Film companies must adapt to the pandemic, says Raindance Film Festival founder

Film companies must learn to “adapt” to the pandemic, according to the founder of the Raindance Film Festival.

Elliot Grove said film companies, many of which have chosen to hold back on releasing new content, need to find new ways of working while cinemas are unable to host full screenings because of coronavirus.

A number of 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 on Wednesday, he told the PA news agency: “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.”

Grove added that the pandemic provides a “creative opportunity”.

“What is good about this is we all have to re-evaluate our day rates … because there’s less work,” he said.

“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.”

Raindance Film Festival 2019 – London
Raindance Film Festival 2019 – London

He said that while this year’s Raindance Film Festival, which celebrates independent movies, is heavily scaled back they have “already had more people see films online than we did for all of last year”.

“It is an explosion of interest in independent film and you see with the cinemas closed, there’s not the big Hollywood blockbusters so people actually have time to watch something which is emotionally engaging, socially impactful and fun to watch and that is a huge advantage of Raindance,” he said.

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 on Wednesday in central London.