The always worthwhile Iris Prize Festival is coming on October 8th – 12th in Cardiff, Wales, and with only a couple of months until the parade of some of the best LGBT-themed short films line up to try to take home the illustrious prize, the 30 shorts that will be competing this year have been revealed.
The prize, supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation, is worth £25,000 prize and offers the winning filmmaker funding and support to make another movie. It continues to be the world’s largest international gay and lesbian short film prize.
A late night search for Viagra by two aging strangers for a one night stand is just one of the stories tackled by the finalists for the world’s largest short film award. The shortage of the desired blue pill turns out to be a blessing in disguise as the two strangers get a chance to exchange the pleasures of the flesh with the pleasures of the heart.
“Once again the shortlist for the Iris Prize represents the best of the best. Half of the short-listed films have been nominated by our partner festivals – film festivals from around the world that have their fingers on the pulse of upcoming gay and lesbian filmmaking talent. I’m confident that amongst this year’s shortlist of live action, documentaries and three animated films we have yet another winner deserving of the Iris Prize,” said Andrew Pierce, Festival Chair.
“It’s great to see films from all over the world represented in the shortlist with entries for the first time from Cambodia and Chile joining work from Canada, Germany, Brazil, Israel, Norway, Ireland, India, Sweden, Australia, US, Belgium, Portugal, and the UK all making it through to the final. The US has once again secured the largest number of films in competition with an impressive seven out of the final 30,” said Andrew.
The winner of the Iris Prize will be announced on Sunday 12th October 2014 during the Iris Awards hosted by Amy Lamé. This year, alongside the main Iris Prize, a new Best Of British award is being offered. You can find out more about the films up for than gong by clicking here.
The 30 films competing for the Iris Prize are:
|Aban + Korshid – Inspired by true events, Aban + Khorshid is an intimate portrait of two lovers, glimpsing into the world in which they met, moments before their execution for being gay.||Darwin Serink||USA|
|All God’s Children – Brothers Asher and Charlie have just lost their father, and their already fragile relationship undergoes a test of almost mythic proportions when one of them commits an act of mindless cruelty against an eel as retribution.||Brendon McDonall||Australia|
|Barrio Boy – Haircuts, hip-hop and homo-sex on the down-low||Dennis Shinners||USA|
|Black is Blue – Black Is Blue is a short narrative that tells the story of Black — an African American Trans man, who works as a security guard inside an apartment complex.||Cheryl Dunye||USA|
|Bombshell – A ten year-old tomboy must weigh her loyalty to her trusted older brother as she becomes complicit in a hate crime to win his affection||Erin Sanger||USA|
|Boygame – John and Nicholas are 15 years old and best friends. They are both very interested in girls but feel insecure when it comes to a first sexual encounter with a woman. That’s why they decide that they will get some ‘practice’ on each other||Anna Osterlund Nolskog||Sweden|
|Camouflage – During a military exercise in the woods two soldiers cover each other’s faces in camouflage paint. In a delicate situation, in which every trembling of the finger is perceivable, Max does everything to get his friend to confess.||Stephan Kampf, Andreas Kessler||Germany|
|Chaleur Human (Human Warmth)||Christophe Predari||Belgium|
|Cigano (Gypsy) – Sebastian is a wealthy young man. He finds out he has a flat tire and ends up accepting help from a Gypsy passer-by.||David Bonneville||Portugal|
|Das Phallometer – A refugee is taken into custody at an open border crossing. During the interrogation, he admits to being gay and is subjected to an absurd entry examination, a so-called phallometric test. The story is based on facts.||Tor Iben||Germany|
|Disaster Preparedness – A hurricane racing toward their apartment pulls a couple out of their comfort zone and drops them squarely at the crossroads of commitment, disaster, and the art of being prepared.||Melissa Finell||USA|
|Einfach – Simple – ‘I just want sex!’ says Tanja to Benjamin.||Markus Wende||Germany|
