RAINDANCE 2019: DARK, ALMOST MIGHT, part of SCREAMDANCE at Raindance 2019.

NOW BOOKING: 27th Raindance Film Festival – 18 to 29 SEP 2019

RAINDANCE MEANS RAINDANCE at the 27th edition of the indie film festival (18 to 29 SEP 2019). Launched this morning at Vue West End (20 AUG), the programme continues to celebrate the main tenets of what makes an indie film an indie film. Here’s what we found out.



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After 26 previous editions, you’d expect Raindance Film Festival to offer a compelling argument for what makes an indie film an indie film. It’s not just the (lack of…) funding, the making or the (lack of…) distribution. As celebrated in the stands of this year’s feature and documentary film programme, it’s always about the attitude.

Booking is now open for the film programme that reflects: a deep embrace of diversity – with strands devoted to women and queer love – a commitment to strong stories – including those about the environment that will “make your stomach churn and your heart race” – a belief in the unbelievable – with “a moral duty towards the absurd” – a fresh look at familiar stories and, it almost goes without saying, a spirit that goes against the wave.

Given the state of the nation, the key note of this year’s festival is that doors remain open to international films and filmmakers. Europe features strongly as the guest continent – surpassing the guest countries of previous editions! – with a total of 47 European features and documentaries included in the programme. And of course, the festival continues to be a committed home to young independent UK cinema, showcasing 14 features from emerging makers.

These brazen priorities are reflected in a bold dystopian trailer made by an in-house team, where Brexit Britain has been largely deserted, shops shuttered and the weeds of despair rise unchallenged (until the power of indie film inserts some hope, naturally).

Despite these seismic – and decidedly grown up – issues, possibly our happiest inclusion in the programme is a new horror cinema strand called, appropriately enough, SCREAMDANCE (which includes Borys Lankosz’ DARK, ALMOST NIGHT based on Joanna Bator’s award-winning novel – featured image). We’ll be there. And yes, being the genre-crazed idiots that we are, we did tweet “OMG… Billy Zane…” when we found out he was on the jury. Some careers never grow old.

Elsewhere, there are some really strong inclusions in the augmented, virtual and mixed reality experiences where you’ll find some of your favourite screen stars including David Attenborough, Calin Farrell, Lucy Boyton, Taron Egerton and Jodie Whittaker. And then there’s the extensive industry programme, bookending each day with a brunchtime talk and some evening drinks (this was pitched as a concerted effort “to a make sure we keep feeding and drinking you”, which sounds nice and sinister given that new horror strand…

This looks like another exciting year – the 27th no less – for this welcoming and important UK festival. For industry and audience alike, RAINDANCE MEANS RAINDANCE from 18 to 29 SEPT at Vue West End (for the opening night) and Vue Picadilly for everything else.

We’ll leave the final words to Raindance founder, Elliot Grove:

“Raindance is happening from 18 September – no ifs no buts. Despite Brexit uncertainty, we’re bringing the boldest and freshest talent from the world of indie filmmaking to the heart of London. Raindance is proud to have a global vision, not a narrow one, and this year’s festival has an incredible range of stories from Britain nd across the world. And remember RAINDANCE MEANS RAINDANCE.”

And that’s the meat of it…

The 27th Raindance Film Festival screens at Vue West End & Vue Piccadilly (18 to 29 SEP 2019).



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