Klaxon! Are you ready, LGBTQIA film fanatics?


Calling all LGBTQIA film fans! Raindance Film Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a queer-tastic event taking place from 26 October-5 November. Revisiting some of its landmark films from the archives in a series of special screenings, this year’s edition will look to the future with queer essentials including ERIN’S GUIDE TO KISSING GIRLS. Heartstopper fanatics: this one’s for you.

This year’s selection comprises features across eight strands: Debut, International, Documentaries, Homegrown, Queer, Music, Screamdance and An Immigrants Tale. 10 shorts programmes, the Raindance Immersive VR programme and an industry programme comprised of events and masterclasses will similarly feature at this year’s festival, designed to inspire the next generation of filmmakers no matter their background.

The 2022 programme features an array of queer highlights across its queer strand, with ERIN’S GUIDE TO KISSING GIRLS (dir: Julianna Notten, Canada) following the drama and emotion ahead of a big school dance. WAKE UP LEONARD (dir: Kat Mills Martin, USA) centres LGBTQIA mental health and wellbeing, following the questionable, chaotic life choices of a between-jobs actors, and PALOMA (dir: Marcelo Gomes, Portugal/Brazil) portrays the challenges faced by a transgender woman as her local priest refuses her request for a traditional church wedding.

Notably, Raindance Film Festival is the largest independent film festival in the UK, recognised by Variety as “one of the world’s top 50 unmissable film festivals.” It showcases the boldest, freshest content from British and international filmmakers, and is a qualifying festival for the Oscars, BAFTA and BIFA. Founded in 1992, it combines the film festival with training courses and the Raindance Higher Education aiming to give filmmakers the tools to start shooting their film, covering screenwriting, production, directing and virtual reality. It is the only major film festival in the world to offer higher education.

Further, Raindance has founded the New Black Film Collective featuring An Immigrants Tale, a project curated for this very initiative. This strand will feature BLACK GIRL (dir: Ousmane Sembene, Senegal, 1966) and DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (dir: Julie Dash, USA/Germany, 1991), telling a diverse range of stories set across Africa.

“Over the past 30 years, UK cinemagoers have come to Raindance and joined us in discovering some of the greatest independent films ever made,” states Raindance founder Elliot Grove.

“Raindance launched back in 1993 with the World Premiere of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Tarantino’s iconic Pulp Fiction made its UK debut at Raindance in 1994. In 1999, Raindance hosted the UK premiere of ground-breaking found footage mocumentary The Blair Witch Project. We hit the bullseye again in 2000 with the UK premiere of Christopher Nolan’s Memento. And in 2004, we presented Park Chan-wook’s neo-noir thriller Oldboy, a classic of modern South Korean cinema. But it isn’t all about discovering now-famous films such as these: a champion of indie cinema in every guise and genre, equally important to us are the underrated, under-the-radar films that you might not see anywhere else but here. What will Raindance’s next landmark moment be? Join us in cinemas or via streaming in 2022 and see what you discover!”

To find out more, visit raindance.org.

DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 


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