If you’re a Londoner chances are you’ll have seen adverts for the BFI London Film Festival. However, before that opens on 4th October, there’s another film festival coming to the city.

The Raindance Film Festival 2017 opens on 20th September and closes on 1st October. Unlike the BFI London Film Festival, which mixes mainstream and independent films, Raindance devotes itself purely to indie filmmakers. Some huge cult hits like The Blair Witch Project and Pulp Fiction debuted at Raindance. The festival invites both UK and international films. In 2017, Raindance is celebrating it’s 25th annual festival.

There’s plenty of things to see and do at this year’s Raindance Festival, so we’ve put together a need to know guide.

Raindance Film Festival 2017 – everything you need to know:

When?

20th September to the 1st October. Screenings and talks take place throughout the day.

Where?

The Raindance Film Festival takes place in the heart of London’s West End. The cinemas and venues are as follows:

  • The May Fair Hotel, Stratton St, Mayfair, London W1J 8LT, UK
  • The Cuckoo Club, Swallow St, Mayfair, London W1B 4EZ, UK
  • Virgin Money Lounge, Eagle Pl, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6AF, UK
  • Virgin Money Lounge, 30-31 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4EX, UK
  • Planet Hollywood, 57-60 Haymarket, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4QX, UK
  • Café de Paris, 3 Coventry St, London W1D 6BL, UK
  • Century Club, 61-63 Shaftesbury Ave, Westminster, London W1D 6LQ, UK
  • Ruby Blue, 1 Leicester Pl, London WC2H 7BP, UK
  • VUE West End (Leicester Square), 3 Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square, London WC2H 7AL, UK
  • The Hospital Club, 24 Endell St, London WC2H 9HQ, UK

Can I buy tickets?

Yes, you can buy tickets and passes from the official website here.

How much do tickets cost?

There are various different options available and there will certainly be something for every budget. If you’re planning to see more than one film or attend any of the industry talks, it might be worth buying a festival pass! The options are as follows:

  • Individual tickets – £13 or £11 before 5pm on weekdays. Concessions are £9 and £7 for matinee performances.
  • 5 Film Carnet Ticket – £30. This will get you access to 5 films of your choice, saving you about £20 over just buying regular tickets!
  • Day Pass – £25. You can get into all the films and talks that are showing on any particular day of the festival. Galas, VR Arcade and VR Summit are excluded.
  • 18-25 Pass – £49. This is single admission to all screenings and events at Vue Leicester Square, excluding Galas, all at a budget price.
  • Festival Pass – £99. As above but for older visitors. If you’re a Raindance member this costs £79.
  • Premium Pass – £195. Same as Festival Pass plus single access to Opening, Closing and Awards Galas, excluding VR Summit.

What’s going to be showing?

There are over 100 films being shown at the festival. However, by virtue of Raindance being a festival aimed indie film-makers and stars, you’re unlikely to have heard of any of them. But that’s all part of the fun! Check out the full programme on the official website and just choose the ones you want to see! You might be surprised by something incredible that you weren’t expecting!

Are there any activities aside from watching films?

What good film festival would be complete without plenty of awesome activities to do alongside the films?

For a start, as you might expect, there’s talks from industry experts. You can go to talks about all aspects of film-making, in lots of details. For example, there are talks on adapting books into films, making VR films, directing, how to finance films, lighting, and plenty more.

There are also some really awesome sounding panels. The panel discussions which particularly interest us are the ones on Queer Film and Women In Film.

Finally, there’s a VR Arcade. You can head down and watch films and music videos with a VR headset for a fully immersive experience. You’ve probably seen a lot of films, but probably never like this!

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You can see the full run-down of non-film activities in the official programme here.

There’s still a lot of details yet to be revealed, but it definitely sounds like there’s going to be plenty to enjoy at Raindance Film Festival 2017!