25th Anniversary Raindance Film Festival opens today!


The Raindance Film Festival which includes world, international, European and UK premieres celebrates its 25th year. The Festival will take place in London’s West End from September 20th – October 1st, 2017.

OH LUCY!, Directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi, starring Josh Hartnett will open the festival.

STUCK, by Michael Berry, starring Giancarlo Esposito and Amy Madigan, announced to close the festival newly established VRX Strand 

Elliot Grove, Raindance Founder, “This year’s 25th-anniversary Festival has been made possible by a dynamic relationship with Lexus, who like Raindance, champion pioneering technology, innovation and craftsmanship.” 

Actor Jamie Campbell Bower (Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, TheTwilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 & 2) joined Elliott as they revealed this year’s competition films in the UK Features, Documentaries, Shorts and Web Series categories, as well as the programme for the hotly anticipated Virtual Reality strand.

Opening and Closing Galas

The UK Premiere of Atsuko Hirayanagi’s Oh Lucy! (Japan), starring Josh Hartnett, has been announced as the opening night film. The film is a drama-comedy and tells the story of Setsuko Kawashima, a lonely, chain-smoking office lady in Tokyo who is past her prime and adopts an American alter ego.

The International Premiere of Stuck by Michael Berry, starring Giancarlo Eposito (Okja) and Amy Madigan (Gone Baby Gone) is an original pop musical film about six strangers who get stuck underground on a New York City subway together and change each other’s lives in unexpected ways. They are different races, cultures and ages. The emotions of the trapped strangers fly as they reveal who they really are through song.

Raindance is a champion of indie filmmaking

The Festival received a record-breaking number of submissions this year from over 120 countries, the highest it has received to date and will screen over 200 projects – including features, shorts, webfest, VR and music videos. A champion of independent filmmaking, Raindance is the largest independent film festival in Europe and has consistently been a great supporter of the UK film industry.

Along with Jamie Campbell Bower, this year’s competition films will be judged by a panel of industry members and film journalists including, Ex-BIFA director Johanna Von Fischer and acclaimed Spanish producer Rosa Bosch, and some of the best names in British talent, including Jack O’Connell (Money Monster, Unbroken), Sean Bean (Game Of Thrones, The Lord Of The Rings trilogy), Christopher Eccleston (Thor, Dr Who), Ewen Bremner (Wonder Woman, Trainspotting), Celia Imrie (Bridget Jones series, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Training Day, Broadchurch), Nicholas Lyndhurst (A United Kingdom, Only Fools and Horses), Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Hotel Rwanda, Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End), Josh Whitehouse (Poldark, Northern Soul), Neil Marshall (Westworld, Game Of Thrones) and Rachel Portman (One Day, Chocolat)

To recognize the outstanding achievements of this year’s filmmakers, the jury will go through each of the Feature Films, selected for Official Competition, in the following categories; Best Film, Best Director, Best screenplay, Best Performance. Films nominated in these categories include the international premiere of Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak’s feature debut, Maya Dardel (USA), starring Lena Olin and Rosanna Arquette, which tells the story of a famous writer, who states her intention to end her own life during an interview on NPR, and invites male writers to compete to become the executor of her estate; Tony Gatlif’s Djam (France/Greece/Turkey) follows a young Greek woman who, sent to Istanbul by her uncle, embarks on a life-changing journey made of music, encounters and hope, Mukoku (Japan), tells the story of a security guard, whose best days are behind, until a chance encounter changes everything.

Additional features include both narratives and documentaries vying for Best UK Film, Best Documentary and the coveted Discovery Award, which is given to Best Debut Film.  Films nominated in these categories include; the World Premiere of In Another Life (UK), Jason Wingard’s directional debut, set against the backdrop of the Calais Jungle, where refugee Adnan battles to be reunited with his wife in the UK; The Family I Had (USA), directed by female co-directors Katie Green and Carlyle Rubin, is a documentary featuring a mother recalling how her teenage son shattered their idyllic family through one violent act; ; Heitor Dhalia’s On Yoga The Architecture Of Peace (Brazil / USA) is based on Michael O’Neill’s book of the same name, and tells the story of the 10 years the author spent photographing Yoga’s great masters; RiverBlue: Can Fashion Save The Planet? by David McIlvrid and Roger Williams, follows internationally celebrated river conservationist Mark Angelo on an around-the-world journey by river that uncovers the dark side of the fashion industry

Other noteworthy films playing at the festival include You Are Killing Me Susana (Mexico / Canada), by Roberto Sneider, producer of Frida, which stars Gael Garcia Bernal, and tells the story of a Mexican native adapting to life in the USA; Michelle Schumacker’s I’m Not Here (USA) starring J.K. Simmons, about a man who is struggling with the tragic memories of his past to make sense of his present, but soon realises that time isn’t the enemy he thinks it is; Black Butterfly (Italy) by Brian Goodman, which stars Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, is set in mountain town grappling with a series of abductions and murders, a reclusive writer offers a drifer a place to stay following a brief encounter, which sees the men battle a game of one-upmanship; Tabbert Fiiller’s The Public Image Is Rotten (USA) starring John Lydon, tells the story of Public Image Ltd, formed by Johnny Rotten in 1978 within months of the demise of the Sex Pistols

International Short Films

The international Short Film competition slate includes the UK premiere of Jeannie Donohoe’s, Game (USA), produced by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, about a new kid in town who turns up at the high school boys basketball tryouts and instantly makes an impression; multi-award winning director, Dea Kulumbegahsvili’s, Lethe, (France / Georgia) follows a lonely horseman, who wanders past the river of forgetfulness and through a rural Georgian village; Goddess (India / USA), directed by Karishma Dube, tells the story of being a closeted lesbian in contemporary India.

