25TH RAINDANCE FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES HIGHLY ANTICIPATED LINE-UP

25TH ANNIVERSARY RAINDANCE FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES HIGHLY ANTICIPATED LINE-UP

JACK O’CONNELL, SEAN BEAN, CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON, EWEN BREMNER AND JAMIE CAMPBELL BOWER AMONG FESTIVAL JURY MEMBERS

OH LUCY!, DIRECTED BY ATSUKO HIRAYANAGI, STARRING JOSH HARTNETT, WILL OPEN THE FESTIVAL

NEWLY ESTABLISHED VRX STRAND INCLUDING:
ARCADE, MARKET PLACE, SUMMIT AND VRX AWARDS

The Raindance Film Festival announced the majority of its highly anticipated line-up, which includes world, international, European and UK premieres. Celebrating its 25th year, the Festival will take place in London’s West End from September 20th – October 1st, 2017.

Elliot Grove, Raindance Founder, “This year’s 25th-anniversary Festival has been made possible by a dynamic relationship with Lexus, who like Raindance, champion pioneering technology, innovation and craftsmanship.”

Raindance Founder Elliot Grove was joined by jury member, actor Jamie Campbell Bower (Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 & 2) as they revealed this year’s competition films in the UK Features, Documentaries, Shorts and Web Series categories, as well as the programme for the hotly anticipated Virtual Reality strand.

The International Premiere of Atsuko Hirayanagi’s Oh Lucy! (USA), starring Josh Hartnett, has been announced as the opening night film. The film is a drama-comedy and tells the story of Setsuko Kawashima, a lonely, chain-smoking office lady in Tokyo who is past her prime and adopts an American alter ego. The Festival’s Closing Night film will be announced later in the month.

The Festival received a record-breaking number of submissions this year from over 120 countries, the highest it has received to date and will screen over 200 projects – including features, shorts, WebFest, VR and music videos. A champion of independent filmmaking, Raindance is the largest independent film festival in Europe and has consistently been a great supporter of the UK film industry.

As well as Jamie Campbell Bower, this year’s competition films will be judged by a panel of industry members and film journalists including, Ex-BIFA director Johanna Von Fischer and acclaimed Spanish producer Rosa Bosch, and some of the best names in British talent, including Jack O’Connell (Money Monster, Unbroken), Sean Bean (Game Of Thrones, The Lord Of The Rings trilogy), Christopher Eccleston (Thor, Dr Who), Ewen Bremner (Wonder Woman, Trainspotting), Celia Imrie (Bridget Jones series, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Training Day, Broadchurch), Nicholas Lyndhurst (A United Kingdom, Only Fools and Horses), Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Hotel Rwanda, Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End), Josh Whitehouse (Poldark, Northern Soul), Neil Marshall (Westworld, Game Of Thrones) and Rachel Portman (One Day, Chocolat).

To recognize the outstanding achievements of this year’s filmmakers, the jury will go through each of the Feature Films, selected for Official Competition, in the following categories; Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Performance. Films nominated in these categories include the international premiere of Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak’s feature debut, Maya Dardel (USA), starring Lena Olin and Rosanna Arquette, which tells the story of a famous writer, who states her intention to end her own life during an interview on NPR, and invites male writers to compete to become the executor of her estate; The Constitution (Croatia), directed by Rajko Grlic, follows four people who live in the same building but avoid each other due to differences in their assets, sexual habits, nationality and religion; Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s Mukoku (Japan), tells the story of a security guard, whose best days are behind, until a chance encounter changes everything.

Additional features in Official Competition include both narratives and documentaries vying for Best UK Film, Best Documentary and the coveted Discovery Award, which is given to Best Debut Film. Films nominated in these categories include; the World Premiere of In Another Life (UK), Jason Wingard’s directional debut, set against the backdrop of the Calais Jungle, where refugee Adnan battles to be reunited with his wife in the UK; The Family I Had (USA), directed by female co-directors Katie Green and Carlyle Rubin, is a documentary featuring a mother recalling how her teenage son shattered their idyllic family through one violent act; Children Of The Night (Italy / Belgium), Andrea De Sica, grandson of four times Academy Award winner, Vittoria De Sica, tells the story of Giulio, a seventeen-year old from a well-to-do family, who is sent to a remote boarding school the Alps, where iron-clad rules limit all contact with the outside. He makes friends with Edoardo, an oddball, and their friendship is sealed by frequent escapes at night, to a nightclub hidden in the forest.

Other noteworthy films playing at the festival include You Are Killing Me Susana (Mexico / Canada), by Robert Sneider, producer of Frida, which stars Gael Garcia Bernal, and tells the story of a Mexican native adapting to life in the USA; Heitor Dhalia’s On Yoga The Architecture Of Peace (Brazil / USA) is based on Michael O’Neill’s book of the same name, and tells the story of the 10 years the author spent photographing Yoga’s great masters; RiverBlue: Can Fashion Save The Planet? by David McIlvrid and Roger Williams, follows internationally celebrated river conservationist Mark Angelo on an around-the-world journey by river that uncovers the dark side of the fashion industry; Tom Gustafson’s Hello Again (USA) starring Rumer Willis, daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, is the film adaptation of the popular Broadway musical, it explores 10 fleeting love affairs across 10 periods of time in New York City history.

The International Short Film competition slate includes the UK premiere of Jeannie Donohoe’s, Game (USA), produced by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, about a new kid in town who turns up at the high school boys basketball tryouts and instantly makes an impression; multi award winning director, Dea Kulumbegahsvili’s, Lethe, (France / Georgia) follows a lonely horseman, who wanders past the river of forgetfulness and through a rural Georgian village; Goddess (India / USA), directed by Karishma Dube, tells the story of being a closeted lesbian in contemporary India.

