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DocGeeks » Festivals » Raindance announces festival programme

Raindance announces festival programme

The Raindance Film Festival today announced its 20th festival programme and DocGeeks can reveal that the line-up includes no less than 25 documentaries.

Taking place from 26th September to 7th October at its home of the Apollo Cinema inLondon’sPiccadilly Circus, the Raindance Film Festival promises us a new selection of documentaries from all over the world.

This year the documentary strand kicks off with the environmental documentary Trashed, produced and directed by British filmmaker Candida Brady. In this film, Jeremy Irons sets out to discover the extent and effects of the global waste problem as he travels around the world to beautiful destinations tainted by pollution.

Irons, who is also a co-producer of this documentary will attend the festival together with the film’s Academy Award winning composer Vangelis. Trashed has previously been selected for a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival which hopefully is a good sign.

Also one of the highlights featuring is the multi-award winning Zero Killed, the documentary/feature hybrid directed by Michal Kosakowski, in which the filmmaker asks people with different backgrounds about their murder fantasies either as killer or victim. Plus Raindance will screen the EBE award-winning feature documentary Hidden Hand, which examines the phenomena surrounding UFOs, Extra Terrestrials, alien abduction and the US secret military cover-up of supposed E.T. contact.

World premieres

Two documentaries will enjoy its world premiere at Raindance. The first is Orania which examines a community in South Africa where only white Afrikaans people live, making it a a culturally homogeneous place in a multicultural country. The second film which will see its world premiere at the festival is Banaz – A Love Story, a documentary which chronicles the brutal honour killing of Banaz Mahmod, a young British woman in London who was killed by her own family for choosing a life for herself.

You think you can dance

There are two documentaries focusing on dance. One is Over My Dead Body, which is a portrait of Dave St Pierre. He has been described as ‘L’Enfant terrible’ of the dance world and suffers from cystic fibrosis. The second dance doc  is entitled Ballroom Dancer and comes from Denmark. The documentary follows the Russian dancer Slavik (33), once the world champion in Latin American dancing who is now making a last and final comeback attempt with Anna, his new and 10 years younger partner and girlfriend. The dance and the spotlight are his drug and he misses it, but will he still be good enough? Ballroom Dancer was previously nominated in the IDFA competition for First Appearance and came out third in the competition.

In the Raindance Symphony Orchestra strand  we find the documentary My Father and the Man in Black – presenting the untold story of ‘bad boy’ Johnny Cash and his talented but troubled manager Saul Holiff. In the same strand Raindance presents the Finnish documentary Soundbreaker about Finland’s most daring contemporary musician Kimmo Pohjonen. 

More docs:


Andrew Bird: Fever Year
Tracing a year in the life of eclectic US indie-folk rocker Andrew Bird, Xan Aranda’s documentary shuffles between live performances, interviews and behind the scenes footage to weave an intimate portrait of a boldly original performer.

At Night I Fly
A reflective insight into the lives of maximum security inmates who take refuge from the monotony of serving time at New Folsom prison by creating art.

Bar 25 – Days out of Time
‘Bar 25 – Days Out Of Time’ shows the diversity, internationality and creativity of Berlin and what it takes to create a seemingly utopian world.

Barbarous Mexico
1810: Miguel Hidalgo abolished slavery in Independent Mexico. 1910: John K. Turner published Barbarous Mexico, a book that revealed slave trading. Mexico 2010, the slavery networks still exist.

Despite The Gods
Cinema’s prodigal daughter Jennifer Lynch braves the unmapped territory of Bollywood-Hollywood movie making, where chaos is the process and filmmaking doubles as a crash course in acceptance and self-realization.

Free Improvisation
An intimate portrait of Jean Claude Jones, a 60 year old avant-garde double bass player from Jerusalem, who has dedicated his life to music. Ever since he was diagnosed with MS, his ability to continue creating music has been in danger. The film accompanies his unusual teacher-student relationship with 11-year-old pianist prodigy Ariel Lanyi, which develops into a deep and unique friendship. A film about passion, music, life and the process of letting go.

Give Me The Banjo
The quintessential American instrument, from its African roots to the present.  Narrated by Steve Martin, Give Me the Banjo features Pete Seeger, Earl Scruggs and Bela Fleck.

Informant takes a spellbinding look at Brandon Darby, a radical activist turned FBI informant who has been both vilified and deified, but never fully understood.

In Search Of Blind Joe Death, The Saga Of John Fahey
A feature documentary about the composer, guitarist, author and provocateur John Fahey (1939-2001). The film combines live action and archival footage with animation in a kinetic, musically charged tribute.

Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet
When doctors diagnosed 19-year-old rock star Jason Becker with ALS, they said he’d never make music again. 22 years later, Jason is alive and making music with his eyes.

Love Addict: Stories of dreams, obsession and longing
Documenting the stories of real individuals that are addicted to love with raw honesty, Love Addict is intimate, uncomfortable and thought-provoking all at the same time.

My Global Home
A feature length documentary film about a thrilling new way of travelling and an unexpected benefit of globalisation.

‘Normal’ is a creative documentary based on controversial research that brings the real life stories of male, female and transgender migrants working in the sex industry to the screen. Drawing on original interviews with people working in the sex industry in Albania,Italy and the UK, documentary director and anthropologist Nicola Mai reveals their unheard voices.

Sunset Strip
Birthed as a dusty trading route at the turn of last century, Sunset Strip became the world’s center of gravity for music, glamour, fashion, sex, and decadence. A place where dreams are started, chased, loved, hated, displayed, ignored, ended, or all of the above.

This Ain’t California
“This Ainʼt California” redefines the documentary genre. In 90 minutes, we see the GDR more sharply, more clearly: the skater subculture shows that not all was grey-on-grey and drab clouds of Trabant fumes. It is not just a well thought out story on its own – this film also raises the aesthetic bar.

Wild In The Street
Every year, thousands of locals from rival sides of a rugged English town brutally compete in an ancient sports game that is the lifeblood of the community – and the origin of soccer, rugby, and football.



The documentaries Over My Dead Body, Trashed, Orania, Ballroom Dancer and Despite the Gods have also been nominated for the Raindance Best Documentary award. The winners will be announced on Saturday 6 October, 6pm at the Apollo Cinema West End.

Complete programme

This year’s full line-up includes 105 features and over 138 shorts and 64 UK Premieres, 13 International Premieres, 5 European Premieres, 19 World Premieres and 24 Directorial Debuts from 38 countries. For the complete festival programme please visit the festival features page. 


Written by

Ivana is a short film director and fiction screenwriter. Her influence mainly comes from Italian Neorealism and classical Hollywood cinema. She also enjoys avant-garde European films, and chose to study journalism as a means to become involved with investigative documentary filmmaking as well as film journalism. She is enthusiastic about reviewing documentary films for DocGeeks.

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