UK short films include the European Premiere of critically acclaimed director Eva Riley’s Diagnosis, about a woman’s secret evening job as a medical role play actress; Nathaniel Martello-White’s Cla’am, nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW, is a dark comedy about a local man who becomes convinced that a vast conspiracy is behind the gentrification in his London neighbourhood; the World Premiere of 46, by Joseph A. Adesunloye, tells the story of two friend’s hosting a party, that was meant to be a night of fun without responsibilities, which turns out be a nightmare for one of them.

Women In Film and LGBT

The Women In Film and LGBT strands will include a specific selection of films as well as industry panels that emphasize the contribution women and LGBT communities are making to the industry and the current challenges they face.

The LGBT strand will showcase legendary queer director Bruce LaBruce’s latest feature, The Misandrists (Germany), about a young man who unknowingly is taken in by members of the Female Liberation Army – a lesbian separatist stronghold; Becks (USA), co-directed by Daniel Powell and Rebecca Drysdale, starring Mena Suvari, sees a Brooklyn musician move back in with her Midwestern mother, after a crushing breakup with her girlfriend. As she navigates her hometown, playing for tip money in an old friend’s bar, an unexpected relationship unfolds; Travis Mathews’, Discreet (Germany) tells the story of an eccentric drifter who returns home and discovers his childhood abuser is still alive.

This year’s films directed by women include Leslie Ann Coles’ debut documentary Melody Makers (UK) which stars Melody Maker Magazine’s Chief Contributing Photographer, Barrie Wentzel, who tells the story of the rise and fall of the magazine, which marked the end to a style of rock ‘n’ roll journalism that no longer exists today; Barrage (Luxembourg / Belgium / France) directed by Laura Schroeder, stars Academy Award nominee Isabelle Huppert, and her real-life daughter Lolita Chammah, following  the journey of Catherine (Chammah), who is returning to Luxembourg after ten years abroad, to catch up with her young daughter who has been brought up by Catherine’s mother (Huppert), and kidnaps her taking her on a road trip; City Of Joy (USA) is Madeline Gavin’s inspiring documentary following the first class of students at a remarkable leadership centre in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a region often referred as “the worst place in the world to be a woman”.

Brand New VR Awards

Running between September 28 – October 1, the newly established virtual reality strand will feature the Raindance VRX Awards, VRX Summit, VRX Market and the VR Arcade. The brand new VRX awards will recognise pioneering virtual reality experiences in 10 categories: Best Interactive Narrative Experience, Best Mobile Interactive Experience, Best Cinematic Narrative Experience, Best Documentary Experience, Best Animation Experience, Best Music Experience, Best Branded Experience, Best Sensual Experience, Best Social Impact Experience and Best Sound Design Experience.

The VRX Awards Jury members include immersive storytelling visionaries such as Vicki Dobbs Beck of ILMxLAB, Jenna Pirog of The New York Times, Resh Sidhu of Framestore and leaders from Facebook, Samsung, Google, Pixar, Disney, ustwo games and more.

The VR Arcade, open to the public between September 29 – October 1, will allow audience members to experience the latest advances in storytelling by showcasing selected experiences by Raindance VRX Awards nominees. These will include 360º films and interactive experiences such as the World Premiere of Ray, a VR fairy tale directed by Raindance alumni Rafael Pavón that combines 360º stereoscopic video with visual effects and voice recognition to interact with a curious beam of light; the World Premiere of Manifest 99 by Flight School Studio, an eerie story about finding redemption in the afterlife—stare into the eyes of characters to transport to their point of view and move about on a mysterious train, rambling through an unknown void; the World Premiere of Peroration Six, a 360º live action performance by musician Sam Shepherd and his band Floating Points that takes you on a supernatural journey in the Utah desert; and the World Premiere of Second Date directed by Jennifer Lyon Bell, an unscripted portrait of two people fumbling towards sensual ecstasy. In a significant departure from typical VR representations of sex, Second Date encourages the viewer to intimately share the couple’s physical space, portraying their sexuality in an emotionally realistic way.

Programmed around the VRX Awards categories, the Raindance VRX Summit will bring together nominees and Jury members to celebrate pioneering work in VR. Held on September 29, the day will be packed with talks and panel discussions featuring creators across all mediums—filmmakers, game developers, animators, sound designers, musicians, Quill and Tilt Brush artists—all coming together to share new ideas.

Submissions for the Raindance VRX Market are currently open to independent creators seeking funding for the completion of their 360º films and VR experiences. The Market on September 28 will serve as a platform to meet funders and pitch projects in development.

The Festival’s unique Web Series will again provide filmmakers with the opportunity to tap into the online video industry.  Web Series’ nominated films to include Tom Kingsley’s BBC Three YouTube series Pls Like (UK), starring comedian’s Liam Williams and Tim Key, is a brutally hilarious mockumentary satirizing YouTube vloggers; I Gotta Be Me (UK), directed by Steven Bloomer, is about a frustrated soap star who joins a Rat Pack tribute act as his hero Sammy Davis Junior; Hugh O’Shea and Phillip Whiteman’s Millenial Theory is an Instagram series that follows two halfwits who believe themselves to be enlightenment gurus; Think Nathan Barley meets Eckhart Tolle.

