The 31st edition of London’s Raindance Film Festival will open with the U.K. premiere of British actor Jack Huston’s directorial debut “Day of the Fight.”
The film comes to Raindance fresh off its Venice debut, where Huston was honored by Variety as a breakthrough director.
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The story of a once-renowned boxer who takes a redemptive journey through his past and present on the day of his first fight since he left prison stars Michael Pitt alongside a cast including Ron Perlman, Joe Pesci, and a cameo from Steve Buscemi.
The U.K. premiere of Isabel Coixet’s “Un Amor” will close the festival after it bows at San Sebastian. Based on Sara Mesa’s bestselling novel, Laia Costa plays a young woman who escapes her stressful life in the city and relocates to rural Spain. When she accepts a disturbing sexual proposal, it gives rise to an all-consuming and obsessive passion. The film is presented as part of the festival’s focus on Catalonia this year and screenings also include U.K. premieres of “Upon Entry,” “Tender Metalheads” and “La Singla” plus a shorts program.
Known for championing independent cinema and new voices, this year’s selection focuses on the work of first, second and third-time filmmakers. Over 75% of the films are debut features, with 14% being second or third features.
Running Oct. 25-Nov. 4, host cinemas include Vue Piccadilly, Curzon Soho, Curzon Mayfair and the Garden Cinema, with The House of Raindance industry hub and the Raindance Immersive VR Showcase hosted this year at Wonderville. Further films will be screened at Genesis Cinema in east London.
“When Raindance first launched back in 1993 with the world premiere of ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,’ the festival found itself at home in London’s iconic West End, championing indie film in cinemas more accustomed to playing Hollywood blockbusters,” said Raindance founder Elliot Grove. “Year after year, Raindance proved that the West End could be a home to film of every budget and genre. In our most recent editions, Raindance embraced local neighbourhood cinemas across London. Now for this, our 31st edition, we are wholeheartedly back in London’s West End, the beating heart of cinema in the U.K. And we will continue to champion new filmmakers and the edgy, under-the-radar films that we at Raindance love so much.”
The awards honor features in eight categories: Discovery Award, Best U.K. Feature, Best International Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Performance.
This year’s jury includes actor-director Celyn Jones, filmmakers Duncan Jones, Finn Bruce and Michael Winterbottom, actors Michael Socha, Rory Kinnear, Samuel Bottomley, Sope Dirisu and Vinette Robinson, critic Ashanti Omkar, director of acquisitions at Hanway Genevieve Segall, Mubi’s Natalie Ralph, director of MetFilm School Jonny Persey, U.K. Muslim Film’s Sajid Varda, senior global publicity manager at Universal Millen Lemma, director of public programs and audiences at BFI Jason Wood, director of shorts at Raindance Charlotte Hamblin, Bertha Doc House’s Jenny Horwell, producers Rob Watson and Nadira Murray, director-editor Claire Ferguson and founder and CEO of Together Films Sarah Mosses.
In Competition: Film Strands
Discovery: Features by First-time Directors
“Parachute” (Dir: Brittany Snow, U.S.)
“All The Colours Of The World Are Between Black And White” (Dir: Babatunde Apalowo, Nigeria)
“Upon Entry” (Dir: Alejandro Rojas, Sebastián Vasquez, Spain/Catalonia)
“Only The Good Survive” (Dir: Dutch Southern, U.S.)
“Mountain Onion” (Dir: Eldar Shibanov, Kazakhstan)
“Lost Soulz” (Dir: Katherine Propper, U.S.)
“Storm” (Dir: Erika Calmeyer, Norway)
“The Land Within” (Dir: Fisnik Maxville, Kosovo/Switzerland)
“All The Silence” (Dir: Diego Del Rio, Mexico)
“Blood For Dust” (Dir: Rod Balckurst, U.S.)
“Clashing Differences” (Dir: Merle Grimme, Germany)
“Heavis Tendres”/”Tender Metalheads” (Dir: Joan Tomas, Spain/Catalonia)
“Palimpsest” (Dir: Hanna Västinsalo, Finland)
“Pett Kata Shaw” (Dir: Nuhash Humayun, Bangladesh)
“Sweet Sixteen” (Dir: Alexa-Jeanne Dubé, Canada)
“White Plastic Sky” (Dir: Tibor Bánóczki, Sarolta Szabó, Hungary)
“Satan Wants You” (Dir: Steven J. Adams, Sean Horlor, Canada)
“Dusty & Stones” (Dir: Jesse Rudoy, U.S.)
“Sex With Sue” (Dir: Lisa Rideout, Canada)
“La Singla” (Dir: Paloma Zapata, Spain/Catalonia)
“We Are Guardians” (Dir: Chelsea Green, Rob Grobman, Edivan Guajajara, Brazil/U.S.)
“Another Body” (Dir: Sophie Compton, Reuben Hamlyn, U.S.)
“Aurora’s Sunrise” (Dir: Inna Sahakyan, Armenia)
“Omar and Cedric” (Dir: Nicolas Jack Davies, U.S.)
“The Books He Didn’t Burn” (Dir: Claus Bredenbrock & Jascha Hannover, Germany)
“Long Distance Swimmer” (Dir: Charly Feldman)
“Sisters Interrupted” (Dir: Caroline Sharp)
“Red Herring” (Dir: Kit Vincent)
“Embers” (Dir: Christian Cooke)
“Silent Roar” (Dir: Johnny Barrington)
“The Portrait” (Dir: Simon Ross)
“Catching Dust” (Dir: Stuart Gatt)
“Warhol” (Dir: Adam Ethan Crow)
Laia Costa – “Un Amor”
Michael Pitt – “Day of the Fight”
Scoot McNairy – “Blood for Dust”
David Wyte – “All The Colours Of The World Are Between Black And White”
Ruben Woodin Dechamps – “Silent Roar”
Tahsin Rahman – “Pett Kata Shaw”
Alejandro Rojas, Juan Sebastian Vasquez – “Upon Entry”
Eldar Shibanov, Yuliya Levitskaya – “Mountain Onion”
Johan Fasting, Erika Calmeyer – “Storm”
Fisnik Maxville – “The Land Within”
Isabel Coixet – “Un Amor”
Jack Huston – “Day of the Fight”
Off-competition: Critics Picks and Pre-Release Screening
“Restore Point” (Dir: Robert Hloz, Czech Republic/Slovakia). This critics pick is selected By Variety’s Guy Lodge.
“Typist Artist Pirate King” (Dir: Carol Morley, U.K.)
The festival’s headline sponsor is MangoRX.
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