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Julian Assange Named to Raindance Film Festival Jury

Fest runs Sept. 25 - Oct. 6

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be on the jury of the 21st Raindance Film Festival, Europe’s largest independent film festival, it was announced today.

Assange has been living in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since June 2012, having sought out refuge to avoid being extradited to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning regarding sexual assault allegations.

Assange will view the films at the embassy and will not attend the awards ceremony, which takes place on Oct. 5. A spokesman for the event says he hopes Assange will be able to Skype in to the festival at appropriate times.

Raindance founder Elliot Grove described the Assange appointment by saying, “He was asked for two reasons. Firstly he has produced a documentary, ‘Mediastan,’ which we are screening. Secondly, at Raindance we believe that his work with Wikileaks is a textbook example of how to use social media — relevant not just for filmmakers grappling with this new distribution channel, but for the fact that he is highlighting important social and political issues.”

The fest also unveiled its full slate today, which includes 300 films screening at 40 events.

Among the titles announced is “Wayland’s Song,” a thriller about an ex-soldier dealing with physical and mental scars on returning from Afghanistan. It stars Rob James-Collier and Orla Brady and is directed by Richard Jobson.

Also screening will be “Earthbound,” which stars Rafe Spall as a man who believes he is an alien from another planet hiding from intergalactic bounty hunters. The closing film will be “The Machine,” a sci-fi thriller starring Toby Stephens, written and directed by Caradog W. James.

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