Live! Ammunition! Is Raindance’s acclaimed ‘pitching’ event. Audiences over the world have pitched movie ideas to panels of film executives, film makers and other industry professionals, as they try to make their way through the film sector. For our 25th Raindance Film Festival, Live Ammo! will have a top panel and once again, film makers will pitch to the people who matter, as they decide what will be made and what won’t. To pitch, participants just drop a fiver in the hat, and the floor is theirs for two minutes. They can and will be gonged off if they are boring! Previous panelists include Ewan McGregorAlberto Lopez (International Director, Variety), and Denise Parkinson (Global Entertainment Director, The Telegraph Group)  and for this year, we welcome back Dean Cross from Vue Entertainment and Tara Barnett, Sales Manager from 20th Century Fox.

The Festival’s third Co-production Forum will focus on the relationship between the UK and Italian film industries. Raindance, ICE (Italian Trade Agency), ANICA (Italian National Association of Film and Audiovisual Industry) and MiBACT (Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism), are hosting this forum in partnership with Variety. UK independent producers, distribution, production and sales companies are invited to join Raindance on this unique opportunity, to meet and partner, with Italian producers and create new co-production business opportunities.

In recognition of the plethora of filmmaking talent in China, Raindance is proud to launch its inaugural China Day, taking place on September 25th at The Mayfair Hotel, in conjunction with our Chinese partners, Dreamax – a Beijing based production and distribution outfit. China Day is a day of screenings and panel discussions on how filmmakers can access the Chinese markets, and how Chinese filmmakers can meet and work with European partners.

Founder Elliot Grove commented; “I am thrilled with the calibre of films submitted for this year’s Festival. Our programmers to select an excellent line-up. For 25 years, Raindance has continued to grow and support the independent film industry in the UK and abroad.  I’m looking forward to showcasing this year’s great line-up and new strands to our audience.”

Main partners of the 25th Raindance Film Festival include Lexus, Century Club, Urban Post Production and Vue, Variety and The Telegraph

A full list of nominated UK Features, Documentaries, Short films and Web Series are listed below, as well as the list of films featured in the VR Arcade:


Winner to receive $10,000 CDN in-kind in audio/video post-production services at Urban Post Production INC.

Maya Dardel, Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak, USA

A Famous writer claims on NPR that she intends to end her life and male writers may compete to become executor of her estate. Men drive up the mountain and are challenged intellectually and erotically until one discovers Maya’s end game.

Cast: Lena Olin, Rosanna Arquette, Nathan Keyes

Mukoku, Kazuyoshi Kumakiri, Japan, UK Premiere

Kengo Yatabe’s mother dies and his father is in a coma. He, like his father, was good at kendo. Those days are long gone and he now lofts around as a security guard and generally wastes time. Meeting the young Tooru, Kengo is inspired and decides to shape up.

Cast: Atsuko Maeda, Jun Fubuki, Kaoru Kobayashi

Noise, Yusaku Matsumoto, Japan, European Premiere

Eight years after the indiscriminate killing spree committed in Akihabara, two girls search for their role in life.

Cast: Kokoro Shinozaki, Urana Anjo, Kohsuke Suzuki, Kentaro Kishi

The Constitution, Rajko Grlc, Croatia, UK Premiere

The story follows four people who live in the same building, but avoid each other because of the differences in their assets, sexual habits, nationality and religion.

Cast:Nebojsa Glogovac, Dejan Acimovic, Ksenija Marinkovic

Hello Again! Tom Gustafson, USA, UK Premiere

Inspired by Arthur Schnitzler’s controversial 1896 play Der Reigen and the classic 1950 Max Ophuls film LA Ronde, in the early ’90s the Lincoln Center commissioned Broadway composer Michael John LaChiusa to create the musical Hello Again. This film adaptation explores 10 fleeting love affairs across 10 periods of time in New York City history, through 10 lust-fueled episodes.

Cast: Audra McDonald, Martha Plimpton, TR Knight, Rumer Willis, Cheyenne Jackson

The Traveller, Hadi Ghandour, France / Lebanon, UK Premiere

A travel agent who has never travelled is sent on a business trip to Paris, only to find himself confronted by temptations that he cannot handle.

Cast: Rodrigue Sleiman, Donia Eden, Aïda Sabra, Romy Melhem, Lubna Playoust, Sébastien Bertrand

Swaying Mariko, Koji Segawa, Japan, International Premiere

Mariko, a seemingly normal housewife, has been with her younger husband, Tomoharu, for six years but is dissatisfied daily. Despite having a son together, Tomoharu is often absent from home and she suspects that he might be having an affair.

Cast: Chise Ushio, Keita Yamashina, Hide Miura, Hikari Goto, Tomoko Kato

High & Outside: A Baseball Noir, Evald Johnson, USA, World Premiere

In the streets of Los Angeles, a minor league baseball player recklessly claws to keep his dreams alive. Geoffrey Lewis, Phil Donlon, David Yow, Ernie Hudson, Jason Richter and Lindsey Haun star in this dark drama that explores the dangerous nature of living in someone else’s shadow.

Cast: Phil Donlon, Geoffrey Lewis, Ernie Hudson, David Yow, Lindsey Haun

Black Hollow Cage, Sadrac González-Perellón, Spain, UK Premiere

A girl who lives secluded in a house in the woods with only the company of her father and a wolfhound finds among the trees a mysterious cubic device with the ability to change the past.

