And so, another year of Raindance Film Festival begins – 12 days of films, fun and frolics. We’re all gearing up for the opening film tonight, Humpday, and I’m just about to head into town to meet this year’s Special Guest and Jury Member from the Japanese section, Momoko Ando. I’m going to be updating as often as possible on developments over here for those that can’t make it, and for those who will be at the festival, letting you know about parts of the programme which might otherwise escape your notice.
The first is a couple of parties you might want to note down in your diary. This year we’re lucky to have a dedicated venue for all Raindance-related events and hospitality, a great place to liaise and network. Its the Raindance Film Cafe, at the Vinyl Factory, entrance at Phonica, 51 Poland Street, W1F 7LZ – not too far from the Raindance office. It’ll be open October 2nd – 9th, 12noon – 11pm, and is going to be hosting a number of the parties we’re having, as well as the ever-fun Live!Ammunition! event, something of a tradition at Raindance, where anyone can throw a quid into the bag and get to deliver a pitch for a film they wish to make – the winner gets to keep all the cash. This will be at 6.30pm next Monday, and will be followed by one of the many opportunities to imbibe alcohol and chat to festival guests, organizers and other audience members.
Before that however, is the Chinese Party on the Saturday evening, which will cost £8 to get in. This is the first year Raindance has had a decent lineup of films from Mainland China, with screenings of The Panda Candy, described as China’s own version of Nine Songs, and the enigmatic, lyrical love story Twilight Dancing. Panda Candy director Peng Lei will be around with his band New Pants, and also presents is DJ Lucky Cat with her selection of 1930s Shanghai tunes, a friend of mine who also DJ-ed at the Anna May Wong Must Die event I organized with Anna Chen back in May. There’ll be a live painting performance there too, inspired by the two Chinese films. Sounds interesting!
Japanese film fans will also be chuffed to hear about the Japanese Party on Tuesday 6th, a free event and a chance to mingle with the many Japanese guests we’ve got over this year, and another special guest in the form of my Midnight Eye confrere, Tom Mes. The centrepiece of this night is going to be a live remixing of Momoko Ando’s A Piece of our life – KAKERA , by Visually Impaired Artists Collective. Raindance is really excited to be holding the World Premiere for this beautiful film, the highlight of the Japanese selection, and Momoko herself is going to be around the festival all week. There’ll be a DJ set by Mariko from Levelload and Dj Tiger G from They Came From The Stars, I Saw Them. There’s also another really special guest on that evening; it’s a bit hush-hush who it is, but suffice it to say, if you’ve been reading this blogspot carefully, you’ll probably work it out. Anyway, do come along – anyone is welcome.
And the final party announcement is the afterparty for the screening of Audrey Ewell and Aaron Aites’ amazing documentary on Norwegian Black Metal, Until the Light Takes Us. I am going to do a full posting on this particular film before it plays, and I’ll give more info about the event then, although if you can’t wait, there are details here. Again, we have a really important guest from this world, but I’m not at liberty to say who it is. This event, I’ll add, will not be taking place at the Raindance Film Cafe, but the suitably grungy Intrepid Fox, 15 St Giles High St, near Tottenham Court Road, and is sponsored by Terrorizer magazine.
I’ll just end by saying the first Japanese screenings are tomorrow – Hotaru, at 4pm and Instant Swamp, at 8.30pm. There’s also the screening of Playing Columbine at 9.30pm, which you can find out a little more about by checking out my previous posting here.
Well, a busy week or two ahead, so I’ll sign off now, but hope to see some of you around the festival, and keep checking for further updates.