This year's Raindance Film Festival has scarcely even begun and already it's courting controversy. The theatrical trailer for the UK's largest independent film festival, now in its 17th year, was written and directed by last year's winner of the Best UK Short and Film of the Festival prizes, David Proctor. A schedule of advertising, due to roll out across London's cinema's, had been agreed with Pearl and Dean, when a letter from the Cinema Advertising Association refused to give its approval to the ad, effectively banning it from cinema screens, claiming it brought, "advertising into disrepute." This, of course, raises the somewhat thorny question of whether advertising has ever been in "repute". The offending trailer, lasting a shade under a minute and half, begins by showing us a man standing on the edge of a tall building, apparently about to jump off. Spectators below are seen looking up at him, some filming the scene on their camera phones. Then, a make-up artists enters the frame to touch up the jumper's powder and we discover that the whole thing is a just a film shoot - nothing to worry about! Except, when the camera rolls and the director calls action, the man really jumps, landing flat dead on the pavement as the crew applaud a successful take. It is at this point that we are fed the punchline in the form of an onscreen title card, "Films to die for." A witty and ingenious cinematic double-bluff, you might say. Not so the CAA. In a spirit of extraordinary humourlessness, their letter states, "The phrase 'to die for' as an expression of praise and approbation is a verbal metaphor, but it has never been taken to convey the literal meaning, 'Something worth committing suicide over.'" Au contraire Mr Greg Lyons, copy editor to the Cinema Advertising Association maybe, but clearly no film buff or else he would be aware of the irony intended in the title of Gus Van Sant's (1995) film, To Die For, starring Nicole Kidman and adapted from the book of the same name by Joyce Maynard. Though the film does not concern 'suicide' per se, certainly the implication is that Ms Kidman's Suzanne Stone is a woman 'to die for' both metaphorically and, as is made clear by the progress of the plot, quite literally. The letter continues, "The offensiveness and shock is intensified by the fact that the individual appears to commit suicide for a film crew to record, and the film crew is seen to express self-congratulation on a successful 'take'. This renders the entire piece reminiscent of the apocryphal 'snuff movie'." There are two possible interpretations of this letter. Either, the CAA have decreed that there must be no reference of any sort to snuff films on British cinema screeens (bad news for Powell and Pressburger's Peeping Tom, David Cronenberg's Videodrome, Paul Schrader's Hardcore, Joel Schumacher's 8mm, and countless others). Or, our Mr Lyons really believes that the guy in the trailer really killed himself. I'm not sure which would be more stupid. Trailer or no trailer, Raindance 2009 looks set to build on the success of previous years, with world premieres of Jamie Thraves's adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel The Cry of the Owl starring Paddy Considine and Julia Stiles, Steve Balderson's film noir homage, Stuck!, and Special When Lit, a British documentary about pinball. Plus, a special closing night gala screening of Steven Soderbergh's highly anticipated The Girlfriend Experience. Tickets will no doubt be snapped up quick, so do hurry. Just, you know, don't kill yourself over it. Raindance Film Festival will be at the Apollo cinema in London from the 30th of September until the 11th of October. Written by Robert Barry