Cast: Lowena McDonell, Julian Nicholson, Haydée Lysander

Djam, Tony Gatlif, France

An emotionally charged storytelling style that spread from poor urban communities in Greece and Turkey to the islands of the Aegean.
Cast: Daphné Patakia, Simon Abkarian, Maryne Cayon, Kimon Kouris, Solon Lekkas


The Family I Had, Katie Green and Carlyle Rubin, USA, UK Premiere

In The Family I Had, a mother recalls how her brilliant teenage son came to shatter their idyllic family through one horribly violent and shocking act. Now left to pick up the pieces, the survivors test the boundaries of their newly defined reality in the moving true crime exploration of the nature and limits of familial love.

Cast: Charity, Paris, Ella, Kyla

RiverBlue: Can Fashion Save the Planet? David McIlvride and Roger Williams, Canada, UK Premiere

RiverBlue follows internationally celebrated river conservationist Mark Angelo on an around-the-world journey by river that uncovers the dark side of the fashion industry. Infiltrating one of the world’s most pollutive industries, and speaking with fashion designers and water protectors world-wide, RiverBlue reveals stunning and shocking images that will forever change the way we look at the clothes we wear. Cast: Jason Priestley

On Yoga The Architecture of Peace, Heitor Dhalia, Brazil / USA, UK Premiere

On Yoga: The Architecture of Peace is based on Michael O’Neill’s book of the same name. This project tells the story of the 10 years the author spent photographing Yoga’s great masters. By posing very human questions from our current perspective, and mixing it with elements of movement and experiential sound, the film results in a new view of the art of Yoga.

Michael O’Neill, Edie Stern, Deepak Chopra, Mooji, Elena Brower

Bluefin, John Hopkins, Canada, European Premiere

Endangered giant bluefin tuna have returned to Prince Edward Island, Canada in surprising abundance after a disappearance from overfishing. But something strange is going on. With stunning cinematography, filmmaker John Hopkins’s acclaimed documentary explores the mystery of why normally wary bluefin tuna no longer fear humans and turning into pets.
Cast: Dr. Carl Safina, Brian Skerry, Dr. Boris Worm, Capt. Jamie Bruce, Capt.Jeff MacNeil

Speak Up, Stéphane de Freitas and Ladj Ly, France, UK Premiere

Every year, at the University of Saint-Denis, a competition is held to decide “The Best Orator in the 93”. Any student can participate and many prepare with the help of professional advisors. Armed with new-found knowledge, Leïla, Elhadj, Eddy and the others face off in a bid to become the best orator in the 93.

Cast: Leïla Alaouf, Souleïla Mahiddin, Eddy Moniot, Elhadj Touré


Winner to receive $10,000 CDN in-kind in audio/video post-production services at Urban Post Production INC.

A Trip to the Moon, Joaquin Cambre, Argentina, UK Premiere

Tomas is an outcast young teenager trying to pass an exam. His family is constantly pressing him and his mother forces him to take antipsychotic drugs. In his need to escape, Tomas plans an intriguing trip to the moon. In this particular journey where reality and fiction mingles, he will disentangle an old family secret.

Cast: Ángelo Mutti Spinetta, Leticia Brédice, Germán Palacios, Ángela Torres, Luis Machín

I Still Hide To Smoke, Rayhana Obermeyer, France

Fatima, a strong-minded woman, is the lead masseuse of a hammam in Algiers. This is 1995 and the situation is tense in the capital. The day ahead promises to be hectic for all, and for Fatima in particular. Already, while walking to her place of work, she is the distant witness of a terrorist attack. At the hammam, Fatima should feel better, but the atmosphere proves electric in her small enclosed world, she has great difficulty in maintaining order.

Cast: Hiam Abbass, Fadila Belkebla, Nadia Kaci, Nassima Benchicou, Sarah Layssac

Scaffolding, Matan Yair, Israel / Poland, UK Premiere

17-year-old Asher has always been the wild troublemaker at school. While his oppressive father sees him as a natural successor to his scaffolding business, Asher forges a special connection with Rami, his new literature teacher, and begins to glimpse new possibilities for himself. That is, until an unexpected tragedy occurs, and changes everything.

Cast: Asher Lax, Ami Smolartchik, Jacob Chen

Children of the Night, Andrea De Sica, Italy, UK Premiere

Giulio, a seventeen-year-old from a well-to-do family, is sent to a boarding school. In this isolated place in the Alps, where iron-clad rules limit all contact with the outside, he makes friends with Edoardo, who is rather odd. Their friendship is sealed by frequent escapes at night, when the surveillance of the students seems to lapse.

Cast: Vincenzo Crea, Ludovico Succio, Fabrizio Rongione, Yuliia Sobol, Luigi Bignone

The Story of a Satellite, Sonia Albert-Sobrinoa and Miriam Albert-Sobrino, Spain, European Premiere

Almost 20 years after losing his father to a freak satellite-related accident, Rafael, an undertaker, realizes that his whole life has been orbiting in the wrong direction. With the help of his own “Sancho Panza”, Melito, Rafael will begin a transformational journey that he could never have anticipated.

Cast: Alfonso Míguez, Jaime Faraldo, Mariana Carballal, Bárbara Grandío, Susana Sampedro


Winner to receive $10,000 CDN in-kind in audio/video post production services at Urban Post Production INC.

In Another Life, Jason Wingard, World Premiere

Our once beautiful homeland has become uninhabitable. Too dangerous to walk the streets, drive a car, visit friends. Many have already left Syria, risking their lives on the open water. Giving all we had to the ruthless opportunists who trade in the currency of human misery. Europe was meant to offer us hope.

Cast: Mudar Abbara, Elie Haddad, Yousef Hayyan Jubeh, Toyah Frantzen

Stooge, Madeleine Farley, World Premiere

Stooge is a feature documentary about Robert Pargiter, Iggy Pop’s No1 fan. It covers the three years leading up to his 50th birthday when he tries to track his hero down in a final absolution. His journey has taken him all over the world in search of redemption after years of struggling with addiction, and of celebrating the communal lust that is Rock’n Roll.

