Nominated for the Camera d’Or and the Queer Palm at Cannes, THE HILL WHERE THE LIONNES ROAR triumphs at Raindance with two prizes: ‘Best Director’ for Luàna Bajrami and ‘Discovery Award: Best Debut Feature’.
YouTuber and shorts director Luke Cutforth’s debut feature, ARTHUR BRAXTON’S DROWNING has been named Best British Feature. Champion of the San Sebastián and Sitges film festivals, Anita Rocha da Silveira’s second feature, MEDUSA, is named “Best International Feature”. Tracking the rise of far-right nationalism in the United States, director Daniel Lombroso’s award-winning debut feature WHITE NOISE is named “Best Documentary Feature”. Nominated at the Sydney and Nashville film festivals, I’M WANITA was named ‘Best Music Documentary’, winning director Matthew Walker £1,000 from Spotify.
Portuguese actress Lúcia Moniz has received numerous accolades for her lead role in LISTEN – now also winning ‘best performance’ at Raindance for her powerful portrayal of a struggling mother in suburban London whose daughter’s deafness triggers a red flag with UK social services.
Known for his work on Frances Ha and Lady Bird, film photographer Sam Levy wins the “Best Cinematography” award for MAYDAY. The fantastic sci-fi story KING CAR wins the “Best Screenplay” award for writer/director Renata Pinheiro and screenwriters Sergio Oliveira and Leo Pyrata. And the winners are:
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM: MEDUSA
Inspired by the mythical and real violence of women against women and set against a backdrop of toxic masculinity and right-wing politics, Medusa (dir: Anita Rocha da Silveira, Brazil) sees a group of Christian women band together to attack the women they judge to be too liberal or too promiscuous.
BEST UK FILM: ARTHUR BRAXTON’S DROWNING
When a bullied schoolboy from a dysfunctional home discovers a beautiful water nymph lurking in an abandoned Edwardian bathhouse, he must confront his own personal demons to save them both. YouTuber Luke Cutforth’s feature debut, Arthur Braxton’s Drowning is based on the best-selling novel by Caroline Smailes.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM: WHITE NOISE
With unprecedented access, rookie filmmaker Daniel Lombroso tracks the rise of far-right nationalism. White Noise shows us explosive protests, riotous parties, and the private spaces where populist and racist ideologies are refined and weaponized.
BEST DIRECTOR: LUÀNA BAJRAMI, THE HILL WHERE THE LIONS ROAR
DISCOVERY / BEST FIRST FILM: THE HILL WHERE THE LIONESS ROAR
In a small remote village in Kosovo, three young women see their dreams and ambitions stifled. In their quest for independence, nothing can stop them. The Hill Where Lionesses Roar (dir: Luàna Bajrami, Kosovo/France) was nominated for the Golden Camera and Queer Palm awards at Cannes.
BEST PERFORMANCE: LÚCIA MONIZ, LISTEN
Anchored by a brilliant performance by Lúcia Moniz (Love, Actually) alongside Ruben Garcia and Sophia Myles, Listen (dir: Ana Rocha de Sousa UK/Portugal) follows a couple living in the suburbs of London who face serious difficulties with social services when their 7-year-old daughter’s deafness triggers a red flag in the system.
BEST MUSICAL DOCUMENTARY: I AM WANITA
I’m Wanita (dir: Matthew Walker, Australia) documents a renegade country music singer from regional Australia, determined to overcome obstacles such as her autism to achieve her childhood dreams of stardom. The filmmakers receive £1,000 from Spotify.
BEST SCENARIO: RENATA PINHEIRO, SERGIO OLIVEIRA, LEO PYRATA, KING CAR
In the independent science fiction King Car (dir: Renata Pinheiro, Brazil), the son of a taxi company owner has an extraordinary connection with cars: he can talk to them. With his uncle, he converts radiation into sentient, talking futuristic vehicles. They then adopt the status quo under the King Car banner.
