Raindance Industry Committee

 

What is Raindance?

Raindance is dedicated to fostering and promoting independent film around the world.

The organisation was founded in central London in 1992 by Elliot Grove as a thought experiment: can you make a film with no money, no training and no experience? The first Raindance event was a masterclass with legendary film instructor Dov Simens in April 1992.

In October the following year, the Raindance Film Festival was born with What’s Eating Gilbert Grape as its UK premiere. In 1998 Raindance created the British Independent Film Awards, an annual celebration of the best of UK independent filmmaking.

Operating for more than 25 years, Raindance offers a wide range of evening and weekend film training courses in 10 cities around the world, including London, Toronto, Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris and Dubai, as well as online — all taught by experienced film professionals. They cover a range of crafts such as screenwriting, directing, producing, cinematography, special effects, editing, lighting and sound to name just a few.

MA in Filmmaking with Raindance

Raindance also offers a Masters of Arts in Filmmaking which is unlike any other postgraduate filmmaking programme in the world. It offers a flexible learning environment that enables students to follow a bespoke curriculum tailored to the individual’s creative and professional aspirations. This innovative degree, that covers all types of visual storytelling, fictional and non-fictional, allows students to set their own goals and develop their own learning activities and to benefit from the support and expertise from an award-winning team of industry mentors.

Past students of the MA programme include Sadie Frost, actress and producer of Buttercup Bill and Set the Thames on Fire, Luc Chamberland, writer-director of Seth’s Dominion, Suzanne Gielgud, choreographer of Alexander and director of The Gospel of Ross McKim, and Louise Salter, star and producer of How to be Human.

Alumni and current students have won or been nominated for a host of awards including:

– Barry Clark-Ewers, producer, BAFTA long-listed in the Best Documentary category for Billie
– Vanda Ladeira, director, winner of 45+ awards including Best Indie film at the Chicago Indie Film Awards, and Best Indie Short & Best Director at the Vegas Movie Awards
– Viktoria Szemeredy, writer-director, winner of the Best Director award at the Monochrome Film Festival for Metaphorms, and winner of Best LGBTQ+ film at the Rome Movie Awards and the Paris Play Film Festival for U Up?.
– Chris Mul, writer-director, winner of the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition, in the Feature Drama category for Faster Than Horses.
– Oyvind Aamli, director, winner of the Best Documentary Short Film award at the Children’s Film Festival in Seattle.
– Louise Salter, actor and producer, winner of Best Actress and Best Short Film awards at the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival for How to Be Human.
– Michelle Morris, producer, winner of the Most Popular Canadian Feature at the Vancouver International Film Festival, and of the Canadian Feature Award at the Edmonton International Film Festival for Red Snow.

What is the Raindance Industry Committee?

The Raindance Industry Committee are a reflection of the broader group of Masters students and alumni. They have a wide range of backgrounds and interests, bringing knowledge and expertise from all walks of life. They hail from countries all over the world and contribute to making the Raindance postgraduate programme a cultural and societal melting pot. They are united by a passion for visual storytelling and their differences serve to build a creative hub that is brimming with ideas.

Committee members act as a bridge between Raindance’s students and alumni and the wider industry, forging solid, long-term links with producers, distributors, directors, agents and creatives from film, television, video-games and all other story-telling mediums.

 

Raindance Committee Members

James Rose
Co-chair, Raindance Industry Committee

Bio

James is an award-winning actor, theatre director and Harley Street therapist.  A former business consultant, he has worked with many business leaders at boardroom level as well as international sports organisations and governing bodies. A graduate of The Oxford School of Drama, he initially graduated in Business Studies from the Robert Gordon University before completing his MSc Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London. James is following the MA in Filmmaking programme at Raindance, London.

Raphaela Wagner
Co-chair, Raindance Industry Committee

Bio

Raphaela is an ever curious writer-director with a strong interest in exploring the boundary between realism and fantasy and using it to spotlight important themes. Her sci-fi short film NeoTouch was nominated for Best Upcoming Director at the 12th Gässli Film Festival and her latest project Saitenstich premiered at the oscar-qualifying Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. Raphaela joined the Raindance Masters programme in 2019 with the goal of writing the pilot episode of her historical fantasy TV series OnceOne.

Jennifer Hawkins

Secretary, Raindance Industry Committee

Bio

Jenna studied Modern Drama and Film at Brunel University. Whilst following a career in financial services, Jenna has continued with her creative pursuits, including filmmaking, musical theatre and writing. She joined the Raindance MA programme in order to develop her screenwriting skills. She is excited about psychological dramas with a twist of Folk Horror, and is currently working on a feature script entitled The Devil.

