Jurors will include Charles Saatchi, Alison Owen, Mark Herbert and Lemmy.
The 18th Raindance Film Festival will open with Jackboots on Whitehall, Edward and Rory McHenry’s satirical animation, voiced by Ewan McGregor, Rosamund Pike and Richard E. Grant, while Mohamed Al Daradji’s Iraq-set drama Son Of Babylon, the country’s Oscar submission, will close the festival.
The festival (Sept 29 – Oct 10) will include 77 features, 69 UK Premieres, two world premieres and more than 133 shorts to be screened at London’s Apollo Cinema.
Jury members include Charles Saatchi; critic and historian Derek Malcolm; producer Alison Owen; Rushes festival director Joe Bateman; producer Mark Herbert; writer, illustrator, musician and filmmaker Dave McKean; sound prodcer Ernie Marsh; The Mighty Boosh’s Julian Barratt; and Motorhead’s Lemmy.
In keeping with previous editions, this year’s programme has its share of controversial features with an uncut, private screening of Srdjan Spasojevic’s graphic drama A Serbian Film, Bruce La Bruce’s gay zombie feature LA Zombie, which was banned from the Melbourne International Film Festival, and Dirty Diaries, a collection of 13 pornographic short films directed by Swedish feminists and produced by Mia Engberg.
The festival’s documentary strand kicks off with Stolen. Directed by Violeta Ayala and Dan Fallshaw, the film looks at human slavery in a United Nations refugee camp.
Elliot Grove, founder of Raindance Film Festival, said :“This year has probably proved the most hard-hitting of our 18 festival years. We haven’t even started and three films are already being pushed towards ban. But the programme is immensely diverse, highlighted by stunning features and shorts of all genres, so there really is something for just about everybody.”
“It’s ironic that turning 18 is the year that symbolises probably the most controversial film festival in the UK, maybe the world this year. We’re thrilled to showcase and defend the selection. It’s one thing to say we’re independent, and another to put our money where our mouth is. And we’ve selected these films in the hope audiences can judge for themselves. From Bruce La Bruce’s highly talked-about LA Zombie, and a documentary on alleged slavery in a UN refugee camp, to the romantic, thrillers or shorts I’m pretty sure there’s something for everybody to love.”
The festival’s Homegrown UK strand will feature Ben Miller’s directorial debut Huge, starring Noel Clarke and Johnny Harris; Viv Fongenie’s comic tale Ollie Kepler’s Expanding Purple World, starring Edward Hogg and Andrew Knott; a world premiere for Phillippa Lowthorpe’s drama Five Daughters; and Thomas Ikimi’s psychological thriller Legacy, starring Idris Elba.
The American Indie strand includes Armless, a dark comedy starring Daniel London and Janel Moloney.
Special events include pitching session Live! Ammunition! on Oct 4 and the Alexander Mackendrick Memorial Lecture with director Mike Newell on Oct 5. In addition there will be a new Raindance 99 Minute Lecture Series covering a range of subjects from directing to using the latest DSLR cameras and Visual FX skills, taking place over the weekends of Oct 2-3 and Oct 9-10.