Film companies must learn to 'adapt' to the pandemic says Raindance Film Festival founder

Lizzie Edmonds
·3-min read
PA
PA

Film companies must learn to “adapt” to the pandemic, the founder of the Raindance Film Festival today said as actors Sally Hawkins and Jude Law received Icon awards.

Elliot Grove said film companies, many of which have chosen to hold back on releasing new content because of tough trading conditions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, need to find new ways of working, especially while cinemas are unable to host full screenings because of social distancing.

Blockbusters including James Bond film No Time To Die and Marvel superhero movie Black Widow have had their release dates pushed back.

Speaking at the launch of the Raindance Film Festival 2020, Grove said: “The big Hollywood studios have decided that they are going to hold back and wait for things to get back to normal. I think this is the new normal.”

Jude Law at the Venice Film Festival (Getty Images)
Jude Law at the Venice Film Festival (Getty Images)

“But you know what, you squeeze the fat out of the system and get to what really matters, which are the stories and the value of the stories and how efficiently you can make them.

“Those are the people who can survive the pandemic, be it Hollywood or your independent filmmakers and there’s many casualties on both sides of the financial spectrum.”

Meanwhile Hawkins and Law were given special recognition awards at this year’s 28th edition of the festival.

Hawkins won the 2008 best actress Golden Globe for Happy-Go-Lucky and has been nominated for two Academy Awards for The Shape of Water and Blue Jasmine during her 20-year career.

Hawkins at the 2018 Oscars (Getty Images)
Hawkins at the 2018 Oscars (Getty Images)

Law has received multiple awards including a BAFTA Film Award for The Talented Mr Ripley. He is a two-time Academy Award nominee for Cold Mountain and The Talented Mr Ripley.

On the honour, Sally Hawkins said: “I am delighted to receive this honour from Raindance. I am extremely humbled by it, thank you.

"Independent film is the heart and soul of this industry. It gives us the ability to take chances, to tell challenging stories that may otherwise have been overlooked and to continue to work with and enable exciting new talent. I am very lucky to work in this industry. Long may it continue! I am eternally grateful to receive the Raindance Icon Award. Thank you with all my heart.”

Jude Law added: “Raindance first began in 1993, at around the same time as my own film career. Since then, I’ve witnessed its growth and the pivotal role it takes in championing independent film in the UK. The workshops and lessons the festival runs play a constructive part in supporting the future of the UK film industry.

Stardust, the film about David Bowie during the fledgling stage of his career, opened the festival last night (IFC Films)
Stardust, the film about David Bowie during the fledgling stage of his career, opened the festival last night (IFC Films)

"I’ve watched and enjoyed some incredible Raindance films over the years and always look forward to the festival. I’ve long been a fan of Raindance so I am very honoured and proud to receive the Raindance Icon Award. Thank you.”

Last year’s recipient of the Raindance Icon award was Olivia Colman. The award was previously known as the Raindance Auteur Award, with recipients including Terry Gilliam, Guy Richie and Ken Loach.

Stardust, a film which tells the story of David Bowie during the fledgling stage of his career, was screened at the festival’s opening night last night in central London.