Lizzie Worsdell
Communications Officer, Raindance Industry Committee

Bio

Lizzie is an award-winning actress with a degree from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles and a MA in Filmmaking (distinction) from Raindance Film School. Lizzie worked in Hollywood and London for many years and has worked on a variety of short films as an actress before moving into the world of producing. Her producing debut was the short film Disarm starring Sophia Myles and her female-led short The Carer recently made its UK premiere at the BAFTA qualifying Underwire festival. Lizzie is passionate about making female-centred work and representing a side of society that isn’t typically shown on screen.

Shamila Chaudry

Bio

Sofía is a film director and curator specialized in screendance. She participated with her work in more than fifty film and dance festivals, including Leeds Film Festival, Cinedans, Dance Camera West and Film Fest Girona. She was a guest artist and collaborator at the BAC Biennial (Madrid) and at the Encuentros de Videodanza (Valencia). In 2020 she received two nominations at BFI’s Future Film Festival for young talent, and collaborated with the arts accessibility organization Shape Arts for Tate Modern. She is a Master’s student at Raindance Film School, currently collaborating with the curatorship and direction of the Moving Bodies project of Film Fest Lago (Italy), Vinilonga (Argentina) and Kodama Environmental Film Festival (Scotland).


Georgia Fitch

Bio

Georgia has been a writer for more than twenty years, having initially trained as an actress. She has written for the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company and her work has been produced internationally. She has been the writer in residence at BBC Radio and has written extensively for the medium. She obtained an MA in Screenwriting from Raindance in 2020 and has various projects in development, including an adaptation of her own stage play,  Adrenalin Heart, first produced at The Bush Theatre.

Barbara Vonau

Bio

Barbara completed her MA in Filmmaking with Raindance/De Montfort University in May 2020. Her interests are in TV comedy and comedy drama. She has written several shorts Still Here, Her Story and wrote and co-produced the comedy short The Text Kit, which screened at many festivals including at Raindance Film Festival 2020. In her day-job Barbara is a senior NHS doctor and specialises in Sexually Transmitted Diseases and contraception.

Nanni Mann

Bio

Nanni joined the MA in Filmmaking at Raindance after attaining a BA (Hons) in Media & English Literature focused on screen studies and adaptation. 

Following the Writer-Director pathway, Nanni is currently completing her first short film: a thriller that acts as a feminist critique of the existing systems to protect women from sexual harassment.

She is further working on her first feature-length screenplay and collaborating with Raindance MA alumni and writer Jenna Hawkins on bringing her short script to life.


Vanda Ladeira

Bio

Vanda works for the UK Parliament as a film producer specializing in concepts, production management, shooting and editing of short documentaries. She is also building her body of work as a film director. Her work has won awards around the world and has been shown at prestigious festivals in the USA, Europe and Asia. Her film Alder is a selection at the Canadian Screen Award-qualifying Thomas Edison Black Maria festival – 40th year. Vanda is a Directors UK associate member.

Isaac Odeniran

Bio

Isaac is a business person, author, broadcaster, producer, storyteller, musical artist and actor. He has been involved in filmmaking since 2013 and has made six feature films and co-written several scripts. He is the founder and Director of Zoe Records UK, the premier British Gospel record label which he established in 1999. He started the film imprint Zoe Films UK in 2013. Isaac is also studying for the Masters in Filmmaking at Raindance.


Gareth Sibson

Bio

Gareth was the first indie published bestseller and a former lawyer who is the founder of the UK’s leading indie publishing house. He has spent a decade disrupting the publishing industry driven by a passion to help new talent tell their stories. He is a public speaker and guest lecturer at various universities including NFTS. Following the writer-director pathway at Raindance, he is delivering a Proof of Concept for his first feature, Lola. He is interested in the stories of powerful individuals that challenge accepted narratives.


Molly Foxen

Bio

Molly has a keen background in film events, from film fundraising to documentary film nights and short film festivals. She was able to share her passion across the world whilst living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, hosting a successful documentary night which she has then brought back to London while she studies with Raindance. She is excited to make films that tackle prevalent social issues in British society particularly focusing on women. 


Maria Trevis

Bio

Maria has a background in marketing, corporate training and the arts. Her experience as a professional actor, cabaret artist and her work directing and producing digital media content inform her creative filmmaking projects. Maria recently curated a children’s animation festival and is a trustee of a dance charity in the Thames Valley. She speaks fluent German and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Sophia Castro

Bio

Sofía is a film director and curator specialized in screendance. She participated with her work in more than fifty film and dance festivals, including Leeds Film Festival, Cinedans, Dance Camera West and Film Fest Girona. She was a guest artist and collaborator at the BAC Biennial (Madrid) and at the Encuentros de Videodanza (Valencia). In 2020 she received two nominations at BFI’s Future Film Festival for young talent, and collaborated with the arts accessibility organization Shape Arts for Tate Modern. She is a Master’s student at Raindance Film School, currently collaborating with the curatorship and direction of the Moving Bodies project of Film Fest Lago (Italy), Vinilonga (Argentina) and Kodama Environmental Film Festival (Scotland).