Story by: Jack Foley
THE 11th Raindance Film Festival has broken all previous attendance
records, with screenings averaging 70% audience attendance - a
figure which is up 40% from last year.
The quality of films screened at this year's festival has led
to audiences commenting that Raindance has, this year, offered
a better selection of films than ever before - over 300 have been
screened from all over the world.
The festival is already renowned as a place for the discovery
of films, often screening titles which go on to become box office
hits months after the festival.
After screening at Raindance, Mexican film, A Beautiful Secret,
sparked a bidding war for European distribution rights.
The film, which moved some members of Raindance audiences to
tears, opens in Mexico next week on an unheard of 450 screens.
Other audience favourites were UK horror picture, The Last
Horror Movie, Christina Ricci starrer, Miranda, and
French film, Malefique.
A film made and set in post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina was awarded
the top honour at the festival, and received the Jury Prize for
Official Selection Feature at the festival Closing Night on Friday,
Fuse (pictured) was directed by Pjer Zalica and
the prize is awarded for the most outstanding feature film screened
at the UKs largest independent film festival, as voted by
the Raindance jurors.
A documentary set in Iran, another country better known as a
place of conflict, was also awarded a top prize at the awards.
And Along Came A Spider is directed by Maziar Bahari.
Other honours went to director, Thomas Farone, for his Debut
Feature, Nate Dogg; while the UK Feature category was won
by The Last Horror Movie, directed by Julian Richards.
This years Jury Panel included award-winning actress, Samantha
Morton, and Sadie Frost, who attended the presentation night,
with Trudi Styler and Rankin.
The awards presentation preceded the screening of the Closing
Night film, 16 Years of Alcohol, which won its director,
Richard Jobson, the Best Directorial Debut at last Tuesday's British
Independent Film Awards. He also introduced the screening.