Julian Assange Joins Jury for U.K.'s Raindance Film Festival
LONDON -- Embattled WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is joining the competition jury for this year's Raindance Film Festival in London.
Organizers of the event -- which aims to support independent filmmakers from the U.K. and around the world -- reached out to Assange to secure his participation. He has been taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June 2012, avoiding extradition to Sweden, where he faces rape and sexual assault allegations.
The festival has not yet revealed how Assange will screen the films in competition, given his predicament -- whether by DVD screeners, online streaming or otherwise.
Also on jury duty at Raindance is stage and screen actor Sean Brosnan, whose resume supplied by Raindance organizers declares that his "father is an actor and his mother was an actress." That would be former James Bond Pierce Brosnan and Cassandra Harris of Remington Steele TV fame.
The whopping 17-strong jury also includes British actor Jason Flemyng (X-Men: First Class), Recorded Picture Company CEO Peter Watson, who also is a co-founder of sales and finance arm HanWay Films, and Martina Amati, a BAFTA and British Independent Film Award-winning Italian filmmaker who lives and works in London.
This year's Raindance Film Festival, in addition to its regular lineup of screenings, will also boast the first Web Fest Sept. 28-29.
The shindig runs in London at Vue Piccadilly Sept. 25-Oct. 6 and will host more than 300 films and 40 events.
Highlights include exclusive screenings of Wayland’s Song, a gritty thriller about an ex-soldier dealing with physical and mental scars upon returning from Afghanistan, starring Rob James-Collier and Orla Brady and directed by Richard Jobson.
Also set to unspool is Earthbound, starring Rafe Spall as a man who believes he is an alien from another planet hiding from intergalactic bounty hunters.
The festival will also screen -- out of competition -- Mediastan, a documentary produced by Assange.
Raindance closes this year with The Machine, a sci-fi thriller starring Toby Stephens and written and directed by Caradog James.