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11th Raindance Film Festival - Highlights & news



Preview by: Jack Foley

RAINDANCE audiences were queuing up to get the fright of their lives on Friday (October 31), as The Last Horror Movie and the Horror Shorts Programme saw sell-out audiences once again at the festival.

The Last Horror Movie is a truly frightening film, which is nominated for a Raindance Jury Prize, being awarded on Friday of this week.

Truly scary cinema is rare these days, so audiences were in for a real treat with the films on offer from Raindance...

Miranda, which is described as being 'a sexy and highly original adult comedy', starring Christina Ricci and John Simm, also had its UK Premiere to a sell-out audience.

The film is also nominated for best UK feature.

Similarly, Infernal Affairs (pictured above), hotly tipped to be the winner in the foreign language category at next year's Oscars, played to a sell-out screening.

Coming up this week...

MUST SEE: Road Dogs: Contemporary Easy Rider with Unbeatable Soundtrack

In Road Dogs - labelled by Variety as Boyz on the Road - two Afro-American men take to the road in order to leave their violent pasts behind, creating a thoroughly enjoyable Road Movie coined as a contemporary Easy Rider. An incredible soundtrack including tracks from artists as diverse as Snoop Dogg, Korn and Mystic plays compliments the glorious photography of America's beauty spots.
(Screening: Midday, UGC Haymarket, Tuesday)

**MUST SEE: Trilogie 1: On The Run

The first part of Lucas Belvaux's trilogy of films, showing at Cine Lumiere, which work on the principle of cross encounters - the main characters of one film have minor roles in the others and vice versa.

Although they share sets, scenes and characters, the films are genetically 'different'. The first is a thriller, the second a comedy and the third a melodrama.

The director will be introducing each film (playing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday), and participating in a Q&A after Thursday's showing.
(Showing: 7.30pm, Cine Lumiere on Tuesday)

FILM HIGHLIGHT: Tattoo, A Love Story (USA, 94mins) - Examination of the relationship that forms between two seemingly complete opposites, a repressed schoolteacher and a tattooed biker
(Showing: Midday, UGC Haymarket, Wed, Nov 5)

FILM HIGHLIGHT: Margarettes' Feast (Brazil, 80mins) - A stunning tribute to the glorious cinematic past, this B&W film tells the story of a man who discovers a suitcase that never runs out of money.
(Screening: 7.20pm, UGC Shaftesbury Avenue, Wednesday, Nov 5)

FILM HIGHLIGHT: Nate Dogg (USA, 74mins) - A teenager's struggle to keep to the straight and narrow despite impossible odds.
(Screening: Midday, UGC Haymarket, Thurs, Nov 6)

FILM HIGHLIGHT: Trilogie 3: After Life (France, 123mins) - Third part of Lucas Belvaux's acclaimed trilogy tells the story of a cop who feeds his wife's drug addiction.
(Screening: 7.30pm, Cine Lumiere, Thurs, Nov 6)

FILM HIGHLIGHT: Making Venus (Australia, 70mins) - documentary about the trials and tribulations of making a feature film.
(Screening: 8pm, UGC Shaftesbury Avenue, Thurs, Nov 6)

FILM HIGHLIGHT: The Sky, The Plane, The Girl (Russia, 90mins) - a Russian romantic comedy in the tradition of the French New Wave.
(Screening: 9.30pm, UGC Shaftesbury Avenue, Thurs, Nov 6)

FILM HIGHLIGHT AND CLOSING NIGHT GALA: 16 Years Of Alcohol (UK, 102mins) - Richard Jobson's directorial debut is a foray into the mind of an alcoholic.
(Screening: 8pm, UGC Haymarket, Fri, Nov 7)

PAST NEWS: THE 11th Raindance Film Festival opened on Friday night (October 24, 2003) with thought-provoking documentary, Capturing the Friedmans - and it was clear to see why this cutting-edge film was awarded the Grand Jury prize at Sundance earlier this year.

This powerful film intersperses interviews with members of the Friedman family with video-diary footage taken at the time of the controversial case, inviting the audience to question the guilt or innocence of the accused at every turn.

Sitting among the audience were Ken Russell, this year's Director in Residence; internationally renowned photographer and Raindance juror, Rankin, and actor, Marc Warren, who stars in short film Perfect, screening at the festival.

The screening was followed by an exclusive party at Rouge, which saw directors and audiences mingling and possibly swapping filmmaking tips as they danced the night away.

More familiar faces arrived to enjoy the screenings on Saturday, including In the Cut director, Jane Campion, and TV impressionist Alistair McGowan.

Director in residence, Ken Russell, spoke to Mark Kermode about his inspirations and influences as a director, encouraging aspiring filmmakers to pick up a camera and shoot - as he now does in his back garden with family and friends.

The audience was treated to a rare screening of Savage Messiah, cited by Russell as the film he is most proud of.

Fuse, one of this year's Raindance Official Selection films, played to a sold out screening to much praise - many heralding the film as one of the best independent features to emerge for years.

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