Cast: Rober Pargiter, Pete Thellusson, Iggy Pop, Scott Asheton, Steve Mackay

The Dark Mile, Gary Love, UK Premiere

“Deliverance” meets “Rosemary’s Baby” – The Dark Mile is a psychological thriller built around a strong central relationship of two very different yet sympathetic characters. A tense psychological horror-thriller, The Dark Mile blends The Wicker Man, Deliverance and Duel, to come up with a film rich in atmosphere and tension. London couple Louise and Clare (Rebecca Calder and Deirdre Mullins) book a sailing trip in the Highlands to recover from a personal tragedy. The location may be idyllic but soon they are tormented by a black industrial barge that follows them, and by the dysfunctional folk on board… Hints of the occult and paganism point to dark times ahead as tension mounts.

Cast: Rebecca Calder, Deirdre Mullins, Finlay MacMillan, Paul Brannigan, Sheila Hancock

Edie, Simon Hunter, UK,

Edith Moore (Edie) is a bitter, gruff woman in her eighties. Following her husband’s death, she decides to take herself off to the Highlands on a climbing trip that her father had planned for them many years before.

Cast: Sheila Hancock, Kevin Guthrie, Amy Manson, Paul Brannigan

Isolani, R. Paul Wilson, World Premiere

After witnessing a brutal murder, a young single mother becomes a pawn in a deadly game of deception. To protect her son and start a new life she must outwit an ambitious prosecutor, a corrupt detective and a desperate killer.

Cast: Kate McLaughlin, Catriona Evans, Jim Sweeney, Gianni Capaldi, Atta Yaqub


Game, Jeannie Donohoe, USA, UK Premiere

A new kid in town shows up at the high school boys’ basketball tryouts and instantly makes an impression. Will talent and drive be enough to make the team?

Cast: Rick Fox, Nicole Williams, Tye White, Jamie McShane, Charles Parnell

Goddess, Karishma Dube, India / USA

The film explores the reality of being a closeted lesbian in contemporary India. Tara, a feisty teenager begins to risks family and tradition as she pursues her attraction towards her housemaid, Devi. When they are caught together at a dinner party, Tara must suddenly define who she really is.

Cast: Priyanka Bose, Aditi Vasudev, Tanvi Azmi

Lethe, Dea Kulumbegahsvili, France / Georgia

A lonely horseman wanders past the river of forgetfulness and through a rural Georgian village, where both children and adults explore life’s more instinctual pleasures.

Cast: Dato Gogoladze, Vika Chocheva, Mikheil Gomiahsvili

Mixtape Marauders, Peter Edlund, USA, International Premiere

A nine-song visual mixtape following two young stoners into a world of mindless day jobs, petty drug deals and obsessive mixtape curation.

Cast: Peter McNally, Ian Edlund, Emily Chisholm, Madeline Anderson

Viola, Franca, Marta Savina, Italy, UK Premiere

In 1965 Sicily, a 17 year-old girl single-handedly alters the course of Italian history with an unexpected act of defiance that causes a short circuit in her traditionalist community.

Cast: Claudia Gusmano, Carlo Calderone, Ninni Bruschetta, Maurizio Puglisi


Work, Aneil Karia

Jess is an 18 year-old from London balancing her responsibilities as a daughter with her ambitions of a career in dance. When she is confronted with just how cold and unjust life can be during a journey to work, her perspective of the world around her begins to shift.
Cast: Jasmine Breinburg, Taurean Steele, Carl Prekopp

Diagnosis, Eva Riley, European Premiere

Sally’s secretive evening job as a medical roleplay actress forces her to face up to feelings she thought she had under control.

Cast: Charlotte Spencer

CLA’AM, Nathaniel Martello-White, European Premiere

A dark, surreal comedy about a local man who becomes convinced that a vast conspiracy is behind the impossibly rapid gentrification in his London area. But is it all in his head, or is the truth even darker than he imagines?

Cast: Joel Fry, Ivanno Jeremiah, Brian Bovell

Wild Horses, Rory Alexander Stewart

Joan has been housebound with M.E. for most of her adolescence. Now in slow recovery, her urge for independence is causing friction with her mother. When Joan’s tutor encourages her to push herself she throws caution to the wind, leaving home in search of new experiences. And a horse.

Cast: Emma Curtis, Emma Cater, Ainslie Henderson, Stephanie Compton

46, Joseph A. Adesunloye, World Premiere

Friends Adam and Luke are the life of the party. When they decide that Luke should host a party at his house, what was meant to be a night of fun without responsibilities turns out to be a nightmare for Adam.

Cast: Adam Strawford, Guetan Calvin-Elito, Michelle Tiwo, Amy Lynch


I Gotta Be Me, Steven Bloomer 

A frustrated soap star joins a Rat Pack tribute act as his hero, Sammy Davis Jr., surrounded by a genuine company of British ex-pat tribute artists

Cast: Phaldut Sharma

Stories of Note, Caleb Yule

A series of films that open the door unto the lives of many whilst acting as an examination into the stories we tell.

Cast: TBC

Pls, Like, Tom Kingsley

BBC Three series on YouTube: A search for the next megastar vlogger finds an unlikely victor in struggling comedian, Liam, who must undertake a series of challenges in order to win a £10,000 prize.

