The upcoming Raindance Film Festival will be a place to discover, and be discovered, just as their motto says. Among the films we know we'll love, or already do adore are Iraqi helmer Maysoon Pachachi's soulful Our River... Our Sky (check out Nina's chat with the filmmaker and her producer here), the Israeli Karaoke starring a power trio of Arab and Israeli actors -- Sasson Gabay, Rita Shukrun, Lior Ashkenazi -- directed by Moshe Rosenthal, and Hassan Nazer's Winners, which has recently been submitted to the Oscar race by the UK as their entry in the Best International Feature competition.
There are classics revisited which will be screened in the program and include Ousmane Sembene's 1966 harrowing human drama from Senegal Black Girl, Christopher Nolan's 2000 haunting cult film Memento starring Guy Pearce and Carrie-Anne Moss, Korean helmer Park Chan-wook's Oldboy from 2003 and Quentin Tarantino's 1994 (has it really been that long??) Pulp Fiction, which needs no further introduction.
Raindance is Britain’s biggest independent film festival, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2022. The festival remains a place to discover the work of passionate and pioneering new filmmakers and Raindance further champions new filmmakers with the Raindance Discovery Award at the BIFAs (British Independent Film Awards), the awards ceremony founded by Raindance in 1998, and which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. This award highlights innovation, uniqueness of vision, maverick filmmaking and risk-taking, with a budget under £500k and no, or very limited, theatrical distribution deals in place.
This year’s Raindance Discovery Award longlist highlights 12 standout films, comprising six features and six documentaries.
The titles this year include the documentary Fadia's Tree by Sarah Beddington which tells of a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon, and her challenge to find an ancient mulberry tree that once grew next to her grandfather’s house. And Winners by Hassan Nazer, the story of a 9-year-old boy and his friend living in a poor provincial Iranian town, who find a precious film awards statue and decide to find its owner.
“Raindance’s motto is ‘Discover. Be Discovered’. And this year’s Raindance Discovery Award longlist once again unearths some true gems of independent cinema,” said Elliot Grove, founder of Raindance and BIFA. “We are excited to champion these fresh, relevant, and inventive films. And of course, I’m especially thrilled that three of the longlisted films will screen at this year’s Raindance Film Festival.”
Previous recipients of the award include Ben Wheatley, receiving an early accolade for his first feature Down Terrace. BIFA’s Raindance Discovery Award was presented in 2021 to Poly Styrene – I Am A Cliché (Paul Sng, Celeste Bell, Zoë Howe, Rebecca Mark-Lawson, Matthew Silverman, Daria Nitsche), documenting the punk icon and X-Ray Spex front-woman, as seen from her daughter’s perspective.
The final list of 5 nominations will be announced, tentatively, on Thursday 3rd November, with the winner announcement following, to be presented during the festival's awards ceremony on Sunday 4th December.
For more information, to see what else the organization provides to aid young filmmakers worldwide and to book tickets, check out the Raindance website.