Organisers of the Iris Prize have today (14/08/2017) announced details of the 35 short films competing for the annual LGBT short film award the Iris Prize. Presented annually during the October film festival of the same name in Cardiff, Wales the Iris Prize continues to be the world’s largest short film prize. Previous winners have gone on to produce more award winning short films with the generous £30,000 prize funded by The Michael Bishop Foundation.

Andrew Pierce, Iris Prize Chair, commented:
“These are once again a great mix of films from every corner of the world with 20 countries represented this year including a film which brings together the unlikely combination of Indonesia, Egypt, Netherlands and the US. Together these films give a very clear picture of what it’s like to be lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (lgbt) in 2017.

As we recognise the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales it is clear that much has yet to be done, especially in the countries not represented at Iris. It is distressing to be reminded that being gay is still a crime in way too many countries.

But there is much to celebrate and the shortlist of films includes some uplifting stories of young love as the new generation of lgbt people move away from the traditional coming out stories and focus on the joys of being true to themselves.

The 25 nominating partners located across the globe are our eyes and ears and they have once again helped make Iris the place to see the “best of the best”. I think Iris is a window on the world, and as our new strapline asks: “What will you see in Cardiff?”

Highlights form the 2017 shortlisted films include:

Brendon McDonald was the popular 2014 winner of the Iris Prize and the 3rd Australian to take the Iris Prize. He went on to spend the summer in Cardiff working on his new Iris Prize funded short Spoilers before becoming a jury member the following year. Thanks to his film school in Sydney who submitted his latest short film The Dam, Brendon becomes the first Iris winner to be shortlisted twice. The Dam is the story of a lifelong friendship which comes under siege when two mature men visit the monolithic dam that defined their young lives and are confronted by feelings that were impounded long ago, but cannot be contained any longer.

Danny DeVito needs no introduction! Curmudgeons was directed, produced and stars the popular New York actor. The film has already played extensively on the international circuit including BFI Flare, London and Frameline in San Francisco who nominated the film, which features two men who discover love late in life.

A montage of the 35 competing films is available here:

 

The full list of competing films is available here: http://www.irisprize.org/the- prize-2017/iris-prize/

The full festival programme for the 11th Iris Prize Festival will be announced on Tuesday 22 August.

The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation, Welsh Government, BFI, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Pinewood Studios Group, Cardiff University, Cardiff BID, Gorilla Group, Co-op Respect and Cineworld. The festival also works in partnership with BAFTA Cymru and Pride Cymru.

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