Cast: Liam Williams and Tim Key

Millennial Theory, Hugh O’Shea, Phillip Whiteman

An Instagram series that follows to halfwits who believe themselves to be enlightenment gurus; Think Nathan Barley meets Eckhart Tolle.

Cast: Hugh O’Shea, Phillip Whiteman


The Adventures of A Broken Heart, Ariel Martínez Herrera, Argentina

If the heart could talk, this would be its first television show. With the special appearances of Rabid Penis, Drunk Liver and Operated Kidney

Cast: None provided.

High Life, Glen Dolman and Luke Eve, Australia

Genevieve, a very sensible, creative and overachieving 17-year-old student in a respectable, middle class family, seems to be having the perfect ride, until her sanity spectacularly unravels in her manic episode of Bipolar Disorder.

Cast: Lily Hatwell, Ezekiel Simat, Di Adams

The Break Up List, Aaron Khoo, Singapore

When Luke Wong gets dumped by his girlfriend of 6 years, his whole world crumbles around him. Joe, his best buddy, is also abandoned by his girlfriend on the same day, leading the two set off on a journey to rebuild their lives and survive singlehood.

Cast: Benjamin Kheng, Elliot Lucas Marcell Tan

Jezebel, Julien Bittner, France

A mute musician in search of new inspiration after getting famous on the internet

Cast: Hélène Kuhn, Martin Nissen

Save Me, Fab Filippo and Dylan Pearce, Canada

Save Me drops us into random lives, mid-sentence. We get to know people through storylines that unravel with humour and pathos and a built-in ticking time bomb – that one of them at some point will be blindsided by a medical emergency

Cast: Fab Filippo, Amy Matysio, Suresh John

Clash of the Narratives, Robin Forestier-Walker

Exploring what its like to be on two opposing sides of a narrative

Cast: Irma Inashvili, Tamara Chergoleishvili


Life Of Us, Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin, USA

Breathe fire, swim underwater, survive the Ice Age, and soar over volcanoes as you evolve through different creatures and a billion years of evolution in this action-packed, multi-person VR adventure! Experience new voices, bodies, and special abilities before joining a post-singularity intergalactic dance party set to original music by Pharrell Williams. Created by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin, with music by Pharrell Williams. A Within Original, produced by Chris Milk, Megan Ellison through her Annapurna Pictures, and Made with Unity.

Manifest 99, Adam Volker and Bohdon Sayre, USA, World Premiere

Created by Flight School Studio, Manifest 99 is an eerie story about finding redemption in the afterlife. Set on a mysterious train, rambling through an unknown void, you assist four travel companions on their journey to their final destination. Using character engagement as a method of movement, Manifest 99 explores scale and navigation, unlike any other interactive VR experience.

Ray, Rafael Pavón, Spain, World Premiere

Ray is a VR fairy tale created by Future Lighthouse. It combines 360º stereoscopic video, impressive visual effects and arresting soundtrack. Immerse yourself in Lucy’s room the night when Ray, a nosy beam of light, comes to play on her dreams. Ray is also an interactive experience where Ray is alive, and you can play with it using voice recognition and gestures.

Cast: Laia Manzanares

Treehugger: Wawona, Robin McNicholas, Barney Steel and Ersin Han Ersin, UK

Treehugger: Wawona, the latest virtual reality installation from Marshmallow Laser Feast, reveals the secret life of the giant sequoia and never-before-seen inner workings of the world’s largest tree. Treehugger uniquely illustrates the sequoia’s immense scale and questions our relationship with the natural world at a time of crisis and change.


Horizons, Yuli Levtov, UK

Horizons is a series of interactive VR music journeys where you control the music, and the music controls the world. Make an otherworldly jungle come alive with sound, or travel at breakneck speed through colourful hyperspace. Featuring music from Bonobo, Reuben Cainer and My Panda Shall Fly.

In the Eyes of the Animal, Robin McNicholas, Barney Steel and Ersin Han Ersin, UK

In the Eyes of the Animal allows you to explore the forest through the eyes of four woodland species. It is an artistic interpretation of how animals view the world and their living environment.

The Unfinished, Balthazar Auxietre, France, International Premiere

In the museum, at night, the statues come alive. Through flashbacks, the viewer is told the love story behind the unfinished statue in the center of the room, and gets to interact with it to finish the unfinished and free the sculptures within. This majestic ballet in VR unfolds to the score of The Planets by Gustav Holst.

Cast: Raphaelle Boitel, Pauline Journe, Tarek Aitmeddour

Virtual Virtual Reality, Samantha Gorman and Adam Veal, USA, UK Premiere

Created by Tender Claws, Virtual Virtual Reality is a meta-satire about VR in VR. Welcome to “Activitude”: Real Labor Like You’re Really There! Cater to the whims of A.I. clients, or put on VR headsets in VR to escape into Activitude’s layers of reality as Chaz, the A.I overlord, attempts to boot you out PERMANENTLY.

Cast: Ted Evans, Jared Ramirez, Skip Pippo, Alice Winslow, Hugh Kennedy


Alteration, Jérome Blanquet, France, UK Premiere

Alexandro volunteers for an experiment carried out to study dreams in this poetic trip into the future. He can’t imagine that he will be subjected to the intrusion of Elsa, a form of Artificial Intelligence who desires to digitize his subconscious in order to feed off of it.

Cast: Bill Skarsgard, Pom Klementieff, Lizzie Brocheré, Amira Casar

Broken Night, Alon Benari and Tal Zubalsky, USA, UK Premiere

A woman and her husband return home one evening to discover an intruder. As she recounts the events of that evening to a police detective, the viewer chooses which of her memories to follow. Exploring the nature of memory itself, Broken Night takes the viewer on a psychological journey to uncover the truth of what transpired.

