Raindance 2017: 10 Must See Films

Raindance 25th

Orla Smith.

In anticipation of the 25th Raindance Film Festival – taking place from September 20th to October 1st in London – we spotlight ten of the most interesting films on this year’s programme.



DIRECTOR: Laura Schroeder

COUNTRY: Luxembourg, Belgium, France

STRANDS: Narrative, Europe

SYNOPSIS: Catherine (Lolita Chammah), a young mother struggling with substance abuse, is determined to rekindle her relationship with her estranged daughter, Alba, who has been in the care of Catherine’s strict and at times overbearing mother Elisabeth (Chammah’s real-life mother, Isabelle Huppert) since she was two years old.

Find out more here

Boys for Sale




STRANDS: Documentaries, LGBT

SYNOPSIS: In Tokyo’s Shinjuku district are bars specialising in “Urisen” – young guys who have sex with men. Featuring candid interviews interspersed with animation detailed the awkward, unnerving, and sometimes funny situations these sex workers experience, the boys for sale boldly tell their stories of life in the Tokyo underground.

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I Still Hide to Smoke



COUNTRY: France, Greece, Algeria

STRANDS: Narrative, Discovery

SYNOPSIS: In the heart of the hammam ― far from the accusing gaze of men, mothers, lovers, virgins and Islamic fanatics ― butts and burqas mingle and mix, confront one another with laughter, tears, rage, the Bible and the Koran… before the flash of a dagger and the silence of God.

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The Joneses

Raindance 2017: 10 Must See Films

DIRECTOR: Moby Longinotto

COUNTRY: UK, USA, Australia

STRANDS: Documentaries, LGBT

SYNOPSIS: The story of Jheri Jones, a 74-year-old transgender divorcee, and her family in ‘bible belt’ Mississippi. Reconciled after years of estrangement, and now living with two sons in her trailer park home, Jheri embarks on a journey to reveal herself to her grandchildren, while son Trevor begins a journey of his own.

Find out more here

Noble Earth

Raindance 2017: 10 Must See Films

DIRECTOR: Ursula Grisham


STRANDS: Narrative, The Americas

SYNOPSIS: After getting fired from her job in New York, Emma travels to Florence to think her life through. During her stay, she meets Tancredi, and Italian nobleman. Their romance quickly progresses and soon she is treated as a fully-fledged member of his family. At first, Emma is enchanted by the handsome Italian, but soon she sees the true nature of his elitist, bourgeoisie kin. Her role is strictly imposed, but will she break ranks?

Find out more here

Oh Lucy!


DIRECTOR: Atsuko Hirayanagi


STRANDS: Narrative, Opening Night Gala

SYNOPSIS: Setsuko is seemingly stuck with her life in Tokyo until she is convinced by her nice, Mika, to enrol in an unorthodox English class that requires her to wear a blonde wig and take on an American persona named ‘Lucy’. The new identity awakens something dormant in Setsuko, and she quickly falls for her American instructor, John (Josh Hartnett).

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The Receptionist

Raindance 2017: 10 Must See Films



STRANDS: Narrative, United Kingdom

SYNOPSIS: An illegal massage parlour in London is seen through the eyes of a Taiwanese graduate employed there as a receptionist.

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Raindance 2017: 10 Must See Films

DIRECTOR: Laura Plancarte


STRANDS: Documentaries

SYNOPSIS: The film focuses on two parties: Vanessa, a single mother and Trump supporter living in California, and Chuy and Chato, two brothers who live in Mexico after their mother fled to the USA in the hope of finding her own dream.

Find out more here


Raindance 2017: 10 Must See Films

DIRECTOR: Michael Berry


STRANDS: Narrative, Closing Night Gala

SYNOPSIS: A modern musical film about six complete strangers who get stuck underground on a New York City subway. They are of different races, cultures and ages. The emotions of the trapped strangers fly as they reveal who they really are through song.

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COUNTRY: Croatia

STRANDS: Narrative, Europe

SYNOPSIS: One film, directed by 15 directors, each tasked with a 5 minute segment. Each director was only allowed to see the last minute of the segment previous to theirs.

Find out more here

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