|Top 20 films to see at the 2014 Raindance Film Festival|
|Written by Ivan Radford|
|Monday, 22 September 2014 23:41|
Tomorrow marks one of my favourite days of the year: the day the Raindance Film Festival kicks off in London. The 2014 Raindance line-up is as diverse as ever, with an exciting array of talent attached to projects - and, even more excitingly, a range of films from people you've never heard of before.
With tickets starting from £8 during weekdays, the low numbers stretch to audience budgets as well as filmmaker budgets - and with the London Film Festival still two weeks away, why not explore some creative film-making in the coming fortnight?
What's worth catching at this year's festival? Which ambitious indie has the most interesting ideas? We pick our top 20 films to see at the 2014 Raindance Film Festival.
Michael Pitt and Brit Marling play two biologists who find themselves juggling scientific and spiritual beliefs in this fascinating drama. Directed by Another Earth's Mike Cahill, I Origins cements him as one of the most interesting filmmakers in the sci-fi genre today.
Daniel Lunge and Bryan Storkel direct this curious look at pastors in the US, who spend half their time preaching and the other half punching people's faces in. Is it possible to be an MMA fighter and a Christian? To its credit, the film follows both sides of the argument in a strange-but-true clash of ideals.
The Record Keeper
Raina, Heaven’s own civil servant, attempts diligently to record the events of creation while trying to stay detached from what is unfolding around her. If the words "biblical", "steampunk" and "fantasy" don't interest you, you could well be missing out.
Every sperm is sacred, Monty Python joked years ago. In the orthodox Hasidic Jewish community, though, there is such a thing as holy sperm - a phenomenon recorded by Or Yashar's documentary.
Michael Pena, John Malkovich and America Ferrerra star in this film about Cesar Chavez, the Mexican civil rights campaigner. If those names don't excite you, add Diego Luna's to the list: he's the one behind the camera.
Songs for Alexis
A young trans male writes songs about his life after his double mastectomy and Alexis, whom he meets at summer camp. Music, travel, LGTB marches and love, all in one documentary.
Javier Bardem's brother, Carlos, co-stars as a televangelist in this drama about a young man who gets sucked into a corrupt Christian cult in Mexico.
Kung Fu Elliot
Ever heard of Elliot "White Lightning" Scott? That doesn't stop him from trying to become Canada's first action hero...
Things People Do
Fresh from his comeback turns in Pioneer and The Hunger Games, Wes Bentley continues to pick a range of interesting roles. This time, it's Bill, a family man who turns to crime to support his wife and sons. Hello to Jason Isaacs as his best friend, Frank.
The Ninth Cloud
Jean Hugues Anglade plays Zena, a girl in 1990s London trying to work out life. She meets Bob (Michael Madsen), a playwright at the heart of a cultural group, and soon falls in love.
Jason deCaires Taylor places sculptures along the ocean bed as part of an artistic demonstration that Earth's coral reefs are under threat. Cheeky yet serious, creative yet critical, this documentary is part installation, part investigation of environmental issues.
Josie Lawrence plays a widow who follows her daughter into a sex-driven commune to try and convince her to return home. Now there's a sentence I never thought I'd write. Colour me interested.
Winner of the 2014 SXSW Grand Jury Award, this hipstery film sees two 20-something girls go on a road trip to the beach: a distance of 10 miles.
Flim: The Movie
A film about making a film about someone making a film.
Like Sunday, Like Rain
Recently broken-up babysitter Leighton Meester takes a job as a nanny to a 13 year old boy, who, it turns out, is very gifted. The pair are supported by none other than Will & Grace's Debra Messing and Green Day's Billy Joe Armstrong.
Dario's daughter, Asia Argento, continues her career with this drama about a self-centred actor, Aria, whose parents are divorcing. Charlotte Gainsburg co-stars as her mother.
This Italian neo-noir sees two families fall apart amid financial and moral bankruptcy in this drama full of lust, lies and greed.
After Brian McGuire's Prevertere impressed at last year's Raindance, the director is back with WiNdOw LiCkEr, a film about one man's journey through madness. Shot with webcams and phone cameras, this promises to be one hell of a ride.
The Quiet Hour
Aliens invade Earth to steal our natural resources, but Dakota Blue Richards leads the struggle to survive as Sarah, a young girl who finds herself at risk from humans as well as extraterrestrials.
In Conversation with Sean Bobbitt
Ok, this isn't a film, but this Q&A with cinematographer extraordinaire Sean Bobbitt is more than worth the entry price. Expect him to talk about Shame, Hunger and 12 Years a Slave - and a hell of a lot more.
For more information on this year's festival or to browse the full line-up, visit www.raindancefestival.org.