Day Of The Fight

Source: Venice Film Festival

‘Day Of The Fight’

US actor Michael Pitt was among the winners at the UK’s 31st Raindance Film Festival (October 25-November 4).

Pitt won best performance for his portrayal of a once-renowned boxer on a path to redemption in Jack Huston’s directorial debut Day Of The Fight. The UK drama premiered in Venice’s Horizons Extra strand earlier in September. 

Best UK feature was won by Kit Vincent’s debut Red Herring, a documentary about his diagnosis with a terminal brain tumour. It is also one of the five films nominated for the Bifa Raindance Maverick award.

The prize for best documentary feature went to We Are Guardians, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions and directed by Chelsea Green, Rob Grobman and Edivan Guajajara. It follows a group of native people trying to save the Brazilian Amazon.

Best international feature went to Nuhash Humayun’s Bangladeshi horror Pett Kata Shaw, a supernatural anthology which also screened at Fantasia earlier this year.

Fisnik Maxville took home best director for his debut The Land Within. The drama follows a boy who must return to his native home in Kosovo to help his cousin identify the exhumed bodies of a mass grave that has just been discovered. It has picked up several prizes on the festival circuit already including best first feature at Tallinn Black Nights and the Peripheral Visions award at Galway.

Taking home the discovery award was Alejandro Rojas and Sebastián Vasquez’s Upon Entry. The Spanish drama centres around a young couple hoping to move to the US from Spain who must first face a gruelling interrogation at the US immigration centre. It also won the Fipresci prize for best film at the 2022 Tallinn Black Nights.

Other winners included best screenplay going to Erika Calmeyer and Johan Fasting for Storm, a drama following the events after a devasting accident, and best cinematography to David Wyte for Berlinale award-winner All The Colours Of The World Are Between Black And White. 

The jury included directors Celyn Jones, Michael Winterbottom and Duncan Jones as well as actors Rory Kinnear, Samuel Bottomley and Sope Dirisu.

2024 move

The festival has also announced the dates of its 32nd edition to run June 19-29, 2024. This marks the first time Raindance will take place in the summer, having usually run in October and November previously. 

Raindance founder Elliot Grove explained: “The Raindance team consulted with our advisory committee as well as other industry friends and associates, and concluded that shifting away from the crowded autumn season will give Raindance more capacity to expand, further defining Raindance’s position as an important, alternative, and independent voice within our industry.”