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What are Shooter's thoughts on Lift Off Festivals

Would you place Lift Off London above Raindance?

  • There was a discussion on Lift Off here recently -

    11 months ago
  • Hi Marc, I don't want to bite the hand that feeds me (having an ongoing and very positive relationship with lift-off) but I think Raindance is much older and more established so as a result probably has larger audiences and connections with distributors.

    For example Raindance had the world premier of "what's eating Gilbert Grape" in 1993 and the following year, the UK premier of Pulp Fiction. Quite impressive... If I have the fortune of being selected for Raindance I will be able to compare like for like.

    11 months ago
    • In regards to comparing LiftOff to Raindance, they are not even in comparable leagues. Elliot Groves, Raindance is now considered by many to be one of the top ten film festival competition's in the world. My first feature "Boy Meets Girl" (1994) was in competition against Tarrantino for best feature, Discovery Award, needless to say my film didn't win. "BMG" was also in Competition in Sitges IFF in the same year, in that festival it was in competition with Michael Haneke's "71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance", we both lost out though to another winner, "The Mask", which had a budget of thirteen thousand times more than BMG. So sometimes it's not all about the winning, but being considered to be of comparable merit to compete alongside other huge films. More information regarding my long competitive film festival history can be found on the imdb and a longer fully comprehensive list of awards and competitions at on the AWARDS page.
      Regards Ray

      11 months ago
  • In terms of prestige there's no contest: Raindance is one of the UK's premier festivals. It's also BAFTA and OSCAR qualifying. As Michael has pointed out, it's been going a lot longer than Lift-Off (established in the early 1990s) and has premiered some awesome films and helped launch the careers of directors such as Edgar Wright and Christopher Nolan.

    Trying to get your work screened at Raindance, however, is a massive challenge. I believe the number of films submitted in 2018 was approaching 9,000 (this has more than doubled since 2014).

    11 months ago
    • That's an amazing statistic Mark... terrifying! I guess that's a reflection of the massive increased availability of great low budget cameras... I hope it doesn't double in another five years.

      11 months ago
    • Michael, that number includes all film formats. For Sundance it's even scarier, there were 13,468 submissions in 2018. 3,901 feature-length films and 8,740 short films.

      Even allowing for a lot of junk submissions it's still a lottery for decent filmmakers.

      11 months ago
  • I've recently referenced Damian Chazelle's Whiplash short on this forum, as far as placements at major festivals. Large money, serious legit connections, a known agent already in tow with a professional team that is known, a name actor. This is how one gets through the politics of lets say Sundance. And Sundance is full of shit with the party line that this doesn't matter , it does matter. It's how you get to be one of the sixty out of 8K. I'm working equally hard on the peripherals as I am on my film, because no matter how good the film is, without the money and real connections it will never get seen by a partner that could take it to 3k screens. This is just the reality for me. It's in my hands to make happen. It's relentless work.

    11 months ago
  • George, I agree. I reckon Sundance is a victim of its own success. It's become the playground for Hollywood's passion projects by well known actors (who have a well-oiled machine behind them as well as in front of the camera). However, unless you win something these mega-festivals are not all they are cracked up to be. And if you are looking at getting your short seen by thousands of people festivals are - in the main - a waste of time. There are plenty of alternatives but like you said it's in our hands to make it happen. It's our responsibility to build an audience because it's unlikely anyone else is going to do it for us.

    Case in point: even at a major festival like Raindance (which I attended last year) I was shocked to find myself sitting in a theatre with just 15-20 people for some of the shorts programmes. And this was on a weekend, not during the week.

    11 months ago