Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Raindance Film Festival kicks off in London on Wednesday. Cited by Variety as one of the world’s top 50 ‘unmissable film festivals,’ Raindance has been celebrating independent filmmaking since 1993 and has seen the UK premieres of such films as The Blair Witch Project, Oldboy and Memento.
The festival opens with the European premiere of Here Comes the Devil from Argentinean director Adrian Garcia Bogliano, followed by an after-party at Café de Paris featuring British band The Real Tuesday Weld. This year will see a spotlight on Québec, including the documentary Over My Dead Body, a profile of the polarising dance choreographer Dave St Pierre. There’s also plenty of home-grown talent on show, from Live East Die Young, exposing the darker side of the East London party scene, to Love Tomorrow, a romantic film about a chance meeting between two dancers in Camden. The festival closes with Salt, a postmodern Western from Chile, with an after-party at Jewel Piccadilly.
In addition to a programme fit to bursting with choice picks of independent cinema from around the world, Raindance also plays host to a variety of events and courses dedicated to filmmaking. These include screenwriting workshops and ‘Live! Ammunition!’ an opportunity to pitch your ideas to a panel of film executives. And if that’s not enough to convince you, the Raindance Film School alumni include the likes of Christopher Nolan, Guy Ritchie and Julian Fellowes. All in all, there’s plenty on offer for both fans of cinema and budding young filmmakers out there.
Tickets for the Opening Night Gala at the Cineworld Haymarket plus after-party are £20 and can be bought via the Raindance website. All other screenings take place at the Apollo Cinema Piccadilly Circus and are £5 before 5pm, £10 after. A screening pass, which will give you access to everything apart from the opening and closing films, is £50.
Raindance runs from Wednesday 26 September to Sunday 7 October.