UK short films include the European Premiere of critically acclaimed director Eva Riley’s Diagnosis, about a woman’s secret evening job as a medical role play actress; Nathaniel Martello-White’s Cla’am, nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW, is a dark comedy about a local man who becomes convinced that a vast conspiracy is behind the gentrification in his London neighbourhood; the World Premiere of 46, by Joseph A. Adesunloye, tells the story of two friend’s hosting a party, that was meant to be a night of fun without responsibilities, which turns out be a nightmare for one of them.
The Women In Film and LGBT strands will include a specific selection of films as well as industry panels that emphasize the contribution women and LGBT communities are making to the industry and the current challenges they face.

The LGBT strand will showcase legendary queer director Bruce LaBruce’s latest feature, The Misandrists (Germany), about a young man who unknowingly is taken in by members of the Female Liberation Army – a lesbian separatist stronghold; Becks (USA), co-directed by Daniel Powell and Rebecca Drysdale, starring Mena Suvari, sees a Brooklyn musician move back in with her Midwestern mother, after a crushing breakup with her girlfriend. As she navigates her hometown, playing for tip money in an old friend’s bar, an unexpected relationship unfolds; Travis Mathews’, Discreet (Germany) tells the story of an eccentric drifter who returns home and discovers his childhood abuser is still alive.

This year’s films directed by women include Leslie Ann Coles’ debut documentary Melody Makers (UK) which stars Melody Maker Magazine’s Chief Contributing Photographer, Barrie Wentzel, who tells the story of the rise and fall of the magazine, which marked the end of a style of rock ‘n’ roll journalism that no longer exists today; Barrage (Luxembourg) directed by Laura Schroeder, stars Academy Award nominee Isabelle Huppert, and her real life daughter Lolita Chammah, following the journey of Catherine (Chammah), who is returning to Luxembourg after ten years abroad, to catch up with her young daughter who has been brought up by Catherine’s mother (Huppert), and kidnaps her taking her on a road trip; City Of Joy (USA) is Madeline Gavin’s inspiring documentary following the first class of students at a remarkable leadership centre in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a region often referred as “the worst place in the world to be a woman”.

Running between September 28 - October 1, the newly established virtual reality strand will feature the Raindance VRX Awards, VRX Summit, VRX Market and the VR Arcade. The brand new VRX awards will recognise pioneering virtual reality experiences in 10 categories: Best Interactive Narrative Experience, Best Mobile Interactive Experience, Best Cinematic Narrative Experience, Best Documentary Experience, Best Animation Experience, Best Music Experience, Best Branded Experience, Best Sensual Experience, Best Social Impact Experience and Best Sound Design Experience.

The VRX Awards Jury members include immersive storytelling visionaries such as Vicki Dobbs Beck of ILMxLAB, Jenna Pirog of The New York Times, Resh Sidhu of Framestore and leaders from Facebook, Samsung, Google, Pixar, Disney, ustwo games and more.

The VR Arcade, open to the public between September 29 - October 1, will allow audience members to experience the latest advances in storytelling by showcasing selected experiences by Raindance VRX Awards nominees. These will include 360º films and interactive experiences such as the World Premiere of Ray, a VR fairy tale directed by Raindance alumni Rafael Pavón that combines 360º stereoscopic video with visual effects and voice recognition to interact with a curious beam of light; the World Premiere of Manifest 99 by Flight School Studio, an eerie story about finding redemption in the afterlife—stare into the eyes of characters to transport to their point of view and move about on a mysterious train, rambling through an unknown void; the World Premiere of Peroration Six, a 360º live action performance by musician Sam Shepherd and his band Floating Points that takes you on a supernatural journey in the Utah desert; and the World Premiere of Second Date directed by Jennifer Lyon Bell, an unscripted portrait of two people fumbling towards sensual ecstasy. In a significant departure from typical VR representations of sex, Second Date encourages the viewer to intimately share the couple’s physical space, portraying their sexuality in an emotionally realistic way.

Programmed around the VRX Awards categories, the Raindance VRX Summit will bring together nominees and Jury members to celebrate pioneering work in VR. Held on September 29, the day will be packed with talks and panel discussions featuring creators across all mediums—filmmakers, game developers, animators, sound designers, musicians, Quill and Tilt Brush artists—all coming together to share new ideas.

Submissions for the Raindance VRX Market are currently open to independent creators seeking funding for the completion of their 360º films and VR experiences. The Market on September 28 will serve as a platform to meet funders and pitch projects in development.

The Festival’s unique WebFest will again provide filmmakers with the opportunity to tap into the online video industry. Web Series’ nominated films include Tom Kingsley’s BBC Three YouTube series Pls Like (UK), starring comedian’s Liam Williams and Tim Key, is a brutally hilarious mockumentary satirizing YouTube vloggers; I Gotta Be Me (UK), directed by Steven Bloomer, is about a frustrated soap star who joins a Rat Pack tribute act as his hero Sammy Davis Junior; Hugh O'Shea and Phillip Whiteman’s Millenial Theory is an Instagram series that follows two halfwits who believe themselves to be enlightenment gurus; Think Nathan Barley meets Eckhart Tolle.

Live! Ammunition! Is Raindance's acclaimed ‘pitching' event. Audiences over the world have pitched movie ideas to panels of film executives, film makers and other industry professionals, as they try to make their way through the film sector. For our 25th Raindance Film Festival, Live Ammo! will have a top panel and once again, film makers will pitch to the people who matter, as they decide what will be made and what won't. To pitch, participants just drop a fiver in the hat, and the floor is theirs for two minutes. They can and will be gonged off if they are boring! Previous panelists include Ewan McGregor, Alberto Lopez (International Director, Variety), and Denise Parkinson (Global Entertainment Director, The Telegraph Group) and for this year, we welcome back Dean Cross from Vue Entertainment and Tara Barnett, Sales Manager from 20th Century Fox.

