BIFA Raindance Discovery Award Longlist 2020
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Raindance, the UK's largest independent film festival, is the place to discover the work of passionate and groundbreaking new filmmakers: those whose determination to tell compelling stories never wavers, even on a budget. It is therefore appropriate that Raindance gives the name Raindance Discovery Award At the annual BIFA (British Independent Film Awards), the award ceremony founded by Raindance in 1998. This avant-garde award recognizes British films that demonstrate innovation, uniqueness of vision, risk taking and outsider filmmaking on a budget of less than £ 500,000.

Previous recipients include Ben Wheatley, who received an early award for his bold first feature Down the terrace. The BIFA Raindance Discovery Award was given to Zara Balfour, Marcus Stephenson and Mark Hakansson in 2019 for the breathtaking and inspiring Children of the snow country.

These years The Raindance Discovery Award longlist comprises 10 outstanding films. Some focus on female protagonists, while others focus on the diversity of love, including the love of Air Jordan sneakers and nuclear power. These remarkably diverse films are united in their vision of telling relevant and uncompromising stories.

“Raindance will always be a place where you can discover and be discovered. So we're excited to put this list of bold, fresh and innovative work in the spotlight, ”he says Elliot Grove, founder of Raindance and BIFA. "This year has been more difficult than ever for new talent in filmmaking. We hope the Raindance Discovery Award will help give these indie filmmakers the extra boost they need."

Complete longlist

BODY OF WATER (Writer / Director: Lucy Brydon, Producers: Dan Cleland, Jeannette Sutton)

Lucy Brydon's powerful debut feature sensitively examines the effects of an eating disorder on a family. Acclaimed war photographer Stephanie (Sian Brooke) has just completed another round of chronic anorexia treatments and is working hard to reconnect with her family. Her mother Susan (Amanda Burton) is supportive but concerned about her upcoming wedding to Annette (Kazia Pelka). Meanwhile, Stephanie's teenage daughter, the competitive swimmer Pearl (Fabienne Piolini-Castle), is angry and full of resentment and refuses to give her mother a second chance. Stephanie will need all her strength to keep her head above water

FLIGHT (Writer / Director / Producer: Vaughan Pilikian)

"Flight" was filmed in 2015 and 16 in five locations on the overland route from Greece to France and takes up the founding event of our time again: the so-called "migrant crisis". The film, which avoids polemics and exaggeration, is intended to bear witness on the spot, face to face. It interweaves its visual music with the soaring maqaams of Iraqi saxophonist Amar Alaw in search of something more intimate and universal.

JUSTINE (Director / Producer: Jamie Patterson, Writer: Jeff Murphy, Producers: Sarah Drew, Jason Rush, Julius Beltrame)

Justine (Tallulah Haddon) is a young woman with a wild intelligence and an equally strong appetite for self-destruction. Together with her only friend Peach (Xavien Russell), she suffocates in a world that makes little sense and where alcohol is the only way out of her view of a hopeless future. Her probation officer Leanne (Sian Reese-Williams) and her doctor (Steve Oram) try to bring her back into society, but Justine understands all too well what society can offer her and she refuses to obey its rules. One day she meets Rachel (Sophie Reid) on a shoplifting and the possibility of happiness, love and future begins to arise. Justine is a love story by writer Jeff Murphy (Hinterland, Denmark, Hidden) and director Jamie Patterson (Tucked) about the search for love and belonging in a chaotic world.

