Tomorrow (Tuesday, 11 October), Cardiff’s premiere international LGBTQ+ short film festival – home of the £30,000 Iris Prize International Short Film Competition supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation – will raise the curtain to a fantastic six-day celebration of film, diversity, friendship, and competition, starting with the Opening Night event at Premiere Cinemas at 7pm. The evening will be a showcase of Welsh talent as six new films are premiered, setting the scene for a feast of films for the coming days.
Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, said: ‘I’m delighted that Creative Wales is able to support Iris Prize again this year. We are champions for inclusivity and diversity across the creative industries in Wales and are proud to support an initiative that showcases Welsh creative talent within the LGBTQ+ community and takes this to a global stage. I’d like to wish participants the best of luck and congratulate them on their creative journeys so far.’
Organisers of the 16th edition of the Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival are preparing to host the biggest gathering of LGBTQ+ filmmakers, with 51 short films in competition throughout the festival as well as features, microshorts, community and education shorts, industry talks, and the annual education day. Full details of programmes and showtimes can be found at Rhaglen / programme | Iris Prize (eventive.org).
Berwyn Rowlands, Iris Prize Film Festival Director said: ‘We are thrilled to be returning to a face-to-face festival this year and are excited to welcome filmmakers, guests, and film fans from around the world and the UK to Cardiff. Opening Night once again sees Angharad Mair from S4C’s primetime magazine hosting an evening celebrating the best of filmmaking in Wales – six premieres with four of the films made by women. This is the moment during the festival when Wales shouts loud and proud to the world – look what we are, and here are our stories.’
Over the six days, the audience will be able to see 36 short films in competition for the Iris Prize International Short Film Competition supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation; 15 short films competing for the Iris Prize Best British Short Supported by Film4; and 12 feature films, including premieres from Iris alumni and member of this year’s Iris Prize jury Dennis Shinners (Barrio Boy), and Trevor Anderson (Before I Change My Mind). Other jury members who are showing films this year and Kamil Krawczyck (Elephant), and Graham Cantwell (Who We Love).
This year, the prize for Best Feature will be chosen by a jury of students from the University of South Wales Film and TV School Wales, giving them an excellent opportunity to spend time with accomplished and award-winning filmmakers. This builds on USW’s successful partnership with Iris that has already created many other opportunities for their students over the last few years.
Tom Abell, Chair of the Iris Prize said: ‘It is wonderful to be able to welcome film lovers back to the cinema this year. As well as the films we have on offer, there will be a chance to enjoy seven industry talks ranging from documentary filmmaking to making a feature film based on a short, and the role of straight allies in LGBTQ+ filmmaking.
‘We are fortunate to have the company of some of our most accomplished Iris alumni, such as Angela Clarke, Jay Bedwani, and Graham Cantwell, as well as Leo LeBeau and James Bell winners of the Iris Prize Co-op Audience Award in 2021 for their film Birthday Boy, discussing how crowdfunding made their film possible.’
New for this year is the Norway Focus, a retrospective of Norwegian LGBTQ+ short films created by Bård Ydén, Chair of the 2022 Iris Prize Jury and the Executive Director and Artistic Director of Oslo/Fusion International Film Festival, marking the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in Norway. The retrospective is supported by the Norwegian Embassy and the Norwegian Film Institute.
Bård will also be hosting a talk with Norwegian filmmaker Magnus Mork, who won the Iris Prize in 2010 with The Samaritan. Magnus went on to make and direct Burger, one of the most popular and successful short films made with Iris Prize money and facilities.
The international celebration of diversity and visibility of the LGBTQ+ community begins at 7pm tomorrow evening with the UK premiere of six short films made in Wales:
- Cardiff, directed by Sarah Smith (winner of the 2019 Iris Prize)
- Blooming, directed by Efa Blosse Mason and Sophie Marsh
- I Shall be Whiter than Snow, directed by Frederick Stacey
- Queens Cwm Rag, directed by Lindsay Walker
- Sally Leapt Out Of A Window Last Night, directed by Tracy Spottiswoode
- G♭, directed by Peter Darney, featuring Richard Wilson
Full details about Iris Prize can be found here: www.irisprize.org
You can book passes for the Iris Prize Film Festival here: https://irisprize2022.eventive.org/passes/buy
The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation; Creative Wales, a Welsh Government agency that supports the creative sectors in Wales; the BFI awarding funds from The National Lottery; Ffilm Cymru Wales; Film 4; University of South Wales; Cardiff University; Co-op Respect; Bad Wolf; S4C; Gorilla Group; Peccadillo Pictures; Pinewood Studios; Attitude Magazine; Diva Magazine; The Ministry Venues; FROOT and Aberystwyth University. The festival also works in partnership with BAFTA Cymru, Pride Cymru and Stonewall Cymru.