The Festival’s third Co-production Forum will focus on the relationship between the UK and Italian film industries. Raindance, ICE (Italian Trade Agency), ANICA (Italian National Association of Film and Audiovisual Industry) and MiBACT (Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism), are hosting this forum in partnership with Variety. UK independent producers, distribution, production and sales companies are invited to join Raindance on this unique opportunity, to meet and partner, with Italian producers and create new co-production business opportunities.

In recognition of the plethora of filmmaking talent in China, Raindance is proud to launch its inaugural China Day, taking place on September 25th at The Mayfair Hotel, in conjunction with our Chinese partners, Dreamax - a Beijing based production and distribution outfit. China Day is a day of screenings and panel discussions on how filmmakers can access the Chinese markets, and how Chinese filmmakers can meet and work with European partners.

On today’s programme announcement, Founder Elliot Grove commented; “I am thrilled with the calibre of films submitted for this year’s Festival. Our programmers to select an excellent line-up. For 25 years, Raindance has continued to grow and support the independent film industry in the UK and abroad. I’m looking forward to showcasing this year’s great line-up and new strands to our audience.”

Main partners of the 25th Raindance Film Festival include Lexus, Century Club, Urban Post Production and Vue, Variety and The Telegraph.

A full list of nominated UK Features, Documentaries, Short films and Web Series are listed below, as well as the list of films featured in the VR Arcade:
IN COMPETITION INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILMS

Winner to receive $10,000 CDN in-kind in audio/video post production services at Urban Post Production INC.

Maya Dardel, Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak, USA
A Famous writer claims on NPR that she intends to end her life and male writers may compete to become executor of her estate. Men drive up the mountain and are challenged intellectually and erotically, until one discovers Maya’s end game.
Cast: Lena Olin, Rosanna Arquette, Nathan Keyes

Mukoku, Kazuyoshi Kumakiri, Japan, UK Premiere
Kengo Yatabe’s mother dies and his father is in a coma. He, like his father, was good at kendo. Those days are long gone and he now lofts around as a security guard and generally wastes time. Meeting the young Tooru, Kengo is inspired and decides to shape up.
Cast: Atsuko Maeda, Jun Fubuki, Kaoru Kobayashi

Noise, Koichiro Miki, Japan, European Premiere
Eight years after the indiscriminate killing spree committed in Akihabara, two girls search for their role in life.
Cast: Ayami Nakajo, Jun Shison, Yuta Koseki, Yosuke Sugino

The Constitution, Rajko Grlc, Croatia, UK Premiere
The story follows four people who live in the same building, but avoid each other because of the differences in their assets, sexual habits, nationality and religion.
Cast: Nebojsa Glogovac, Dejan Acimovic, Ksenija Marinkovic

Hello Again!, Tom Gustafson, USA, UK Premiere
Inspired by Arthur Schnitzler’s controversial 1896 play Der Reigen and the classic 1950 Max Ophuls film LA Ronde, in the early '90s the Lincoln Center commissioned Broadway composer Michael John LaChiusa to create the musical Hello Again. This film adaptation explores 10 fleeting love affairs across 10 periods of time in New York City history, through 10 lust-fueled episodes.

The Traveller, Hadi Ghandour, France / Lebanon, UK Premiere
A travel agent who has never travelled is sent on a business trip to Paris, only to find himself confronted by temptations that he cannot handle.

Swaying Mariko, Koji Segawa, Japan, International Premiere
Mariko, a seemingly normal housewife, has been with her younger husband, Tomoharu, for six years but is dissatisfied daily. Despite having a son together, Tomoharu is often absent from home and she suspects that he might be having an affair.

High & Outside: A Baseball Noir, Evald Johnson, USA, World Premiere
In the streets of Los Angeles, a minor league baseball player recklessly claws to keep his dreams alive. Geoffrey Lewis, Phil Donlon, David Yow, Ernie Hudson, Jason Richter and Lindsey Haun star in this dark drama that explores the dangerous nature of living in someone else's shadow.

Black Hollow Cage, Sadrac González-Perellón, Spain, UK Premiere
A girl who lives secluded in a house in the woods with only the company of her father and a wolfhound finds among the trees a mysterious cubic device with the ability to change the past.

Djam, Tony Gatlif, France
An emotionally charged storytelling style that spread from poor urban communities in Greece and Turkey to the islands of the Aegean.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

The Family I Had, Katie Green and Carlyle Rubin, USA, UK Premiere
In The Family I Had, a mother recalls how her brilliant teenage son came to shatter their idyllic family through one horribly violent and shocking act. Now left to pick up the pieces, the survivors test the boundaries of their newly defined reality in the moving true crime exploration of the nature and limits of familial love.
Cast: Charity, Paris, Ella, Kyla

RiverBlue: Can Fashion Save the Planet? David McIlvride and Roger Williams, Canada, UK Premiere
RiverBlue follows internationally celebrated river conservationist Mark Angelo on an around-the-world journey by river that uncovers the dark side of the fashion industry. Infiltrating one of the world’s most pollutive industries, and speaking with fashion designers and water protectors world-wide, RiverBlue reveals stunning and shocking images that will forever change the way we look at the clothes we wear. Cast: Jason Priestley

On Yoga: The Architecture of Peace, Heitor Dhalia, Brazil / USA, UK Premiere
On Yoga: The Architecture of Peace is based on Michael O’Neill’s book of the same name. This project tells the story of the 10 years the author spent photographing Yoga’s great masters. By posing very human questions from our current perspective, and mixing it with elements of movement and experiential sound, the film results in a new view of the art of Yoga.
Cast: Michael O'Neill, Edie Stern, Deepak Chopra, Mooji, Elena Brower

