Belfast Telegraph

Corporate greed tale and Ken Loach honoured at Raindance

Ken Loach was honoured at the Raindance Film Festival
Ken Loach was honoured at the Raindance Film Festival

Films exploring corporate greed, London's sex slave industry and the rights of transgender children are among the winners at this year's Raindance Film Festival.

Award-winning filmmaker Ken Loach was also honoured at the prestigious 12-day event with the inaugural Raindance Auteur Award.

Raindance, which is billed as the UK's largest independent film festival, announced its winners at a ceremony in London.

Now in its 24th year, Raindance showcases features, shorts, music videos and web series, with awards selected by an illustrious panel including Stephen Fry and Olivia Colman.

The festival, which this year introduced new strands including Women in Film, LGBT and Virtual Reality Arcade, received a record-breaking number of submissions from 98 countries.

London's sex slave industry was highlighted by the prize-givers, who handed the Indie Award to Rudolf Buitendach's Selling Isobel. The film, based on true events, tells the story of a woman who is kidnapped, drugged and raped by several men over three days before managing to escape.

Also recognised was The Shepherd which follows a man whose home and livelihood is threatened by a construction company that want to take his land. It was handed three awards including Best Film, as well as Best Director for Jonathan Cenzual Burley and Best Actor for Miguel Martin.

The Best Documentary prize went to LGBT film Growing Up Coy, a story following a young Colorado family in a public legal battle over the rights of their six-year-old transgender daughter to use the girls' toilet at school.

Film of the Festival Award was handed to Rick Darge's Zen Dog which looks at a man whose daily routine and comfortable life is altered when he takes up lucid dreaming.

Raindance Founder Elliot Grove said of the film: "We chose Zen Dog as Film of the Festival because of the spirit in which it was made.

"It takes on a meditative magic carpet ride of the dreamworld and looks at how we can influence both our dreams and waking life. The film cleverley weaves in the spiritual with the philosophical."

The annual Raindance festival comes to an end on Sunday.


From Belfast Telegraph