Cast: Emily Mortimer, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Nathanson, Josh Green

The Tragic Story of Betty Corrigall, Peter Boyd Maclean, UK, European Premiere

Abandoned by her whaler lover and left pregnant, Betty Corrigall drowned herself to escape her shame in the 1770s. Gather round the smoky peat fire to hear storyteller Tom Muir recall her tragic fate as Virtual Reality meets the centuries-old tradition of oral storytelling.

Cast: Betty Corrigall, Tom Muir, Barbara Scollay, Willy Sinclair, James Watson

UTURN, Nathalie Mathe and Ryan Lynch, USA, European Premiere

What happens when a young female coder joins a male-dominated floundering startup that’s deep in an identity crisis? UTURN is an immersive live-action VR comedy where viewers get to experience both sides of the gender divide.

Cast: Sophia DiPaola, Steve Goldbloom, Marc Fong Jr., Wynton Odd, Shruti Tewari


First Impressions, Francesca Panetta and Nicole Jackson, UK

Created by the Guardian VR team using the latest research in neural development and colour vision in infants, this 360º film allows you to experience and interact with the world from the point of view of a baby. It’s a period that none of us remember but is the most crucial stage of our development.

Cast: Chetna Pandya, Natascha McElhone

Iranian Kurdish Female Fighters, Namak Khoshnaw, Iraq, UK, World Premiere

17-year-old Aso Saqzi ran away from home in Iran to join the battle against the Islamic State. She is not alone. Hundreds of Iranian Kurds, many of them young women, have volunteered to defeat IS – and to fight for a Kurdish homeland.

Songs of Vine, Maira Clancy and Blake Montgomery, USA, Peru, European Premiere

Songs of the Vine’ focuses on the healing modalities and medicine songs of the Shipibo, an indigenous group well-known for its tradition of plant-spirit shamanism and mastery of the visionary ayahuasca medicine. Through the immersion of VR, the film illustrates an ancient but increasingly relevant dynamic between humans and nature.

Cast: Ynes Sanchez Gonzalez, Jose Lopez Sanchez, Lila Lopez Sanchez, Laura Lopez Sanchez, Damian Pacaya Rodriguez

¡Viva La Evolución!, Fifer Garbesi, Cuba, UK Premiere

As American culture streams into Cuba for the first time in 50 years, DJ Joyvan Guevara struggles between the new opportunity for global success and a responsibility to the culture he helped build in the face of commercialization.

Cast: Joyvan Guevara


Arden’s Wake, Eugene Chung, USA, UK Premiere

A young woman lives with her father in a lighthouse perched atop an Endless Sea. When he goes missing, she must descend deep into the post-apocalyptic waters previously forbidden to her, embarking on a thrilling journey of family history and self-discovery. From the creators of the magnificent Allumette, Arden’s Wake continues the elegant evolution of storytelling from Penrose Studios.

Dear Angelica, Wesley Allsbrook and Saschka Unseld, USA, UK Premiere

From Emmy Award-winning Oculus Story Studio comes Dear Angelica, a journey through the magical and dreamlike ways we remember our loved ones. Entirely painted by hand inside of VR by artist Wesley Allsbrook, Dear Angelica plays out in a series of memories that unfold around you. An immersive, illustrative short story starring Geena Davis and Mae Whitman.

Cast: Geena Davis, Mae Whitman

Rain or Shine, Felix Massie, UK

Rain or Shine is Nexus’ interactive 360° mobile VR short film made for Google Spotlight Stories. Directed by Felix Massie, Rain or Shine follows Ella, a charismatic young girl who loves being outside in the sunshine, but whenever she puts her sunglasses on all loveliness disappears – her very own raincloud appears above her head.

Song of the Sea, Jerrica Cleland and Tomm Moore, Ireland, UK, Denmark, International Premiere

The Song of the Sea Virtual Reality experience is inspired by our Oscar-nominated hand-drawn animated feature film Song of the Sea by Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon.

Cast: Jon Kenny


Beethoven’s Fifth, Jessica Brillhart, USA

A journey into interstellar space with a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, First Movement by the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Cast: Esa-Pekka Salonen

Mind Enterprises: Chapita, Eran Amir, UK

Chapita is brought to life in this VR experience combining an ambitious 360º storytelling experience with cinemagraphs and clonemotion technology. The result is an immersive narrative in which the dancer leads us into a multi-coloured world of choreographed dance loops, set against a backdrop of stark contrast that lends a sense of infinite space.

Cast: Mimi Jeong

Peroration Six, Fabien Coupez, USA, World Premiere

Get blown away by the force of elements inside this stunning VR experience! Set in the middle of the iconic Utah desert, this mesmerizing live performance will take you on an incredible journey that will unleash the natural and supernatural elements.

Cast: Sam Shepherd, David Okumu, Alex Reeve, Leo Taylor, Phillip Granell, Paloma Deike, Anisa Arslanagic, Magda Pietraszewska

Reeps One: Does Not Exist, John Hendicott and Gawain Liddiard, UK, USA, UK Premiere

Does Not Exist drops you into the centre of Reeps One’s first virtual reality beatbox performance – exploring the latest technology for VR and head-tracked 3D spatial audio. Working in 360º from the ground up, the track was composed to fully utilise the 360º sonic and visual space, creating a totally new style of music video.

Cast: Reeps One


Manchester City – Match Day, Adam May, UK, World Premiere

Get closer to the matchday action at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium in a new 360º fan experience. From the tunnel to the player, changing rooms to the grass being cut, experience a behind the scenes view of Etihad Stadium in full matchday action. A can’t-miss for football and sports fans across the world.