Bluefin, John Hopkins, Canada, European Premiere
Endangered giant bluefin tuna have returned to Prince Edward Island, Canada in surprising abundance after a disappearance from overfishing. But something strange is going on. With stunning cinematography, filmmaker John Hopkins’s acclaimed documentary explores the mystery of why normally wary bluefin tuna no longer fear humans and turning into pets.
Cast: Dr. Carl Safina, Brian Skerry, Dr. Boris Worm, Capt. Jamie Bruce, Capt.Jeff MacNeill

Speak Up, Stéphane de Freitas and Ladj Ly, France, UK Premiere
Every year, at the University of Saint-Denis, a competition is held to decide “The Best Orator in the 93”. Any student can participate and many prepare with the help of professional advisors. Armed with new-found knowledge, Leïla, Elhadj, Eddy and the others face off in a bid to become the best orator in the 93.
Cast: Leïla Alaouf, Souleïla Mahiddin, Eddy Moniot, Elhadj Touré

BEST DEBUT – DISCOVERY AWARD

Winner to receive $10,000 CDN in-kind in audio/video post production services at Urban Post Production INC.

A Trip to the Moon, Joaquin Cambre, Argentina, UK Premiere
Tomas is an outcast young teenager trying to pass an exam. His family is constantly pressing him and his mother forces him to take antipsychotic drugs. In his need to escape, Tomas plans an intriguing trip to the moon. In this particular journey where reality and fiction mingles, he will disentangle an old family secret.
Cast: Ángelo Mutti Spinetta, Leticia Brédice, Germán Palacios, Ángela Torres, Luis Machín

I Still Hide To Smoke, Rayhana Obermeyer, France
Fatima, a strong-minded woman, is the lead masseuse of a hammam in Algiers. This is 1995 and the situation is tense in the capital. The day ahead promises to be hectic for all, and for Fatima in particular. Already, while walking to her place of work, she is the distant witness of a terrorist attack. At the hammam, Fatima should feel better, but the atmosphere proves electric in her small enclosed world, she has great difficulty in maintaining order.

Scaffolding, Matan Yair, Israel / Poland, UK Premiere
17-year-old Asher has always been the wild troublemaker at school. While his oppressive father sees him as a natural successor to his scaffolding business, Asher forges a special connection with Rami, his new literature teacher, and begins to glimpse new possibilities for himself. That is, until an unexpected tragedy occurs, and changes everything.
Cast: Asher Lax, Ami Smolartchik, Jacob Chen

Children of the Night, Andrea De Sica, Italy, UK Premiere
Giulio, a seventeen-year-old from a well-to-do family, is sent to a boarding school. In this isolated place in the Alps, where iron-clad rules limit all contact with the outside, he makes friends with Edoardo, who is rather odd. Their friendship is sealed by frequent escapes at night, when the surveillance of the students seems to lapse.

The Story of a Satellite, Sonia Albert-Sobrinoa and Miriam Albert-Sobrino, Spain, European Premiere
Almost 20 years after losing his father to a freak satellite-related accident, Rafael, an undertaker, realizes that his whole life has been orbiting in the wrong direction. With the help of his own "Sancho Panza", Melito, Rafael will begin a transformational journey that he could never have anticipated.
BEST UK FEATURE

Winner to receive $10,000 CDN in-kind in audio/video post production services at Urban Post Production INC.

In Another Life, Jason Wingard, World Premiere
Our once beautiful homeland has become uninhabitable. Too dangerous to walk the streets, drive a car, visit friends. Many have already left Syria, risking their lives on the open water. Giving all we had to the ruthless opportunists who trade in the currency of human misery. Europe was meant to offer us hope.
Cast: Mudar Abbara, Elie Haddad, Yousef Hayyan Jubeh, Toyah Frantzen

Stooge, Madeleine Farley, World Premiere
Stooge is a feature documentary about Robert Pargiter, Iggy Pop's No1 fan. It covers the three years leading up to his 50th birthday when he tries to track his hero down in a final absolution. His journey has taken him all over the world in search of redemption after years of struggling with addiction, and of celebrating the communal lust that is Rock'n Roll.
Cast: Rober Pargiter, Pete Thellusson, Iggy Pop, Scott Asheton, Steve Mackay

The Dark Mile, Gary Love, UK Premiere
“Deliverance” meets “Rosemary’s Baby” – The Dark Mile is a psychological thriller built around a strong central relationship of two very different yet sympathetic characters. A tense psychological horror-thriller, The Dark Mile blends The Wicker Man, Deliverance and Duel, to come up with a film rich in atmosphere and tension. London couple Louise and Clare (Rebecca Calder and Deirdre Mullins) book a sailing trip in the Highlands to recover from a personal tragedy. The location may be idyllic but soon they are tormented by a black industrial barge that follows them, and by the dysfunctional folk on board... Hints of the occult and paganism point to dark times ahead as tension mounts.
Cast: Rebecca Calder, Deirdre Mullins, Finlay MacMillan, Paul Brannigan, Sheila Hancock

Edie, Simon Hunter
Edith Moore (Edie) is a bitter, gruff woman in her eighties. Following her husband’s death, she decides to take herself off to the Highlands on a climbing trip that her father had planned for them many years before.
Cast: Sheila Hancock, Kevin Guthrie, Amy Manson, Paul Brannigan

Isolani, R. Paul Wilson, World Premiere
After witnessing a brutal murder, a young single mother becomes a pawn in a deadly game of deception. To protect her son and start a new life she must outwit an ambitious prosecutor, a corrupt detective and a desperate killer.
Cast: Kate McLaughlin, Catriona Evans, Jim Sweeney, Gianni Capaldi, Atta Yaqub

BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM

Game, Jeannie Donohoe, USA, UK Premiere
A new kid in town shows up at the high school boys' basketball tryouts and instantly makes an impression. Will talent and drive be enough to make the team?
Cast: Rick Fox, Nicole Williams, Tye White, Jamie McShane, Charles Parnell

