Hunter Schafer’s ‘Cuckoo,’ Charlie Plummer’s ‘National Anthem’ to Bookend Raindance as Festival Moves Up to Summer From Fall

London’s Raindance Film Festival is making a significant calendar shift for its 32nd edition, moving from its traditional fall slot to a new summer schedule

Published Time: 20.05.2024 - 13:31:30 Modified Time: 20.05.2024 - 13:31:30

London’s Raindance Film Festival is making a significant calendar shift for its 32nd edition, moving from its traditional fall slot to a new summer schedule.

Raindance kicks off with the U.K. premiere of Tilman Singer’s “Cuckoo,” a horror feature starring Hunter Schafer and Dan Stevens that previously played at Berlin and SXSW. Closing the festival is the European premiere of “National Anthem” by Luke Gilford, starring Charlie Plummer as a construction worker joining a community of queer rodeo performers. The film, which was at Toronto and SXSW, leads into the Pride in London weekend with a wild West End party.

This year, Germany is the festival’s guest of honor. The festival will showcase new German films, including “Cuckoo,” “Eternal You” and “What You See of Me.” A dedicated shorts program and industry panels, including a session with production designer Mona Cathleen Otterbach, will highlight Germany’s cinematic achievements. A retrospective will feature Michael Haneke’s “The White Ribbon,” with a masterclass by actor Christian Friedel, discussing his role in this and other films.

The competition features strands like Discovery, highlighting debut directors. Titles include “Arni” by Dorka Vermes, “Cat Call” by Rozália Szelenczki and “It’s Burning” by Erol Afsin. The international strand includes “Animal” by Sofia Exarchou and “Body Odyssey” by Grazia Tricarico, with Julian Sands in his final film role. Notable in the Founders’ Strand is “Dog War” by Andrew Abrahams, a documentary on combat veterans rescuing dogs from South Korean meat markets, and “Double Exposure” by Howard Goldberg, exploring the intersection of past and present.

The documentary section features &ldq -

uo;Avant-Drag!” by Fil Ieropoulos and “Eternal You” by Hans Block and Moritz Rieseviek. Short films are also in the spotlight, with Raindance being an Oscar-qualifying festival for shorts.

The jury, including actors Diego Luna and Alice Englert, and producer Al Morrow, will honor features in five categories, including Discovery Award and Best Documentary Feature. Shorts will compete in four categories.

Some 90% of the films in competition are debut features, in keeping with Raindance’s track record as a launchpad for new filmmakers.

“Raindance is known as a festival of discovery,” said festival founder Elliot Grove. “With our newly determined and defined focus on first and second-time filmmakers, we continue our campaign of championing new voices and the edgy, under-the-radar films.

Artistic directors Martyna Szmytkowska and Malaika Bova added: “We continue with the mission that we began last year: to confirm Raindance as the leading U.K. platform for emerging filmmakers. As part of this effort, we have reshaped the film program, the awards system and the industry sessions – altogether tailoring Raindance to the needs of first and second-time filmmakers.”

The festival runs June 19-28 across London’s Curzon Mayfair, Curzon Soho, Prince Charles Cinema and Genesis Cinema. Additionally, the House of Raindance industry hub and the Raindance Immersive Summit (June 18-19) will take place at Wonderville on Haymarket, while the ninth Raindance Immersive will be hosted on VRChat throughout June.

Most Popular

Must Read

Sign Up for Variety Newsletters

A Variety and iHeartRadio Podcast

More From Our Brands

ad To help keep your account secure, please log-in again. You are no longer onsite at your organization. Please log in. For assistance, contact your corporate administrator.