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: SAM LEVY, MAYDAY
Starring Grace Van Patten, Mia Goth and Soko, with a cameo by Juliette Lewis, Mayday (Dir: Karen Cinorre, US) follows a young woman who is abused by her boss. She is then transported to a dreamland and joins an army of girls engaged in an endless war of revenge.
ACADEMY AWARD® QUALIFYING COURTS PROGRAM
Raindance is an Oscar-qualifying festival. The recipient of the Festival’s Best Short Film is eligible for consideration in the Academy Awards® Short Film category without the standard theatrical release (provided the film otherwise complies with Academy rules).
BEST SHORT OF THE FESTIVAL: THE SILENT ECHO
(dir: Suman Sen, India/Nepal/Bangladesh/France). Four teenagers from a remote mountain village in Nepal muster up enough money and courage to enter a music competition in a nearby town.
BEST UK SHORT FILM: ENJOY (dir: Saul Abraham, UK)
Michael (Himesh Patel) searches for new ways to end his downward spiral. Enjoy is an offbeat exploration of masculinity, men’s mental health, and how societal stereotypes surrounding male depression play out across different generations.
BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY: NSENENE (dir: Michelle Coomber, UK)
The night sky over the Ugandan town of Masaka is laced with eerie green light, the whine of electricity and the buzz of insects. This documentary captures the extraordinary spectacle of grasshopper season.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT: A BITE OF BONE (director: Honami Yano, Japan)
On a small island in Japan, a little girl thinks back to her last summer with her father at his funeral.
BEST MUSIC VIDEO: DON’T JUDGE ME (dir: Emmanuel Adjei, FKA Twigs, UK)
A commentary on the experience of being black and British, featuring FKA Twigs and Headie One alongside activists, writers and cultural figures.
2021 Raindance Jury
This year’s jury: Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve, Harry Potter, True Blood), Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones, Penny Dreadful, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay), Tobias Menzies (The Crown, Outlander, Rome), Phoebe Dynevor ( Bridgerton, Snatch, Waterloo Road), Rakie Ayola (Anthony, The Pact, Grace), Jodhi May (A World Apart, Last of the Mohicans, Defiance), Dolly Wells (The Offenders, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Doll & Em ), Robert Sheehan (Love/Hate, Misfits, Song for a Raggy Boy), Aneurin Barnard (Dunkirk, The Personal History of David Copperfield, Goldfinch), Romola Garai (The Hour, Emma, Inside I’m Dancing), Ben Hardy (X-Men: Apocalypse, Mary Shelly, Bohemian Rhapsody), Babou Ceesay (Our Loved Boy, Dark Money, Best of Enemies), Mena Massoud (Aladdin, Open Heart, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan)
Human rights and LGBT+ activist Peter Tatchell, director Tarsem Singh, The Guardian documentaries executive Lindsay Poulton, CNN political commentator SE Cupp, Emmy-winning show casting associate Ted Lasso Olissa Rogers, Producer Phil Hunt, Producer Stella Nwimo, Arrow Films Senior Marketing Manager Louise Buckler, Bulldog Film Distribution Manager Philip Hoile, 42 Management Literary Manager Alex Bloch, Marketing Director and General Manager of Film Constellation Chloe Tai, 16 Days 16 Films Johanna Von Fischer, Director of Programs and Distribution Sales at Curzon Damian Spandley, Spotify’s Olga Puzanova, Leroy Harris and Kieran Lancini, Head of Alternative Programming at Genesis Cinema Christina Papasotiriou, Director Gabriel Range (Stardust, 28th Raindance Opening Gala), director Giorgos Georgopoulos (Not To Be Unpleasant But We Need To Have A Serious Talk, 28th Raindance “Film of the Festival”), director Amit Dubey (A Fallen Fruit, 28th Raindance “Short Of The Festival”).
ADDITIONAL PRIZE: BEST NON-PRODUCED SCENARIO
Julia Campanelli wins this extra Raindance award for her screenplay The Paisley Witch Trial, beating out other unproduced screenplays Meetings With Marty by Gregor Nicholas and Water House by Alice Charles.