Goddess, Karishma Dube, India / USA
The film explores the reality of being a closeted lesbian in contemporary India. Tara, a feisty teenager begins to risks family and tradition as she pursues her attraction towards her housemaid, Devi. When they are caught together at a dinner party, Tara must suddenly define who she really is.
Cast: Priyanka Bose, Aditi Vasudev, Tanvi Azmi

Lethe, Dea Kulumbegahsvili, France / Georgia
A lonely horseman wanders past the river of forgetfulness and through a rural Georgian village, where both children and adults explore life's more instinctual pleasures.
Cast: Dato Gogoladze, Vika Chocheva, Mikheil Gomiahsvili

Mixtape Marauders, Peter Edlund, USA, International Premiere
A nine-song visual mixtape following two young stoners into a world of mindless day jobs, petty drug deals and obsessive mixtape curation.
Cast: Peter McNally, Ian Edlund, Emily Chisholm, Madeline Anderson

Viola, Franca, Marta Savina, Italy, UK Premiere
In 1965 Sicily, a 17-year-old girl single-handedly alters the course of Italian history with an unexpected act of defiance that causes a short circuit in her traditionalist community.
Cast: Claudia Gusmano, Carlo Calderone, Ninni Bruschetta, Maurizio Puglisi

BEST UK SHORT FILM

Work, Aneil Karia
Jess is an 18 year-old from London balancing her responsibilities as a daughter with her ambitions of a career in dance. When she is confronted with just how cold and unjust life can be during a journey to work, her perspective of the world around her begins to shift.
Cast: Jasmine Breinburg, Taurean Steele, Carl Prekopp

Diagnosis, Eva Riley, European Premiere
Sally’s secretive evening job as a medical roleplay actress forces her to face up to feelings she thought she had under control.
Cast: Charlotte Spencer

CLA’AM, Nathaniel Martello-White, European Premiere
A dark, surreal comedy about a local man who becomes convinced that a vast conspiracy is behind the impossibly rapid gentrification in his London area. But is it all in his head, or is the truth even darker than he imagines?
Cast: Joel Fry, Ivanno Jeremiah, Brian Bovell

Wild Horses, Rory Alexander Stewart
Joan has been housebound with M.E. for most of her adolescence. Now in slow recovery, her urge for independence is causing friction with her mother. When Joan's tutor encourages her to push herself she throws caution to the wind, leaving home in search of new experiences. And a horse.
Cast: Emma Curtis, Emma Cater, Ainslie Henderson, Stephanie Compton

46, Joseph A. Adesunloye, World Premiere
Friends Adam and Luke are the life of the party. When they decide that Luke should host a party at his house, what was meant to be a night of fun without responsibilities turns out to be a nightmare for Adam.
Cast: Adam Strawford, Guetan Calvin-Elito, Michelle Tiwo, Amy Lynch

BEST UK WEB SERIES

I Gotta Be Me, Steven Bloomer
A frustrated soap star joins a Rat Pack tribute act as his hero, Sammy Davis Jr., surrounded by a genuine company of British ex-pat tribute artists
Cast: Phaldut Sharma

Stories of Note, Caleb Yule
A series of films that open the door into the lives of many whilst acting as an examination into the stories we tell.
Cast: TBC

Pls, Like, Tom Kingsley
BBC Three series on YouTube: A search for the next megastar vlogger finds an unlikely victor in struggling comedian, Liam, who must undertake a series of challenges in order to win a £10,000 prize.
Cast: Liam Williamson and Tim Key

Millennial Theory, Hugh O'Shea, Phillip Whiteman
An Instagram series that follows to halfwits who believe themselves to be enlightenment gurus; Think Nathan Barley meets Eckhart Tolle.
Cast: Hugh O'Shea, Phillip Whiteman

BEST INTERNATIONAL WEB SERIES

The Adventures of A Broken Heart, Ariel Martínez Herrera, Argentina
If the heart could talk, this would be its first television show. With the special appearances of Rabid Penis, Drunk Liver and Operated Kidney
Cast: None provided.

High Life, Glen Dolman and Luke Eve, Australia
Genevieve, a very sensible, creative and overachieving 17-year-old student in a respectable, middle class family, seems to be having the perfect ride, until her sanity spectacularly unravels in her manic episode of Bipolar Disorder.
Cast: Lily Hatwell, Ezekiel Simat, Di Adams

The Break Up List, Aaron Khoo, Singapore
When Luke Wong gets dumped by his girlfriend of 6 years, his whole world crumbles around him. Joe, his best buddy, is also abandoned by his girlfriend on the same day, leading the two set off on a journey to rebuild their lives and survive singlehood.
Cast: Benjamin Kheng, Elliot Lucas Marcell Tan

Jezebel, Julien Bittner, France
A mute musician in search of new inspiration after getting famous on the internet
Cast: Hélène Kuhn, Martin Nissen

Save Me, Fab Filippo and Dylan Pearce, Canada
Save Me drops us into random lives, mid-sentence. We get to know people through storylines that unravel with humour and pathos and a built-in ticking time bomb – that one of them at some point will be blindsided by a medical emergency
Cast: Fab Filippo, Amy Matysio, Suresh John

Clash of the Narratives, Robin Forestier-Walker
Exploring what it's like to be on two opposing sides of a narrative
Cast: Irma Inashvili, Tamara Chergoleishvili
BEST INTERACTIVE NARRATIVE VR EXPERIENCE

Life Of Us, Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin, USA
Breathe fire, swim underwater, survive the Ice Age, and soar over volcanoes as you evolve through different creatures and a billion years of evolution in this action packed, multi-person VR adventure! Experience new voices, bodies, and special abilities before joining a post-singularity intergalactic dance party set to original music by Pharrell Williams. Created by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin, with music by Pharrell Williams. A Within Original, produced by Chris Milk, Megan Ellison through her Annapurna Pictures, and Made with Unity.