|End of Season Sale – Late at night two aging strangers fail to obtain Viagra for a one night stand. The shortage of the desired blue pill turns out to be a blessing in disguise as the two strangers get a chance to exchange the pleasures of the flesh with the pleasures of the heart.||Eli Glazer||Israel|
|FH2: Faghag2000 – FH2: Fahghag2000 is a twisted take on co-dependent relationships in the technological age. Best friends Toshie and Casey learn the true extent of their togetherness after Casey attempts to replace his friend with an android called the ‘Faghag2000’.||Em LaGrutta||Australia|
|Gleisdreieck – Hedda crosses the city. Petra wants to see a movie. Zazie cares the orchids. The three of them likes cherries.||Maria Jose San Martin||Chile|
|Greco – Roman – Told partly through the form of an interview, Greco-Roman tells the story of Casper, the school bully, whose dream is to become a wrestler, just like his father. But when he discovers his father’s secret, his notions of masculinity is thrown into violent disarray.||Aleksander Godø Alnes||Norway|
|I am Syd Stone – A Hollywood heartthrob returns home to rekindle an old closeted relationship.||Denis Theriault||Canada|
|I Love Hooligans – The world of a homosexual hooligan, his sexual orientation is a well-kept secret. The match against the archrival is the highlight of the year. All matches end and he has to go home, where no one is waiting. This man’s dream: “To die in the arms of my loved one.”||Jan-Dirk Bouw||The Netherlands|
|Lives Under The Red Light – Under the red light focuses on the lives of four persons who work as sex workers in Phnom Penh||Vanna Hem||Cambodia|
|Living In The Overlap – Living in the Overlap is the improbably true story of two girls growing up in Brooklyn in the 1940s, falling in love in the Midwest, and making a life together in North Carolina.||Cindy Hill, Mary Dolton||USA|
|Middle Man – Davie is a new-start in a call centre for the deaf. When his bosses turn up for an inspection he struggles to remain professional as he gets caught up in a heated lovers’ tiff.||Charlie Francis||UK|
|Mitraa – Based on the story written by the renowned writer and novelist Vijay Tendulkar, Mitraa is a short film about a strong girl with a different sexual orientation. Set in mid 1940s, her behaviour and feelings are looked down upon as unnatural by the society around her. The film concludes with India finally gaining Independence, however the LGBT community is still struggling to find their space even after more than 60 years of a free India.||Ravi Jadhav||India|
|Novena – Novena is an award winning documentary capturing a rare moment when two people who are gay and lesbian, are invited to give a speech at a Catholic mass in Dundalk, Ireland.||Anna Rodgers||Ireland|
|O Nylon da Minha Aldeia (Tissues from the Village) – In an isolated village in the South, two characters seek to survive. Marcelo who is deeply in love with Sergio who cannot accept the possibility of his affection. Only at nightfall when the river waters are released and the two figures meet by chance, is when everything seems to change.||Possidonio Cachapa||Portugal|
|One More Night – We all have that one person that we can’t get over, can’t get out of our minds. If you could have one last night with them, would you?||Jeff Woodward||Canada|
|Remission – Two young men and a boy roam the overgrown English countryside, seeking to escape a deadly virus. The two men are forced to take a horrific decision after the boy’s behaviour puts them in increasing danger – but is it too late to cheat death? ‘Remission’ is a brooding fable exploring the paradoxes of sexuality and survival.||Christopher Brown||UK|
|Surprise – A mother and son confess their secrets to one another’s surprise||Leslie Bumgarner||USA|
|The Package (O Pacote) – In the outskirts of Sao Paulo, the young Leandro is a new student in a new school. In the classroom, he meets Jefferson who introduces him to his new group of friends.||Rafael Aidar||Brazil|
|The Usual – In a small country pub three Irish farmers are enjoying an afternoon’s drink, when an unusual stranger walks in. His curious behaviour entertains them for a while, but they won’t want someone like him hanging around their local for too long.||Ruth McNally||Ireland|
|Zebra – One day the zebra ran against a tree.||Julia Ocker||Germany|