Carol Coombes has been confirmed as a new Patron for the Iris Prize Festival. Announcing the appointment during a reception in London to promote the Iris Prize, fellow Iris Patron Andrew Pierce commented, “We are thrilled to welcome Carol to the Iris family. With 12 years experience in film festival management, Carol is ideally placed to be one of our ambassadors. We hope that she will be able to reach out and promote Iris to film makers from the USA and beyond.”

Carol is currently a freelance program consultant specialising in independent, foreign and LGBTQ films and will shortly recommence work with Philadelphia QFest (she worked on their 2009 event) in the role of Managing Director. Between 2001 – 2008 Carol worked for the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (MGLFF) initially as Program Manager and from 2002 as the Program/Festival Director. Under her leadership the MGLFF re-positioned itself as one of the key queer film festivals in the USA.

Between 1997 – 2001 prior to her relocation to the USA, Carol worked for the British Film Institute. Whilst there she worked on both their flagship festivals – the London Film Festival and London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

“I am excited and honoured to be joining the Iris Prize Festival as their newest patron in the same year that the Iris Prize Festival unveil their first UK produced short Colonial Gods directed by Dee Rees, in the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival,” said Carol Coombes.

“I’ve always been impressed with Carol’s enthusiasm and never ending energy. During my visits to the USA she’s always been very happy to offer support and guidance. I’m delighted that Carol has agreed to accept our invitation to join Andrew Pierce, Christopher Racster, Sara Sugarman and Mathew Rhys as a Patron,” said Berwyn Rowlands from the Iris Prize.

“Over the coming months we will be announcing many new appointments as we expand the global network of talented individuals who have agreed to support the work of Iris in promoting and celebrating LGBTQ film making,” he added.

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