Manifest 99, Adam Volker and Bohdon Sayre, USA, World Premiere
Created by Flight School Studio, Manifest 99 is an eerie story about finding redemption in the afterlife. Set on a mysterious train, rambling through an unknown void, you assist four travel companions on their journey to their final destination. Using character engagement as a method of movement, Manifest 99 explores scale and navigation, unlike any other interactive VR experience.

Ray, Rafael Pavón, Spain, World Premiere
Ray is a VR fairy tale created by Future Lighthouse. It combines 360º stereoscopic video, impressive visual effects and arresting soundtrack. Immerse yourself in Lucy’s room the night when Ray, a nosy beam of light, comes to play on her dreams. Ray is also an interactive experience where Ray is alive, and you can play with it using voice recognition and gestures.
Cast: Laia Manzanares

Treehugger: Wawona, Robin McNicholas, Barney Steel and Ersin Han Ersin, UK
Treehugger: Wawona, the latest virtual reality installation from Marshmallow Laser Feast, reveals the secret life of the giant sequoia and never-before-seen inner workings of the world’s largest tree. Treehugger uniquely illustrates the sequoia’s immense scale and questions our relationship with the natural world at a time of crisis and change.

BEST MOBILE INTERACTIVE VR EXPERIENCE

Horizons, Yuli Levtov, UK
Horizons is a series of interactive VR music journeys where you control the music, and the music controls the world. Make an otherworldly jungle come alive with sound, or travel at breakneck speed through colourful hyperspace. Featuring music from Bonobo, Reuben Cainer and My Panda Shall Fly.

In the Eyes of the Animal, Robin McNicholas, Barney Steel and Ersin Han Ersin, UK
In the Eyes of the Animal allows you to explore the forest through the eyes of four woodland species. It is an artistic interpretation of how animals view the world and their living environment.

The Unfinished, Balthazar Auxietre, France, International Premiere
In the museum, at night, the statues come alive. Through flashbacks, the viewer is told the love story behind the unfinished statue in the centre of the room, and gets to interact with it to finish the unfinished and free the sculptures within. This majestic ballet in VR unfolds to the score of The Planets by Gustav Holst.
Cast: Raphaelle Boitel, Pauline Journe, Tarek Aitmeddour

Virtual Virtual Reality, Samantha Gorman and Adam Veal, USA, UK Premiere
Created by Tender Claws, Virtual Virtual Reality is a meta-satire about VR in VR. Welcome to “Activitude”: Real Labor Like You’re Really There! Cater to the whims of A.I. clients, or put on VR headsets in VR to escape into Activitude’s layers of reality as Chaz, the A.I overlord, attempts to boot you out PERMANENTLY.
Cast: Ted Evans, Jared Ramirez, Skip Pippo, Alice Winslow, Hugh Kennedy

BEST CINEMATIC NARRATIVE VR EXPERIENCE

Alteration, Jérome Blanquet, France, UK Premiere
Alexandro volunteers for an experiment carried out to study dreams in this poetic trip into the future. He can’t imagine that he will be subjected to the intrusion of Elsa, a form of Artificial Intelligence who desires to digitize his subconscious in order to feed off of it.
Cast: Bill Skarsgard, Pom Klementieff, Lizzie Brocheré, Amira Casar

Broken Night, Alon Benari and Tal Zubalsky, USA, UK Premiere
A woman and her husband return home one evening to discover an intruder. As she recounts the events of that evening to a police detective, the viewer chooses which of her memories to follow. Exploring the nature of memory itself, Broken Night takes the viewer on a psychological journey to uncover the truth of what transpired.
Cast: Emily Mortimer, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Nathanson, Josh Green

The Tragic Story of Betty Corrigall, Peter Boyd Maclean, UK, European Premiere
Abandoned by her whaler lover and left pregnant, Betty Corrigall drowned herself to escape her shame in the 1770s. Gather round the smoky peat fire to hear storyteller Tom Muir recall her tragic fate as Virtual Reality meets the centuries old tradition of oral storytelling.
Cast: Betty Corrigall, Tom Muir, Barbara Scollay, Willy Sinclair, James Watson

UTURN, Nathalie Mathe and Ryan Lynch, USA, European Premiere
What happens when a young female coder joins a male-dominated floundering startup that’s deep in an identity crisis? UTURN is an immersive live-action VR comedy where viewers get to experience both sides of the gender divide.
Cast: Sophia DiPaola, Steve Goldbloom, Marc Fong Jr., Wynton Odd, Shruti Tewari

BEST DOCUMENTARY VR EXPERIENCE

First Impressions, Francesca Panetta and Nicole Jackson, UK
Created by the Guardian VR team using the latest research in neural development and colour vision in infants, this 360º film allows you to experience and interact with the world from the point of view of a baby. It’s a period that none of us remember but is the most crucial stage of our development.
Cast: Chetna Pandya, Natascha McElhone

Iranian Kurdish Female Fighters, Namak Khoshnaw, Iraq, UK, World Premiere
17-year-old Aso Saqzi ran away from home in Iran to join the battle against the Islamic State. She is not alone. Hundreds of Iranian Kurds, many of them young women, have volunteered to defeat IS – and to fight for a Kurdish homeland.

