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‘Babel’ Writer Guillermo Arriaga to Deliver Raindance Master Class

LONDON — London’s Raindance Film Festival, which runs Sept. 23-Oct. 4, will include a master class by Mexican screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, who was Oscar nominated for “Babel.” The festival opens with the world premiere of Kai Barry’s spy thriller “Newcomer.”

Mexico-born Arriaga, whose credits include “Amores Perros” and “21 Grams,” will discuss his craft during two sessions on Oct. 3 and 4. The master class ties in with the festival’s Co-Production Forum, which focuses this year on Mexico.

On Sept. 30 Arriaga will join Guadalajara Film Festival director Ivan Trujillo and Raindance chief Elliot Grove in an onstage talk about the opportunities to co-produce with Mexico.

“Newcomer” stars James Floyd, who won best newcomer at the 2013 British Independent Film Awards, and Anthony LaPaglia, who won a Golden Globe for his role as FBI agent Jack Malone in “Without a Trace.”

The movie follows rookie spy Alex, who becomes the subject of an international manhunt following a mistake that costs the lives of his entire team. On the run, Alex must piece together the truth by re-creating the events of the ill-fated mission. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Barry and lead actress Noemie Merlant.

Among the 90 feature-length films at the festival will be the world premiere of “Rickie Lee Jones: The Other Side of Desire,” an intimate portrait of the poet-musician and rock star, and the U.K. premiere of Mexican film “Alice in Marialand,” starring new Bond Girl Stephanie Sigman, who played the title character in the 2011 film “Miss Bala.”

The digital age features prominently as a theme at the festival, with highlights including Alex Winter’s “Deep Web,” narrated by Keanu Reeves; “Digital Dissidents,” a documentary looking at the rebels of the digital age, featuring Julian Assange and Edward Snowden; and “Social Suicide,” a look at the lengths to which some teenagers go to achieve Internet notoriety.

The festival will culminate in the Raindance Awards ceremony on Oct. 2 with a jury made up of leading industry figures, including Col Needham, founder and CEO of IMDb; actress Sheridan Smith; and actor Martin Freeman.

Click here for full details of the program.

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