The lineup for the 20th Raindance Film Festival was announced this morning at London’s Apartment 58 in Soho. As ever, it looks to be an eclectic mix which will no doubt include the controvertial and shocking. The lineup includes 105 features and over 138 shorts and 64 UK Premieres, 13 International Premieres, 5 European Premieres, 20 World Premieres and 24 Directorial Debuts from 38 countries. The festival will take place from 26th September to 7th October at it’s home of Apollo Cinema Piccadilly Circus SW1Y 4LR.
The opening film on the 26th September is the International Premiere of Here Comes The Devil:
“A powerful fantasy horror from Mexico. Shot in Tijuana, a married couple lose their children while on a family trip near some caves in Tijuana. The kids eventually reappear without explanation, but it becomes clear that they are not who they used to be and that something terrifying has changed them. The Opening Night afterparty will feature band The Real Tuesday Weld which The Sunday Times calls: “beautiful…giddily recalls Gainsbourg, Pulp, Cole Porter, early Disney soundtracks and seedy postwar revue bars” and received their Album of the Week.”
Closing the festival on Sunday 7th October is the UK Premiere of 7 Crates:
From Paraguay and fresh from its screening in Toronto Film Festival’s vanguard section. The film focusses on Victor, 17, who lives in Asunción and dreams of having a TV set. He agrees to deliver seven boxes in exchange for 100 dollars. It sounds like nothing could be easier, but the boxes contain something everyone wants.Raindance is thrilled this year to celebrate a stellar LATIN AMERICAN STRAND featuring some exceptional films from Latin America and Mexico, including this year’s opening night film from Mexico Here Comes the Devil. Also from the region we have Die Standing Up (Winner of Best Mexican Documentary at the Guadalajara Film Festival) and My Universe in Lower Case (Winner of Best Mexican debut feature at the Guadalajara Film Festival) both from Mexico, Sal – a Sergio Leone, Tarantino influenced feature from Argentina/Chile and Tuesday to Tuesday from Argentina/Spain.
The UK Homegrown films include three World Premieres: Love Tomorrow written and directed by Christopher Payne, Produced by Stephanie Moon and co-produced by Emmy Award-winning dance producers/filmmakers The Ballet Boyz, Love Tomorrow is about a tentative friendship that grows into something more when two dancers meet by chance on the streets of London and City Slacker, comedy starring Tom Conti from the writer of Dummy which previously screened at Raindance. 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.
The American Indie Strand 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 Fargo meets Dumb and Dumber in 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 Europe 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 and Directed by Branko Schmidt from Croatia.
The documentaries kick off with the legendary Jeremy Irons and composer Vangelis who will be in attendance for the 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.
The shorts program this year include some recognisable faces and names. 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 (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and Henry Goodman (Notting Hill), directed and scored by Johnny Daukes. This year, one of the programmed shorts will win Film Of The Festival Award – which will automatically go into the Oscars shortlist for best short film.
In addition, Raindance will welcome American novelist and journalist Chuck Palahniuk to the festival, best known for writing Fight Club. Palahniuk will introduce his short film Romance which is based on one of his stories as well as host a fund-raising dinner for the Independent Film Trust (IFT), the UK charity which works to promote the cause of independent film-making.
The Award winners will be announced on Saturday 6 October, 6pm at the Apollo Cinema West End in a special awards ceremony.
The Raindance Film Festival runs from Wednesday 26th September to Sunday 7th October 2012 at the APOLLO CINEMA in London: West End, 19 Lower Regent St, SW1Y 4LR. Tickets are bookable through the Apollo, online at www.raindance.org or by telephone on: 08712 240242 from September 10th.