Songs of Vine, Maira Clancy and Blake Montgomery, USA, Peru, European Premiere
Songs of the Vine' focuses on the healing modalities and medicine songs of the Shipibo, an indigenous group well-known for its tradition of plant-spirit shamanism and mastery of the visionary ayahuasca medicine. Through the immersion of VR, the film illustrates an ancient but increasingly relevant dynamic between humans and nature.
Cast: Ynes Sanchez Gonzalez, Jose Lopez Sanchez, Lila Lopez Sanchez, Laura Lopez Sanchez, Damian Pacaya Rodriguez

¡Viva La Evolución!, Fifer Garbesi, Cuba, UK Premiere
As American culture streams into Cuba for the first time in 50 years, DJ Joyvan Guevara struggles between the new opportunity for global success and a responsibility to the culture he helped build in the face of commercialization.
Cast: Joyvan Guevara

BEST ANIMATION VR EXPERIENCE

Arden's Wake, Eugene Chung, USA, UK Premiere
A young woman lives with her father in a lighthouse perched atop an Endless Sea. When he goes missing, she must descend deep into the post-apocalyptic waters previously forbidden to her, embarking on a thrilling journey of family history and self-discovery. From the creators of the magnificent Allumette, Arden’s Wake continues the elegant evolution of storytelling from Penrose Studios.

Dear Angelica, Wesley Allsbrook and Saschka Unseld, USA, UK Premiere
From Emmy Award winning Oculus Story Studio comes Dear Angelica, a journey through the magical and dreamlike ways we remember our loved ones. Entirely painted by hand inside of VR by artist Wesley Allsbrook, Dear Angelica plays out in a series of memories that unfold around you. An immersive, illustrative short story starring Geena Davis and Mae Whitman.
Cast: Geena Davis, Mae Whitman

Rain or Shine, Felix Massie, UK
Rain or Shine is Nexus’ interactive 360° mobile VR short film made for Google Spotlight Stories. Directed by Felix Massie, Rain or Shine follows Ella, a charismatic young girl who loves being outside in the sunshine, but whenever she puts her sunglasses on all loveliness disappears – her very own raincloud appears above her head.

Song of the Sea, Jerrica Cleland and Tomm Moore, Ireland, UK, Denmark, International Premiere
The Song of the Sea Virtual Reality experience is inspired by our Oscar-nominated hand-drawn animated feature film Song of the Sea by Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon.
Cast: Jon Kenny

BEST MUSIC VR EXPERIENCE

Beethoven's Fifth, Jessica Brillhart, USA
A journey into interstellar space with a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, First Movement by the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Cast: Esa-Pekka Salonen

Mind Enterprises: Chapita, Eran Amir, UK
Chapita is brought to life in this VR experience combining an ambitious 360º storytelling experience with cinemagraphs and clonemotion technology. The result is an immersive narrative in which the dancer leads us into a multi-coloured world of choreographed dance loops, set against a backdrop of stark contrast that lends a sense of infinite space.
Cast: Mimi Jeong

Peroration Six, Fabien Coupez, USA, World Premiere
Get blown away by the force of elements inside this stunning VR experience! Set in the middle of the iconic Utah desert, this mesmerizing live performance will take you on an incredible journey that will unleash the natural and supernatural elements.
Cast: Sam Shepherd, David Okumu, Alex Reeve, Leo Taylor, Phillip Granell, Paloma Deike, Anisa Arslanagic, Magda Pietraszewska

Reeps One: Does Not Exist, John Hendicott and Gawain Liddiard, UK, USA, UK Premiere
Does Not Exist drops you into the centre of Reeps One’s first virtual reality beatbox performance – exploring the latest technology for VR and head-tracked 3D spatial audio. Working in 360º from the ground up, the track was composed to fully utilise the 360º sonic and visual space, creating a totally new style of music video.
Cast: Reeps One

BEST BRANDED VR EXPERIENCE

Manchester City - Match Day, Adam May, UK, World Premiere
Get closer to the match day action at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium in a new 360º fan experience. From the tunnel to the player, changing rooms to the grass being cut, experience a behind the scenes view of Etihad Stadium in full matchday action. A can’t-miss for football and sports fans across the world.

Snatch VR Heist Experience, Rafael Pavón and Nicolás Alcalá, Spain, USA, UK Premiere
Inspired by a real-life heist in London, Crackle's new series, Snatch, centres on a group of twenty-something, up-and-coming hustlers who are suddenly thrust into the high-stakes world of organized crime.
Cast: Rupert Grint, Phoebe Dynevor, Luke Pasqualino, Lucien Laviscount

The Chainsmokers Paris VR, Brynley Gibson and Russell Harding, UK, European Premiere
Go on an epic journey with Grammy-winning DJ Duo and The Chainsmokers as you travel through dreamlike environments. Influence new remixes of the hit song Paris based on the choices you make. Choose a new path each time you enter the experience, let the music engulf you as you lean into it, or simply lean back and enjoy the daydream.
Cast: Drew Taggart, Alex Pall

Welcome To Laphroaig, Darren Emerson, UK, World Premiere
Created by VR City, this 360º film takes you on an epic journey into the heart of the historic Laphroaig whiskey distillery on the beautiful island of Islay.

BEST SENSUAL VR EXPERIENCE

Come! (Viens!), Michel Reilhac, France
Three women and four men, all naked, appear out of nowhere in the white, sunny space of a bright room outside of time. They meet, touch, share their energy, and are transformed spiritually, letting themselves become one with the world.
Cast: Amador Jojo, Ayoti, Christophe De La Pointe, De La Fouquette, Flozif, Yumie Volupté, Fox

In My Shoes: Intimacy, Jane Gauntlett and Andrew Somerville, UK

In My Shoes: Intimacy is a 360º experience which explores the power of human connection. Put aside your inhibitions, let these strangers guide you through their impromptu, unconventional and intense moments of intimacy. Intimacy is a first-person documentary designed for two people to experience three encounters from six very different perspectives.
Cast: Sarah Cowan, George Collie, Daniel James, Ellie Stamp, Neil Connolly, 
Stella Taylor

