Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Iris Prize LGBTQ+ international film festival announces 2021 program

Organizers of Iris Prize, Cardiff’s International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, are delighted to announce the full program of screenings and events for its 15th year.

The festival runs in Cardiff, Wales from October 5-10 and online until October 31. The shortlist of 35 international filmmakers competing for £30,000 ($41,500) prize money is unveiled along with 15 filmmakers who are nominated for the Best British Short film prize.  

The Iris Prize, supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation has announced the 35 shortlisted films in competition for the world’s largest international LGBTQ+ short film prize.  

Filmmakers hail from Canada, Brazil, Philippines and for the first time, Iran and Russia. They are competing alongside Sweden, Spain, Czech Republic and UK counterparts. offering dramatically diverse representations within the global LGBTQ+ community, championing trans power, the exuberance of youth, and the complexity of emotionally personal stories. The one uniting factor in all 35 films is an exhilarating celebration of lives of LGBTQ+ people across the world. 

This year’s nominees reflect a 50/50 divide of male and female filmmakers representing the full diversity and gender, including trans and non-binary individuals, actively engaging across the LGBTQ+ community.  

Among the feature films are UK premieres of new films from Bruce LaBruce and Todd Stephens along with critically acclaimed Firebird and Rebel Dykes. There are also a wide range of talks, panel discussions and a special awards ceremony on Saturday night. There’s also live music from HYYTS, the up-and-coming young synth pop band from Glasgow, who have also provided music for the festival montage trailers. 

Screenings will take place for the first time in Premiere Cinemas Cardiff, marking an exciting new partnership with the festival, which is close to the heart of Cardiff’s LGBTQ+ nightlife, along with the ever-popular Chapter. So, plenty of reasons to celebrate. 

The festival plans to offer an in-person extravaganza and after the success of last year’s virtual event, most of the 2021 program is also being made available on-line throughout October for wider audiences to enjoy.   

The much-anticipated and highly entertaining UK documentary Rebel Dykes directed by Harri Shanahan and Sin A. Williams, offers an energetic celebration of a group of punk lesbian collective who found their own unique form of activism fighting for LGBT rights during the ’70s and ’80s, taking in Greenham Common and the abseiling into the House of Lords. The film is also the centerpiece of a full day of related activities and talks at Chapter Cinema. 

Berwyn Rowlands, Iris Prize says, “This year’s program offers those who are ready to re-connect and meet likeminded people to watch amazing films in person a lot of choice. Our venues, including our new city centre home Premiere Cinemas are ready to put on a show. And although we are still living in a different world to when we last came together in 2019 – there will be much which is familiar, and fingers crossed a few new surprises.”

Berwyn adds, “We have so much to enjoy this year I’m predicting many will take advantage of catching up with the films they missed in Cardiff during the festival week by taking advantage of the festival on-line which runs till the end of October. The best of both worlds!” 

Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, said: “I’m delighted that Creative Wales is able to support Iris Prize again this year, in what will be the Festival’s 15th 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 LGTBQ+ 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.”     

Tickets are available at irisprize.org/boxoffice          

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