The 17th Raindance Film Festival gets underway at the Apollo Cinema in London on Wed Sept 30th with an opening showing of the film "Humpday" an uproarious comedy directed by Lynn Shelton about two pals Ben and Andrew who get together to shoot a film to be submitted in their local porn festival - it will be a film that will go 'beyond gay' ! Humpday is due for general release in the Autumn.
The Raindance Fest is an excellent opportunity to see Indie films covering a wide-ranging of subjects, many of which are receiving a UK premiere at the fest ahead of general release soon.
For instance, "Exam" a soul-searching film asking the question 'just how would you go to get the ultimate job ?' is being shown at 7.15 pm on Sat 3 Oct, and this is being closely followed by a screening of "Colin" at 9.45 pm, an ultra-low budget British zombie horror film which is bound to be toe-curling and zanily funny in equal measure.
"All the years of trying" on Sun 4 Oct at 7.30 pm is a music documentary about punk poet Patrik Fitzgerald preceded by live performances.
Look out too for the surprising Aussie thriller "The Dinner Party" on Fri 9 Oct at 7.30 pm where there is a twist on the usual hospitality offered at a house party, since this is a party which offers a morbid dimension afterwards.
There are filmmakers networking drinks most nights at 10 pm in the Raindance Film cafe, "Jail Guitar Doors" at 6.30 pm on Thurs 1 Oct offers a gig after the screening featuring Billy Bragg, Mick Jones of The Clash, Chris Shiflett of the Foo Fighters and Wayne Kraymer of MC5, you can go behind the scenes of the aforementioned Zombie horror flick 'Colin' on Sat 3 Oct at 3 pm when the make-up and production team will give an insight into how the film was constructed, there's a pitching panel and party entitled 'Live Ammunition !' on Mon 5 Oct at 6.30 pm, and on Fri 9 Oct following the Raindance Film Cafe Closing Party, Stephen Duffy will be performing.
THE CLOSING FILM IN THE FEST
Sure to be a hot ticket in the fest is the closing film : "The Girlfriend Experience" showing at 7 pm on Sun 11 Oct, directed by Steven Soderbergh. It follows the exploits of a Manhattan call girl, Chelsea (played by real life porn megastar Sasha Grey) who specialises in offering a particular high class service she calls 'the girlfriend experience'. With echoes of Soderbergh's early feature "Sex Lies and Videotape", Soderbergh confronts issues surrounding sex, money, relationships and possession in a low budget film that offers realism, handheld camerawork and challenging dialogue.
THE VITAL STUFF YOU NEED TO KNOW ....
More can be found about Raindance at www.raindance.co.uk or tel 0871 220 6000.
The Apollo cinema where screenings take place, is based on Lower Regent St, SW1. The Raindance Film Cafe meanwhile, is to be found at the Vinyl Factory, 51 Poland St, W1, at the entrance to Phonica, and finally, the Phoenix Arts Club is located at 104-110 Charing Cross Road, WC2.
Fest passes can be obtained online or by phoning 020 7387 3833 and collected from the Raindance Cafe which is also the home for seminars, masterclasses and other events. Passholders will then get access to the Phoenix for the duration of the fest, the Arts Club is a useful late-night drinking private members bar underneath the Phoenix Theatre on Charing Cross Road.