Interview – Raindance Founder, Elliot Grove

This entry is part 5 of 30 in the series Raindance 2011

The Raindance Film Festival starts today in London and I’m delighted that Elliot Grove, founder of the festival, took some time out of his extremely busy schedule to speak to me about the history of Raindance and his tip for the one film we can’t afford to miss at the Festival.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and the history of the Raindance Festival.

I started Raindance in 1992 to provide information and advice on all aspects of film and television production. When I started the first festival in 1993 I had no idea that nearly 20 years later Raindance would have grown to the extent it has – proof I suppose that there is still a hunger and thirst for films made below the Hollywood radar.

2. How much did your Amish background lead to your fascination with film?

My Amish background has been much documented. I suppose the main advantage to me now is that it is the perfect excuse to dress in black all the time.

3. Do you ever get a bit angry or bitter that Raindance doesn’t get the same financial support and public funding as other film festivals?

I’m really glad that Raindance sits under the government film funding quangos for it allows me and the Raindance team to turn on the proverbial dime and create a festival and our training programme that responds to what is really happening and what people really want.

4. Is it frustrating that Raindance appears to be more well-known outside Britain than it is here?

Hell no.  As we all know, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence (or ocean).

5. How do you see Raindance developing over the next 5 years or so?

The challenge for Raindance is to continue to develop and renew itself, and offer terrific content to our loyal audiences both here and around the world.

6. Tell us a little bit about this year’s festival and why people should come along.

We have over 100 features and 140 shorts from 36 countries. The are all extreme: extreme filmmaking, extreme topics, and extremely entertaining. They really are the world seen through a different lens.

7. Finally, if someone could only make one film at this year’s Raindance which one should that be and why?

Each of the films are like my babies. How could I possibly single out any one? But if you forced me, I’d have to say Bonsai – our closing night film. How often do you see a compelling road movie – and from Chile!

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