a cautionary tale as it chronicles several years in the endlessly self-recorded life of Chris Crocker, who won fame with his 207 "Leave Britney Alone!" YouTube rant.
From the EUROPEAN STRAND comes Heavy Girls - an ultra-low budget feature from Germany about love and dementia; The Practical Guide to Belgrade with Singing and Crying is a contemporary romantic comedy from Serbia and Vegetarian Cannibal - a multiple award-winner at the Pula Film Festival where it took both Best Director and Best Actor amongst others.
An extraordinary DOCUMENTARY STRAND kicks off with the legendary Jeremy Irons and composer Vangelis who will be in attendance for the excellent green documentary Trashed. Also featuring is EBE award-winning feature documentary Hidden Hand which examines the phenomena surrounding UFOs, Extra Terrestrials, alien abduction and the US secret military cover-up of supposed E.T. contact; the multi-award winning Zero Killed, the documentary/feature hybrid directed by Michal Kosakowski who has been asking people with different backgrounds about their murder fantasies; the World Premiere of Orania which examines a community of Whites Only which exists in the heart of South Africa and Banaz - A Love Story, which chronicles the brutal honour killing of Banaz Mahmod, a young British woman in London, killed by her own family for choosing a life for herself.
A unique spotlight on QUEBEC this year includes 4 Features and 1 Documentary - including Over My Dead Body, a documentary on enfant terrible of the dance world, Dave St. Pierre who also suffers from cystic fibrosis and The Salesman about the perennial car salesman of the month starring Gilbert Sicotte.
An exciting selection of international shorts makes it to the final SHORTS PROGRAMME at Raindance this year with some of the biggest names in Hollywood - including: Charlotte Rampling in The End; Charles Dance and Jenny Agutter in Mapmaker, Malcolm McDowell for No Rest For The Wicked, Jennifer Lopez in Life & Freaky Times Of Uncle Luke, Nick Moran in 82, Phil Jupitus and Josie Lawrence star in No Prisoner and Wonder starring Diana Hardcastle and Henry Goodman, directed and scored by Johnny Daukes. One of the programmed shorts will win Film Of The Festival Award - which will automatically go into the Oscars™ shortlist for best short film.
Raindance is also extremely pleased to announce two very diverse retrospectives. One celebrating the life and work of the French auteur Chris Marker represented by three films never seen in the UK, including Sunless and Level 5, and a very special Trent Harris Retrospective, who is best known for Plan 10 from Outer Space, which debuted at Raindance in 1996. Rubin and Ed and The Beaver Trilogy starring Sean Penn and Crispin Glover are both screening at this year's festival. Trent Harris will also be in attendance to launch the retrospective.
This is a pretty exciting and diverse line-up, making for a great alternative to the more mainstream fare found at that other London festival.
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