At the Heart of Indie Filmmaking Since 1992
The very first Raindance event was in April 1992 when we hosted a film seminar with the Hollywood maverick, Dov Simens. Princess Diana was still alive and John Major was Prime Minister.
Since 1993 the Raindance Film Festival has annually uncovered the hottest new filmmakers to hit the cinematic scene. Some Raindance-premiered hits are Pulp Fiction, Memento, the Blair Witch Project, Ghost World and Love Exposure.
In 1998 Raindance launched the British Independent Film Awards – a yearly industry event attended by the upper ranks of the UK moviemaking establishment. The BIFAs are now regarded as one of the penultimate awards in the world film calendar. Honours have included Ben Kingsley, Harvey Weinstein, Richard Curtis, and helped launch countless films including 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire.
Until 2001 Raindance Film Festival was sometimes referred to as the ‘London’ or ‘pre-MIFED’ Screenings (MIFED collapsed post 9/11), essentially filling the film market position for the UK and which saw approximately 63% of films picked up by UK distributors. A similar London UK Film Focus (LUFF) was set up in 2004 by Film London, followed by the Production Finance Market in 2007.
Similarly “Raindance Kids: London’s Children Film Festival” which had been set up by Raindance and ran successfully for a number of years post 9/11 when sponsorship collapsed, hitting all arts organizations. The model was reproduced two years later by the London Barbican who now run the “London Children’s Film Festival”.
Raindance consulted on the creation of the Berlin Talent Campus and created Raindance East supported by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets (now the independently run East End Film Festival).
The rest of the year at Raindance is spent training thousands of new and established filmmakers in all aspects of film. Among high profile alumni are Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins), David Yates (Harry Potter), Guy Ritchie and Matthew Vaughn – who actually met at a Raindance course. Raindance training is one of the world’s largest catering for over 3000 students per year.
Raindance set up the Independent Film Trust in 2006, a charity to help support the film festival, the BIFA awards as well as film training for disadvantaged kids. In 2007 Raindance.TV was launched, an online IPTV channel which has supported the online distribution of hundreds of features and shorts, with views topping 1 million in its first 6 months.
2010 saw the launch of a limited theatrical distribution of Raindance hits through Apollo Cinemas.
Our filmmaking publications are published internationally, translated into French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Portugese and Italian and are an essential on most university reading lists.
1992: Raindance founded by filmmakers, for filmmakers
Year round training courses (2,800 attended in 2006) attended by Guy Ritchie, Mathew Vaughn, Christopher Nolan, Paul Brooks (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and many others attend industry standard courses.
1993: Festival founded. Read the complete history.
UK Premieres include Blair Witch, Memento, Ghost World.
1997 – present: Raindance has produced 3 features, including The Living And The Dead (2006) which has won 11 international awards
1998: British Independent Film Awards founded.
Now considered by the British film industry to be the most important film event in the country. (“Time Out, Screen International and Variety”)
Supported by the whole independent industry from established filmmakers like Ken Loach, Ewan Macgregor and Michael Winterbottom to debutante filmmakers.
1999: Weekly newsletter launched, now reaches 26,000 and growing: half UK, 1/3 Europe, balance USA.
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2003: Nokia Shorts launched
Set a benchmark for user generated content with this innovative short film competition.
2005: Raindance Canada launched with offices in Toronto
2007: Raindance.tv founded
2008: 10th anniversary of BIFA at the Roundhouse
2011: Raindance launches a Post Graduate Degree in Independent Film
We also move to a new office for the first time since 1993 – from Berwick Street in Soho to the crypt of St Georges Bloomsbury.
2012: Raindance becomes the second UK film festival to qualify for Oscar nominations.
2012: Raindance opens the Raindance Film Centre in Trafalgar Square at 10 Craven Street, London WC2N 5PE.
2013: Raindance Raw Talent re-launched with feature Deadly Virtues: Love.Honour.Obey. and The Quiet Hour.
2014: Raindance Film Festival attendance rocketed up 41% following support from the BFI for the first time. The Telegraph also became the festival’s media partner.
Elliot Grove – Festival Director
Despite being unable to watch TV or films until his late teens due to the constraints of his Amish background, Elliot was curious about art and film. He worked first as a scenic artist (painting backgrounds). He started Raindance as a thought experiment: Could you make a movie with no training, no experience or no money. His first intern was Edgar Wright. When British filmmakers like Christopher Nolan started making zero budget films, Elliot started Raindance Film Festival, as well as the British Independent Film Awards to showcase their work.