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Happy when it rains

Starting Wed, Nov 20, Berlin sees its first incarnation of London's indie film bash, Raindance Festival Berlin at KaterHolzig. From its grimmer documentary selection to its more vigorous features (and workshops, too), there's something for everyone.

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The Kirishima Thing

Starting Wednesday, November 20, Berlin sees its first incarnation of London’s indie film bash, Raindance Festival Berlin at Katerholzig. The festival runs through November 23.

Even festivals have to settle down sometime. At the ripe age of 22, wryly-named indie London film bash Raindance is having a baby, and as midwife, the Berlin Film Society will bring some sharp international programming to the pleasingly shambolic confines of Katerholzig beginning on Wednesday, November 20. The first Berlin incarnation of Raindance will welcome everyone from the casual cinemagoer to the most single-minded filmmaker for four days of screenings, workshops and Q&A sessions.

Feature-length independent documentary and fiction will be dished up with a generous side of shorts (and washed down with complimentary Jameson). Documentary themes tend towards the engagingly grim, with lyrical climate change polemic Fall and Winter (Sat, 17:00) and wrenching, powerful Tales from the Organ Trade (Sat, 19:00) brushing heavily-burdened shoulders with bad news from Fukushima (A2-B-C, Fri, 19:00, followed by director Q&A).

However, there’s plenty of vigour too – opener Everybody Street (Wed, Nov 20, 20:00) zooms in on the photographers who have captured New York streetlife over the decades and sets the appropriate afterparty mood. In fiction, Sweden’s Summer House (Thu, 19:00, followed by director Q&A) charts an emotionally messy country weekend away, while Japanese hit and closer The Kirishima Thing (Sat, 21:30) follows a disintegrating high school hierarchy, and Saturday’s six-strong shorts screening (15:00) roams from Syria to outer space.

For the professional, the would-be professional or the plain curious, the festival’s four workshops beckon. Documentary-maker Eva Stotz, who this year found her own film shoot interrupted and the film itself transformed by the Turkish uprisings, leads a two-hour discussion (“Extreme Documentary” – Thu, 16:00) on surviving extremes of all kinds and coming out with a film intact. On Friday, writer and director Donna Sharpe helps thrash out the alchemy of adding the “based on” to a true story in “Writing Drama From Real Life” (Fri, 16:00).

To round off the week, a panel of Vice journalists, film festival programmers and distributors hash out how films will reach us tomorrow (“Get It Out! The Future of Film Distribution” – Sat, 19:30). Go to raindanceberlin.com for more details.

Raindance Festival Berlin, Nov 20- | Katerholzig