LOOTED (Writer / Director: Rene van Pannevis, Writer: Kefi Chadwick, Producers: Jennifer Eriksson, Jessie Mangum)

Rob loves driving and stealing cars and lives his life at a speed of a hundred miles an hour in the port city where he lives. He shares a house with his dying father, who thinks he is looking for a job. Rob manages to keep his two worlds perfectly separate until best buddy Leo embroils him in a bigger, riskier job that goes terribly wrong. With his relationship with his distant father in tatters and betrayed by his best buddy, unexpected hope comes from Leo's girlfriend Kasia.

core (Writer / Director: Catherine Linstrum, Writer: David-John Newman, Producer: Stella Nwimo)

Brutalized by her own brother, a traumatized young girl, Emma and her mother are on the run. Find refuge in a secluded retreat where a nuclear power plant is looming. Emma begins to break away from her mother's protection and is forced to navigate a hostile world on her own. Nuclear is a tense and haunting story of a toxic family with a dangerous past.

A MAN AND HIS SHOES (Director: Yemi Bamiro, Producer: Will Thorne)

The history of the Air Jordan sneakers phenomenon reveals its social, cultural, and racial significance and how groundbreaking marketing strategies spawned a billion dollar business. But it's also a story with a darker side – for thirty years people have been ready to kill for a pair of Air Jordans while makers turned a blind eye to Nike. This film is a parable of America's dark love affair with consumer capitalism and celebrity culture.

PERFECT 10 (Writer / Director: Eva Riley, Jacob Thomas)

14-year-old Leigh (formidable newcomer Frankie Box) lives on the outskirts of Brighton with her negligent father. She is a talented gymnast who, despite her lack of confidence, some bitchy gymnasts, and little money to pay her dues, trains hard for her first competition. When an older half-brother appears at her house one night, Leigh's lonely existence changes. Suspicion gradually turns into exciting new feelings as Leigh receives the attention she craves. Debut director Eva Riley delivers an assured and spirited coming-of-age story that examines a sibling relationship with heartfelt sensitivity. Sharp visual style and a lively soundtrack complete this portrait of a wanton but sensitive teenage hood.

REAL (Writer / Director / Producer: Aki Omoshaybi)

In downtown Portsmouth, an unremarkable newsagent sits between a courthouse and a business center. Sparks fly between the well-dressed Kyle (Aki Omoshaybi) and the equally balanced Jamie (Pippa Bennett-Warner). Despite their outward appearances, both struggle to get out of the misery they'd rather keep hidden. As their feelings for each other blossom, their past resurfaces, threatening to break up before their relationship even begins. The critically acclaimed feature film debut of the actor who became writer and director Aki Omoshaybi, REAL is an authentic and touching love story from a place where second chances are hard to come by.

ROSE: A LOVE STORY (Direction: Jennifer Sheridan, Writer / Producer: Matt Stokoe, Producers: April Kelley, Sara Huxley, Rob Taylor, Sophie Rundle)

Rose is the story of a young couple who live alone in the forest and struggle with a life changing disease that manifests itself in a violent and terrible way. Rose disease is a vampiric, parasitic thirst for blood. As their hunger grows, all of humanity seems to give way to savage violence that harms both themselves and those around them. Their loving relationship strains under the weight of Rose's illness and it is only a matter of time before the secluded life they have built is completely turned on its head.

The atom: a love affair (Writer / Director / Producer: Vicki Lesley)

The political drama behind the scenes meets sentimental film romance in this comprehensive international documentary and delves deep into the past of the world's most controversial energy source. With jewels from the archives, a lush romantic score, and a warm and playful tone, the film traces the West's love-hate relationship with nuclear power over the past 75 years. It is a dramatic story of faith, betrayal, intrigue, and hope told firsthand by scientists, engineers, politicians, and activists.

The final list of the five nominations will be announced on Wednesday December 9th. The BIFA winners will be announced in February 2021.

For more information, please contact Stuart Haggas

About Raindance

Raindance aims to promote and support independent filmmakers and filmmakers.

Raindance connects, trains, supports and encourages visual storytellers at every step of their career.

The Raindance Film Festival takes place every autumn in London's Leicester Square.

Raindance has been offering film training since 1992. A wide range of open classes through to a 2-year HND Level 5 BTEC in Moving Images for a postgraduate film degree is offered to students on five continents both in person and online.


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