By Emily Ansell

Founder of Raindance and The British Independent Film Awards, Elliot Grove, took time out of the busy run up to Raindance Film Festival to have a coffee and share his thoughts on filmmaking and the festival’s return.

Here is the best of what Elliot had to say:

What does Independent film mean to you?

Independent has many different meanings. For us, the films have to be financed outside studios and most have a fairly scant budget.

How do the movies you feature differ from other festivals?

Our movies are very different to the typical Hollywood fair which is pasturalised to fit a specific taste. These films don’t have to bow down to anyone and are often quirky and very extreme. We don’t show Hollywood Blockbusters, this year’s event includes 20 films from South East Europe and 10 Japanese films.

How does a film make the cut for the Raindance festival?

Over 3000 were submitted to us but we look for a story that says something new and different. Every film we show is unique. Our opening film Another Earth was a winner at Sundance and is a quirky love story. We are also showing a version of Julius Caesar, filmed by High school students in a warehouse.

Do you have any favourite films in this year’s event?

They’re like my kids but if I had to choose I would say New Balkon and How to Start a Revolution are my favourite. They are just unbelievable but each film is a breathtaking creation and an example of collaborative art.

What lured you into the world of filmmaking?

I’m a farm boy from Toronto. My parents are Amish and saw movies as: “doing the devil’s work.”  I took a three hour trip into town to the blacksmiths when I was 16 years old and, while I was there, I wanted to see what the devil look like. I went to the movie theatre and saw it only cost a few cents to see the Devil’s work, so I went to see Lassie! I felt the textures of the screen and I was hooked.

What plans are in place when this year’s event draws to a close?

The British Independent Film Awards will be here again in December and I have a new film making book coming out soon.

Raindance Film Festival runs 28th September – 9th October. For more information visit www.raindance.org

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.