Snatch VR Heist Experience, Rafael Pavón and Nicolás Alcalá, Spain, USA, UK Premiere

Inspired by a real-life heist in London, Crackle’s new series, Snatch, centers on a group of twenty-something, up-and-coming hustlers who are suddenly thrust into the high-stakes world of organized crime.

Cast: Rupert Grint, Phoebe Dynevor, Luke Pasqualino, Lucien Laviscount

The Chainsmokers Paris VR, Brynley Gibson and Russell Harding, UK, European Premiere

Go on an epic journey with Grammy-winning DJ Duo and The Chainsmokers as you travel through dreamlike environments. Influence new remixes of the hit song Paris based on the choices you make. Choose a new path each time you enter the experience, let the music engulf you as you lean into it, or simply lean back and enjoy the daydream.

Cast: Drew Taggart, Alex Pall

Welcome To Laphroaig, Darren Emerson, UK, World Premiere

Created by VR City, this 360º film takes you on an epic journey into the heart of the historic Laphroaig whiskey distillery on the beautiful island of Islay.



Come! (Viens!), Michel Reilhac, France

Three women and four men, all naked, appear out of nowhere in the white, sunny space of a bright room outside of time. They meet, touch, share their energy and are transformed spiritually, letting themselves become one with the world.

Cast: Amador Jojo, Ayoti, Christophe De La Pointe, De La Fouquette, Flozif, Yumie Volupté, Fox

In My Shoes: Intimacy, Jane Gauntlett and Andrew Somerville, UK

In My Shoes: Intimacy is a 360º experience which explores the power of human connection. Put aside your inhibitions, let these strangers guide you through their impromptu, unconventional and intense moments of intimacy. Intimacy is a first-person documentary designed for two people to experience three encounters from six very different perspectives.

Cast: Sarah Cowan, George Collie, Daniel James, Ellie Stamp, Neil Connolly, 
Stella Taylor

Second Date, Jennifer Lyon Bell, Netherlands, USA, World Premiere

Set on an Amsterdam houseboat, Second Date is a lighthearted, unscripted Virtual Reality portrait of two young people fumbling towards ecstasy. Trying to find common ground, their conversation veers from clumsy to joyous and back again – until they finally start connecting for real.

Cast: Anne De Winter, Bishop Black

Through You, Saschka Unseld and Lily Baldwin, USA

Using dance to inhabit a common mortal story of love born, lived, lost, burned and seemingly gone forever, Through You is a live-action VR richly infused with an atmosphere of raw passion.

Cast: Joanna Kotze, Amari Cheatom, Marni Thomas Wood


42 Days, Animal Equality, USA, Spain

Imagine you’ve just been born, but you have no mother to keep you warm. You are afraid. Just one chick among billions. And your life will only last until you’re big enough to slaughter. This is the stark reality for billions of young chickens around the world.

Cast: Amanda Abbington

Aftershock: Nepal’s Untold Water Story, Catherine Feltham, UK

Two earthquakes. One lifeline. One man’s remarkable journey. This VR film follows Krishna, the only plumber in his district, as he works tirelessly to help repair his community’s vital water system which was damaged during the 2015 Nepal earthquakes.

Cast: Krishna Sunuwar

Munduruku: The Fight to Defend the Heart of the Amazon, James Manisty and Grace Boyle, UK, Brazil

Combining cutting-edge Virtual Reality filmmaking and multisensory storytelling, Munduruku opens a window into the lives, stories and struggle of the Munduruku Indigenous People in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

You Are There. On the road to ending Polio, Peter Collis and Vanessa Moussa, UK, USA, France, Switzerland

You Are There takes us to a Kenyan village to meet a nine-year-old boy, Job, infected with polio and Sabina, a dedicated vaccinator, on her travels to do whatever it takes to spare other children his fate.

Cast: Ewan McGregor


Life Of Us, Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin, USA

Breathe fire, swim underwater, survive the Ice Age, and soar over volcanoes as you evolve through different creatures and a billion years of evolution in this action packed, multi-person VR adventure! Experience new voices, bodies, and special abilities before joining a post-singularity intergalactic dance party set to original music by Pharrell Williams. Created by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin, with music by Pharrell Williams. A Within Original, produced by Chris Milk, Megan Ellison through her Annapurna Pictures, and Made with Unity.

Reeps One: Does Not Exist, John Hendicott and Gawain Liddiard, UK, USA, UK Premiere

Does Not Exist drops you into the centre of Reeps One’s first virtual reality beatbox performance – exploring the latest technology for VR and head-tracked 3D spatial audio. Working in 360º from the ground up, the track was composed to fully utilise the 360º sonic and visual space, creating a totally new style of music video.

Cast: Reeps One

The Resistance of Honey, Peter Boyd Maclean, UK, UK Premiere

Step inside the world of Bioni Samp, an urban beekeeper who makes honey–and music–from his bees. A fascinating, mind-expanding glimpse into the extraordinary world inside the beehive.

Cast: Bioni Samp

The Tragic Story of Betty Corrigall, Peter Boyd Maclean, UK, European Premiere

Abandoned by her whaler lover and left pregnant, Betty Corrigall drowned herself to escape her shame in the 1770s. Gather round the smoky peat fire to hear storyteller Tom Muir recall her tragic fate as Virtual Reality meets the centuries old tradition of oral storytelling.

Cast: Betty Corrigall, Tom Muir, Barbara Scollay, Willy Sinclair, James Watson