Film Industry

Raindance Film Festival Guide: What Is The Raindance Film Festival?

Photograph of the blog post author, Connor Brown

Connor Brown

13.5.2021

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Let’s face it, who doesn’t like a good film? Especially the fine-crafted indie films made with such passion and energy! But, how do these small-time producers get their story told? Is there a platform that can help bring them into the limelight? Today we’re going to be looking at the Raindance Film Festival, and how it can help aspiring filmmakers.

Raindance film festival logo and motto.

Stay tuned for everything you need to know about one of the World’s greatest film festivals!

What Is The Raindance Film Festival?

Elliot Grove giving a speech at a Raindance film festival.

The Raindance Film Festival is Britain’s biggest independent film festival, based in the heart of London, the west end. It also operates in major cities such as Los Angeles, Paris and Berlin.

Elliot Grove established the festival in 1992. It showcases independent feature-length and short films. They cater to an audience of journalists, film fans, filmmakers, film executives, and buyers.

When Is The Raindance Film Festival?

Raindance film festival promotion.

The next Raindance Film Fest will be held this year between the 27th of October to the 6th of November.

However this year, the 29th Raindance Film Festival will be taking place online, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Where Is The Raindance Film Festival Held?

Raindance film festival notice board.

The Raindance Film Festival is held in the heart of London; Leicester Square, in the west end.

This is currently the only place you’ll find the festival. Raindance as a company operates in other major cities around the world. 

Raindance Film Festival Tickets

Elliot grove standing with 3 men in front of a Raindance film festival banner.

This year at the Raindance festival, they’re taking a different approach. Tickets can not be brought in person or over the phone currently. It will be taking place online. Offering a virtual program of short films and feature-lengths all free of charge!

You will, however, need an account. And they do kindly ask that you donate if you feel like being generous. This is in order to help them keep empowering independent filmmakers. This can be done on their website. Asking if you’d like to donate before viewing. Or, simply view for free.

Previously, Raindance Film Fest tickets would have cost you around £99. But if you got yours early, you’d be able to grab an early bird discount for 20% off. Which will only cost you £79.

This price has risen over the years, with previous festivals costing slightly less. However, we’re sure it was well worth the cost!

Raindance Film Festival Awards

Raindance film festival awards.

At the Raindance Film Festival, awards are given out to the most outstanding films of the week. This award ceremony takes place on the closing day. Handing out Juried awards from a select panel of esteemed professionals in the filmmaking industry.

For example, the 2017 Raindance Film Festival had a jury with the likes of Sean Bean, Christopher Eccleston, Celia Imrie. Moreover, the Raindance festival of 2015 had judges such as Jenna Coleman, MyAnna Buring, and Martin Freeman on the jury.

These Raindance Film Festival awards consist of The Best:

  • Director
  • Screenplay
  • Cinematography
  • Performance
  • UK Feature
  • Documentary Feature
  • Discovery Award
  • Short Of The Festival
  • UK Short
  • Documentary Short
  • Animation Short
  • Music Video

Then there are also the special awards:

  • Film Of The Festival
  • Spirit Of The Festival

Furthermore, it’s also worth noting that recipients of the Raindance festivals qualifying awards (being the best short of each category) will be eligible for consideration of their said category in the Academy Awards. Making them Oscar qualifying, without having to go through the conventional theatrical run. This is providing that the film complies with the Academy Awards.

Raindance Film Festival Submissions

People standing in front of a Raindance film festival banner.

If you’re looking to submit your own independent film project to the Raindance Film Festival, this can be done via their website.

Here4 you will find an FAQ as well as the terms and conditions. When submitting your project, there is a slight fee you’ll have to pay.

After submitting, they look over and consider if your project is worthy of showing. These fees vary depending on the film’s genre and are as follows:

Short Film Entries

  • Early deadline submissions: £25
  • Regular deadline submissions: £35
  • Late deadline submissions: £50

Feature Length Film Entries

  • Early deadline submissions: £55
  • Regular deadline submissions: £70
  • Late deadline submissions: £100

Music Video Entries

  • Early deadline submissions: £25
  • Regular deadline submissions: £35
  • Late deadline submissions: £50

Raindance short films are considered anything below 45 minutes and feature films are above 45 minutes. Music video entries must be under 6 minutes.

Submissions are reviewed and selected under the criteria of the quality of the narrative and production values. As well as the independent nature of the project. To be eligible for the Raindance Film Festival 2021, your film project must have been completed after the 1st of January 2019.

The deadlines for submissions are the 12th of April for the early one. 10th of May for the regular deadline. And the 14th of June for the last late deadline. Keep in mind that these deadlines can change from year to year. And they’re only entry fees for consideration by Raindance Film Fest. This doesn’t mean your project will definitely be shown.

