Raindance Film Festival 2002 - opening and closing movies

Story by Jack Foley



A BLACK comedy about a 15-year-old’s inappropriate lust for his stepmother, which has already won many fans at the Sundance Film Festival in America, has been chosen to open the 10th Raindance independent film festival in London.

Tadpole is described as a coming-of-age story about 15-year-old Oscar Grubman (played by Aaron Stanford), who speaks fluent French, orders fancy food properly, and has a passion for Voltaire - and admits to being in love with his stepmother (Sigourney Weaver), whom he feels his professor father (John Ritter) is ignoring.

The Raindance festival commences on October 23 and will include 70 feature films and 200 shorts from 22 countries. It will be spread over four venues in the capital and is sure to appeal to movie-goers seeking something different from the mainstream. It will also provide the perfect run-up to this year’s Regus London Film Festival, taking place in November.

Launched 10 years ago as the English equivalent of Robert Redford’s influential Sundance Film Festival, the Raindance quickly established a reputation for showcasing some of the best independent films of recent years, including Christopher Nolan’s Memento, Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and The Blair Witch Project.

This year’s event will feature American History X director, Tony Kaye, as ‘film-maker in residence’, dozens of events and workshops and prizes for the best films, which will be chosen by jurors including Nick Moran, Tara Fitzgerald and director, Kristian Levring.

Aside from Tadpole, other film highlights include Britney Baby, One More Time, which follows the story of a pop impersonator; the dark US Internet thriller, Happy Here and Now, and Agitator, a Japanese gangster flick,

The festival will close with a screening of Pumpkin, starring Christina Ricci and Brenda Blethlyn, which focuses on the love story between a student and a young disabled man.

The festival is designed to give smaller independent film-makers a chance to sell their films to distributors, while the organisers are also behind the British Independent Film Awards and Raindance Training, which provides courses and assistance for emerging film-makers.

Festival director, Elliot Grove, explained: "Raindance is a contemporary independent film festival for emerging talent - a place for groundbreaking filmmakers to exhibit their work… The Raindance Film Festival gives you the chance to see the hottest talent before anyone else."

Among the films to have featured at this year’s Sundance Film Festival were the Robin Williams psychological thriller, One Hour Photo, and Jennifer Anniston’s The Good Girl.

RELATED STORIES: Click here for a preview of the film, Tadpole...