Raindance Training Scholarship Award
Awarded to films that best illustrate the spirit of independent film-making
The Raindance award is given at the British Independent Film Awards to the film that best illustrates the spirit of independent film-making. It gives the film-maker the right to an IFT-funded Raindance Training Scholarship: a combination of Raindance courses chosen by the winning film-maker.
Strings, directed by Rob Savage, won the IFT-backed Raindance Award at the 15th Moet British Independent Film Awards (BIFA). Strings, directed by Rob Savage, won the IFT-backed Raindance Award at the 15th Moet British Independent Film Awards (BIFA). The award, given to the film which best illustrates the spirit of independent film-making, was presented to Savage at the BIFA ceremony on 9th December 2012 by Elliot Grove, founder of Raindance and BIFA.Strings, directed by Rob Savage, won the IFT-backed Raindance Award at the 15th Moet British Independent Film Awards (BIFA). Strings, directed by Rob Savage, won the IFT-backed Raindance Award at the 15th Moet British Independent Film Awards (BIFA). The award, given to the film which best illustrates the spirit of independent film-making, was presented to Savage at the BIFA ceremony on 9th December 2012 by Elliot Grove, founder of Raindance and BIFA.
Leaving Baghdad, 2011
The fifth RTS was awarded in December 2011 to Koutaiba Al-Janabi, writer, director and producer of Leaving Baghdad
“Thank you for supporting the film, it was fantastic to be nominated and that Leaving Baghdad actually won in the Raindance category was a great surprise and honour,” said Hanna Heffner, who produced the film in partnership with Al-Janabi. “Many thanks again to you and to the IFT for supporting independent films and Leaving Baghdad.”
The IFT also arranged a special showing of Leaving Baghdad in Cambridge on 12th March 2013. This screening, which took place in the Auditorium at Cripps Court in Magdalene College, was followed by a discussion panel. The panel included Koutaiba himself, Glen Rangwala, Fellow in Social and Political Sciences at Trinity College, Muthanna Al-Qadi, the Middle East Affairs Editor for the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds, and Abdulrahman Dheyab, head of the Iraqi Cultural Centre.
Son of Babylon, 2010
The fourth RTS was awarded in December 2010 to Isabelle Stead, producer of the feature film Son of Babylon.
This is a multinational co-production, shot in Iraq. It tells the story of a young boy and his grandmother who travel across the country in an attempt to discover the fate of a missing man – his father and her son – who never returned from war. The film was Iraq’s official entry for the Oscars in 2011. It has won several other awards including two prizes at the Berlin International Film Festival for director Mohamed Al Daradji.
Down Terrace, 2009
The third RTS was awarded in December 2009 to the production team of Andy Starke, Ben Wheatley and Robin Hill, who respectively acted as producer, director/writer and lead actor/writer of Down Terrace, described by Empire Online as “Surreal and sinister…a splendid exercise in anti-social realism.”
“It was a real thrill to be selected for Raindance and Bifa and to win the Raindance Training Scholarship. The accompanying press really helped to lift the profile of Down Terrace. Without these organizations independent films like ours run the risk of being completely overlooked. Thanks to the IFT for the scholarship, which members of our team look forward to taking advantage of”, said Ben Wheatley on what winning the RTS meant to him.
Zebra Crossings, 2008
The second RTS was awarded at BIFA in November 2008 to Sam Holland (writer/director) and Ana Atanesyan (producer), the makers of Zebra Crossings, which won that year’s Raindance Award.
And by early 2009 the winners were already feeling the benefit. “For me, winning the RTS has not only been a great honour, but has given me the unique opportunity to go on many courses that I otherwise would have been unable to attend,” said Sam. “I see this chance to learn from many seasoned professionals as invaluable to my growth as a filmmaker, and I would like to thank Elena Ambrosiadou for her generous contribution, which has enabled this all to take place. The film industry is a constant learning curve, so the expertise delivered from these courses will be priceless when tackling my next project, which is currently under production… Hopefully the benefits will show!”
The Inheritance, 2007
The first RTS was awarded in 2007 to Tim Barrow and Charles-Henri Belleville, respectively the writer/producer and the director of the feature film The Inheritance, which won the Raindance Award for outstanding achievement in production at the British Independent Film Awards at The Roundhouse on November 28. This scholarship was made possible by a generous donation from Elena Ambrosiadou of Ikos. The scholarship allowed Barrow and Belleville to select and attend a number of Raindance courses and masterclasses, as well as to participate in mentoring sessions with top filmmakers which were specifically designed for them by Raindance. The late lamented Simon Channing-Williams (producer of Mike Leigh’s films) gave up an hour of his time to talk to them about career development. “All in all the whole prize is hugely appreciated,” said Belleville, “and we are extremely grateful for the opportunities this scholarship will give us.”