Furthermore, all submissions are non-refundable and if you are a Raindance member, you’ll get 50% off your first submission each year.

Filmmakers applying will be notified on the 15th of September as to whether or not their project was accepted.

Raindance Film Festival Schedule

A crowd watching an animated film at Raindance film festival.

The Raindance Film Festival runs for a week.

The first day is composed of the most anticipated film submissions, then the others will be shown throughout the rest of the festival.

As well as this, talks, panels, and networking events are available. There are also masterclasses available with special guests. Which are intended for film fans looking to get into the independent filmmaking industry.

Furthermore, on the final day, a gala is held alongside the awards ceremony.

Raindance Film Festival Winners

A director standing in front of a presentation with his awards at a Raindance film festival.

The Raindance Film Festival has been running for around 28 years. Bringing independent films to the spotlight and awarding them with prestigious awards.

Furthermore, we’re almost positive that you’ve seen at least one film that has premiered here. Considering how diverse the categories are and how long the film fest has been going.

Therefore, we’d like to highlight some of our favourite films that have won awards and astounded audiences over the years.

Raindance Film Festival London 2019 Winners

On The President’s Orders

Two armed police talking to a citizen.

Firstly, this feature length Documentary, directed by Olivier Sarbil and James Jones, is a powerful story on President Duterte’s bloody campaign against drugs, based in the Philippines.

The story is told by people on both sides of the war. A everyday family from the slums and the Manila police. It managed to grab the award for best UK feature film and amazed audiences with its story.

The Planters

The planters movie poster.

This is a feature-length Comedy, directed by Alexandra Kotcheff and Hannah Leder. It’s the tale of a down-and-out telemarketer developing a strange and unlikely friendship with a homeless drifter. Who of which has multiple personalities.

This film managed to acquire the ‘Film of the Festival’ award, voted by the audience as being the overall most entertaining film.

The Waiter

A waiter holding glasses and staring into the distance.

This is a feature length Drama/Mystery, directed by Steve Krikris. It’s about a waiter that suspects the new neighbour in his apartment block is potentially a killer.

Steve Krikris was awarded the best director for this dramatic entry, impressing judges with his skills in the art of directing.

2017 Raindance Film Festival Winners

In Another Life

This feature length Drama, directed by Jason Wingard, is set in the Calais jungle. The main character, Syrian refugee Adnan, battles hard to be reunited with his wife, Bana, who is in the UK.

It was awarded the best UK feature-length film of Raindance Film Fest 2017. Captivating the judges with its deep, emotional cinematography.

The Constitution

Person relaxing on a sofa reading and having a drink.

This feature-length drama/comedy, directed and written by Rajiko Grlić, co-wrote with Ante Tomić, is about four neighbours who share an apartment building doing everything they possibly can to avoid each other.

It was awarded the best screenplay. As well as the ‘best film in competition’.

RiverBlue: Can Fashion Save the Planet?

Riverblue film poster with awards shown.

This feature-length documentary, directed by Roger Williams and David Mcllvride, is about a river journey around the world. Embarked on by conservationist Mark Angelo.

It was awarded the best feature-length documentary of Raindance Film Fest 2017 because of its inspirational message that truly surprised the Jury.

Raindance Film Festival 2015 Winners

Kicking Off

Man with tape over his mouth.

This feature length comedy, directed by Matt Wilde, is about the hooligans of football. In the crucial ending moments of an important football match, the referee decides to disallow a goal.

This makes two loyal fans decide to kidnap him for revenge. Taking matters into their own hands while other fans start a riot. It was awarded best UK feature film for it’s witty take on the world of football.

Winter Light

Old man driving his car in the snow.

Lastly, in this drama/thriller short film, directed by Julian Higgins, two hunters trespass on an elderly college professor’s property. Leading to an escalating dissension. Which tests his faith in everything he holds dear.

It was an adaptation of a short story by author James Lee Burke and it was awarded Short Film of the Festival, voted on by the audience members who were encapsulated by this enthralling film adaptation.

That Was Our Guide On the Raindance Film Festival

People posing for a picture at Raindance film fest.

We hope you enjoyed learning about this highly acclaimed film festival! Maybe you will even consider going to view it this year online, considering it’s mostly free this year!

There are lots to enjoy and see, and definitely something for everyone. Be it film fans, industry professionals, or even independent filmmakers.

Lastly, if you are a filmmaker that’s going for a submission on a project, we wish you the best of luck and hope to see your independent film at the next Raindance Film Festival!

Are You A Filmmaker?

Need financial backing to support your project? Our film investment can back projects of all sizes from independent short films to major releases covering all corners of the globe. If that wasn’t enough, promote your work, list your upcoming films and allow fans to pre-order or buy them with your very own Showcase site. Finally, with our concierge and service and extensive music library, allow us to help you find music for your film. Check out our Music Licensing service to get started!

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