Princesita directed by Marialy Rivas is the biggest winner of this year’s 26th Raindance Film Festival, winning four awards including Film of the Festival, Best International Feature, Best Performance for Sara Caballero and Best Cinematography for Sergio Armstrong.  Created by the Larrain brothers, the film tells the story of twelve-year-old Tamara, who has been raised in a cult. This tense and sinister tale was written by Rivas in part to show the extremes to which men still believe they have ownership over women’s bodies. As a result of winning Film of the Festival and as per Raindance tradition, Marialy will be asked to direct next year’s Official Festival Trailer.

Best Director was awarded to Rene Eller for WE, adapted from a controversial novel by Elvis Peeters, WE is a story about abuses of power and privilege. Unconcerned with the consequences of their actions, the members of a privileged teen group of friends spur each other on to ever more sociopathic behavior. Lauren Mackenzie’s We The Kings a portrait of two tortured souls, played by Elliot James Langridge and Timothy West with electrifying intensity was awarded Best UK Feature and the Best Documentary went to Tre Maison Dasan, an incredibly intimate documentary giving the opportunity to those affected by the justice system, young and old alike, to share their stories. Piotr Domalewski’s Silent Night received the Discovery Award for Best Debut Feature with his insightful and tender film displaying powerful performances about the realities of a family reunited.

Richard Raymond (Souls of Totality), Aaron Dunleavy (Landsharks) and Emmanuel Vaughn-Lee (Earthrise) were the big winners in the Shorts Program with Souls of Totality receiving the award for Best Short of the Festival, Landsharks receiving Best UK Short and Earthrise winning Best Documentary Short.

Award winning short Souls of Totality centers in on a looming moment that can change everything and stars Emmy Award winning actress Tatiana Maslany and actor Tom Cullen and Landsharks follows the vicious cycle of misguided youths on a troubled estate, forced to carry out the dirty work of exploitative adults. Earthrise tells us the story of the first image ever captured of the Earth from space in 1968.

Told solely by the Apollo 8 astronauts, the film recounts their experiences and memories and explores the beauty, awe, and grandeur of the Earth against the blackness of space. Best Animated Short was awarded to Blind Mice directed by Nicholas D’Agostino about An ex-con gets wrapped up in a con within a con. Last but not least Best Music Video Award went to Solicitous a romantic, fairytale-like story about the relationship between two sensitive giants living in the mountains directed by Zuzanna Plisz.

The Award for Best Festival Campaign goes to Mike Rogers producer of the documentary Matsuchiyo – Life of a Geisha.

Full List of Winners of 26th Raindance Film Festival

Film of the Festival – Princesita

Best UK Feature – We the Kings

Best International Feature – Princesita

Best Director – Rene Eller (We)

Best Screenplay – Sophie Fillières (When Margaux meets Margaux)

Best Cinematography – Sergio Armstrong (Princesita)

Best Performance – Sara Caballero (Princesita)

Best Documentary Feature – Tre Maison Dasan

Discovery Award – Silent Night

Best Short of the Festival – Souls of Totality

Best UK Short – Landsharks

Best Documentary Short – Earthrise

Best Animation Short – Blind Mice

Best Music Video – Solicitous

Best Festival Campaign – Mike Rogers for Matsuchiyo – Life of a Geisha

Webfest Jury Award – Bidune Kais (Undocumented)

Webfest Audience Award – Gimel

Raindance Spirit Award – This is Love

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