‘Canary’ sings at Raindance fest

U.K. feature prize goes to Gilbey's 'Rollin''

Akihiko Shiota’s “Canary” took the top prize at the Raindance Film Festival, the U.K.’s leading event for independent pics, which wrapped Sunday.

Shiota’s film about a 12-year-old boy raised in a cult was inspired by the real-life killings of the Aum Shinrikyo cult in 1995.

U.K. feature prize went to Julian Gilbey’s London-set gangster pic “Rollin’ With the Nines.”

The story of an up-and-coming but troubled U.K. hip-hop group attracted attention at Raindance, partly due to the bold casting. Real-life London rappers Dizzee Rascal, Kano and Rodney P all have roles.

Debut feature kudos went to writer-director Jonathan Spirk for “The Gingerbread Man,” a film about one man’s hunt for child abductors.

Docu prize went to Don Lett’s “Punk: Attitude,” with “A Monk’s Awakening” and “Six Shooter” taking the short and U.K. short awards, respectively.

Some 80 features and 130 shorts screened at the 13th Raindance.

Filmgoers lined up in the rain to get into the opening night screening of Sundance favorite “The Devil and Daniel Johnston,” and fest ended with Venezuelan kidnapping drama “Secuestro Express.” Despite impressive box office on home turf, latter pic was not selected as Venezuela’s foreign language Oscar pic in what some believe was a politically motivated decision by Hugo Chavez’s government.

Raindance producer Oli Harbottle reported attendance figures close to 18,000, up from last year’s 16,000.

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