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Chile’s ‘Princesita’ to Open Raindance Film Festival

'Rogue One' Director Gareth Edwards Joins Jury

Chilean drama “Princesita” will receive its U.K. premiere as the opening film of the 26th Raindance Film Festival. Announcing its full line-up Wednesday the independent film festival also revealed it would host the world premiere of the first feature-length cinematic VR experience, U.S.-Italian co-production “7 Miracles.”

“Rogue One” director Gareth Edwards will serve on the festival’s jury for its official competition section. The jury will judge the best international film, best U.K. film and best documentary, as well as categories for director, screenplay, performance, cinematography and the Discovery Award.

Edwards will be joined on the jury by British actors Ray Winstone, Annabelle Wallis, Adrian Lester, Laura Carmichael, Sienna Guillory, Carmen Ejogo, Aisling Loftus, Judi Shekoni, Juliet Stevenson, Jenny Agutter, Rufus Sewell, Greta Scacchi, Karen Bryson, Genevieve O’Reilly, Rupert Evans, and Jonathan Pryce. Writer John Harris Dunning, dancer Michael Flatley and head of music for VICE U.K. Alex Hoffman will also serve on the jury.

Directed by Marialy Rivas, “Princesita” tells the story of a 12-year-old girl, raised in a cult, who is instructed that her life mission is to carry the child of the cult’s charismatic leader. It saw its world premiere at the Toronto Intl Film Festival last year.

“Princesita” will compete in best international film category. Other titles competing for the international film prize include Israeli-German co-production “Family;” Japanese titles “Love At Least,” from debut director Kosai Sekine, and “A Crimson Star;” French titles “M” and “When Margaux Meets Margaux;” Dutch-Belgian co-production “We;” China’s “The End of Wind;” and U.S. films “Saint Judy” and “Saviors.”

Gonzalo Maza, writer of Oscar-winning Chilean film “​A Fantastic Woman,” will take part in an event focusing on one of the film’s most iconic scenes. The event will be part of a day celebrating the Chilean cinema.

U.S. filmmaker Allison Anders will attend the festival to present a retrospective of her 1993 crime drama “Mi Vida Loca.”

Raindance will also present an immersive strand, running Oct. 4-7, showcasing 33 virtual reality experiences, including 17 world premieres, featuring work created by actors Judi Dench (“My Oak Tree VR”) and Elijah Wood (“Transference”). The strand will also host the world premiere of Vive Studios’ feature-length Biblical VR experience “7 Miracles,” which tells the story of the seven miracles of Jesus based on the book of John.

“Our varied programme of the very best of independent, uncensored cinema has the power to transport from our place of overwhelm – breaking down barriers and allowing us to understand how people with very different circumstances from all over the globe live, work and play,” said festival founder Elliot Grove. “We are proud to give a voice to the outsiders, the rebels, the dreamers and the poets and to celebrate films of dissent, which challenge society.”

In total Raindance will present a program of over 80 feature films, 99 shorts, 22 music videos and 33 VR experiences. The 26th Raindance Film Festival runs Sept. 26 – Oct. 7.

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