Second Date, Jennifer Lyon Bell, Netherlands, USA, World Premiere
Set on an Amsterdam houseboat, Second Date is a lighthearted, unscripted Virtual Reality portrait of two young people fumbling towards ecstasy. Trying to find common ground, their conversation veers from clumsy to joyous and back again - until they finally start connecting for real.
Cast: Anne De Winter, Bishop Black

Through You, Saschka Unseld and Lily Baldwin, USA
Using dance to inhabit a common mortal story of love born, lived, lost, burned and seemingly gone forever, Through You is a live-action VR richly infused with an atmosphere of raw passion.
Cast: Joanna Kotze, Amari Cheatom, Marni Thomas Wood

BEST SOCIAL IMPACT VR EXPERIENCE

42 Days, Animal Equality, USA, Spain
Imagine you’ve just been born, but you have no mother to keep you warm. You are afraid. Just one chick among billions. And your life will only last until you’re big enough to slaughter. This is the stark reality for billions of young chickens around the world.
Cast: Amanda Abbington

Aftershock: Nepal's Untold Water Story, Catherine Feltham, UK
Two earthquakes. One lifeline. One man’s remarkable journey. This VR film follows Krishna, the only plumber in his district, as he works tirelessly to help repair his community's vital water system which was damaged during the 2015 Nepal earthquakes.
Cast: Krishna Sunuwar

Munduruku: The Fight to Defend the Heart of the Amazon, James Manisty and Grace Boyle, UK, Brazil
Combining cutting-edge Virtual Reality filmmaking and multisensory storytelling, Munduruku opens a window into the lives, stories and struggle of the Munduruku Indigenous People in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

You Are There. On the Road to Ending Polio, Peter Collis and Vanessa Moussa, UK, USA, France, Switzerland
You Are There takes us to a Kenyan village to meet a nine-year-old boy, Job, infected with polio and Sabina, a dedicated vaccinator, on her travels to do whatever it takes to spare other children his fate.
Cast: Ewan McGregor

BEST SOUND DESIGN VR EXPERIENCE

Life Of Us, Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin, USA
Breathe fire, swim underwater, survive the Ice Age, and soar over volcanoes as you evolve through different creatures and a billion years of evolution in this action packed, multi-person VR adventure! Experience new voices, bodies, and special abilities before joining a post-singularity intergalactic dance party set to original music by Pharrell Williams. Created by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin, with music by Pharrell Williams. A Within Original, produced by Chris Milk, Megan Ellison through her Annapurna Pictures, and Made with Unity.

Reeps One: Does Not Exist, John Hendicott and Gawain Liddiard, UK, USA, UK Premiere
Does Not Exist drops you into the centre of Reeps One’s first virtual reality beatbox performance – exploring the latest technology for VR and head-tracked 3D spatial audio. Working in 360º from the ground up, the track was composed to fully utilise the 360º sonic and visual space, creating a totally new style of music video.
Cast: Reeps One

The Resistance of Honey, Peter Boyd Maclean, UK, UK Premiere
Step inside the world of Bioni Samp, an urban beekeeper who makes honey–and music–from his bees. A fascinating, mind-expanding glimpse into the extraordinary world inside the beehive.
Cast: Bioni Samp

The Tragic Story of Betty Corrigall, Peter Boyd Maclean, UK, European Premiere
Abandoned by her whaler lover and left pregnant, Betty Corrigall drowned herself to escape her shame in the 1770s. Gather round the smoky peat fire to hear storyteller Tom Muir recall her tragic fate as Virtual Reality meets the centuries old tradition of oral storytelling.
Cast: Betty Corrigall, Tom Muir, Barbara Scollay, Willy Sinclair, James Watson
Other Festival prizes include:

Film Of The Festival
Winner to receive $20,000 CDN in-kind in audio/video post production services at Urban Post Production INC

Raindance Co-Production Forum Winner
Winner to receive $20,000 CDN in-kind in audio/video post production services at Urban Post Production INC

Best Animated Short
Winner to receive $10,000 CDN in-kind in audio/video post production services at Urban Post Production INC

About Urban Post Production Inc
Urban is an award-winning post production facility located in the heart of Toronto's film studio district. For more than 15 years, we have provided post production services for large-budget theatrical features, TV series, MOWs, documentaries and short film productions.

http://www.urbanpost.ca

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The Online Festival box office will be open from noon on August 15th, 2017, the cinema box office will be open from September, 20th 2017.

Festival tickets can be purchased through the Festival website:
https://www.raindance.org/festival/

Festival passes can be purchased through the Festival website: http://raindancefestival.org/register-now/

Press can apply for accreditation through the Festival website:
https://www.raindance.org/festival/press-accreditations/

Industry can apply for accreditation through the Festival website:
http://raindancefestival.org/accreditations/

~ENDS~

For any queries, please contact Nikki Aslatt at
nikki@raindance.co.uk / +44 (0) 20 7930 3412
ABOUT RAINDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
Discover. Be Discovered.
Listed by Variety as one of the world’s top 50 ‘unmissable film festivals’, Raindance showcases features, shorts, music videos, virtual reality films and web series by filmmakers from the UK and around the world celebrating and supporting independent, new and alternative filmmakers not just during our 12 day festival but throughout the year.

The 25th Raindance Film Festival will take place from the 20th September – 1st October 2017 in Central London (Vue Leicester Square), screening 200 feature and short films.

Raindance Film Festival is officially recognised by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences USA, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the British Independent Film Awards. Selected shorts will qualify for Oscar® and BAFTA nominations. British short films that play in competition and all British features that play in 2017 will be eligible for entry for the 2017 British Independent Film Awards BIFA.

ABOUT RAINDANCE – THE VOICE OF INDEPENDENT FILM
Raindance is dedicated to fostering and promoting independent film in the UK and around the world. Based in the heart of London, Raindance combines Raindance Film Festival, Training Courses, which are offered throughout the year through its 11 international hubs and the prestigious British Independent Film Awards.