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Raindance Film Festival Builds Bridges With Chinese Film Industry (EXCLUSIVE)

London’s Raindance Film Festival, which runs Sept. 21-Oct. 22, has unveiled its co-production and industry events, including a day devoted to building relationships with the Chinese film industry.

China Day will take place on Sept. 22 and will be attended by the Shanghai governor as well as delegates from the China Film Group Corporation and the Beijing Film Academy. The day will include panels on virtual reality and 3D films, and the rise of these platforms in the film industry, as well as the European premiere screening of Johnnie To’s “Three,” starring Louis Koo, Wallace Chung and Zhao Wei, about a thug who will do anything to escape police arrest, and the European premiere of Guang Zeng’s short film, “Farewell, My Love,” starring Dan Liu and Zheng Wang.

Five films have been selected to participate in the Co-Production Forum, which is a partnership between Raindance and the Guadalajara Film Festival (FICG), focusing on the relationship between the U.K. and Ibero-American film industries. The films are in development and filmmakers will have the opportunity to try and secure funding and U.K. co-productions for their projects. Films include Jesus Magana Vazquez’s “Human Resources”; Eduardo Naranjo’s “I Faust”; Sonia Albert-Sobrino and Miriam Albert-Sobrino’s “Melita”; Tiahoga Ruge’s “The Bicycle”; and Horacio Alcala and Aitor Echevarria’s “The Icarus.”

Among other industry sessions are a panel on Brexit, which will look at what leaving the European Union means for the U.K. film industry; “The Film in My Mind: Women Filmmakers” will include a panel of female directors discussing the challenges and successes they faced while making their first features; “The Market for LGBT Films” will look at the growing presence of these films globally and how visibility can be maximized in the international film festival circuit; and a panel on “Successful Crowdfunding” will look at how web series can capitalize on this source of revenue.

The festival’s “Live! Ammunition!” event provides participants with the chance to pitch an idea for a film to a panel of top film executives. Participants drop a five pound note in a hat and have two minutes to convince the panel to read their script or develop their film.

Raindance founder Elliot Grove commented: “We are always striving to showcase innovative and leading-edge work, but we also know how important it is to provide independent filmmakers with opportunities to get their projects made.”

The festival announced last week that British filmmaker Ken Loach will receive the first Raindance Auteur Award, and will participate in an onstage discussion.

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