It’s great to mark the return of Big Gay Picture Show with news about the latest edition of one of our very favourite things in the LGBTQ film calendar – the Iris Prize Festival. Some of the very best work in gay-themed cinema takes place in the medium of short film, and Iris Prize is one of the world’s premiere showcases for it. Alongside its always great shorts programme, it also presents a series of features films and other content. All of it leads up to the Iris Prize itself, where one short film will win £30,000 in support to make a new film.
As with most other film festivals around the world this year, things will be different for the Iris Prize Festival this year. Instead of filmmakers and fans descending on Cardiff, the festival is heading online – but the really great news is that much of it will be free for people across the UK! It really is a fantastic fest, so this is fab news for those who wouldn’t be able to make it to Cardiff even if it was an ordinary year.
The event runs from October 6th-11th, and includes the 35 shorts competing for the main International Iris Prize – which includes films directed by people from India, China, Brazil and Macedonia, amongst others – as well as the 15 films competing for Best British Short, along with a great programme of feature films. That’s complemented by industry events looking at everything from working with actors to virtual filmmaker meet-ups. Additionally, each day there will be Iris Prize Live TV!, presented by Tom Selway, which will be broadcasting daily at 7pm. This will feature news and interview with filmmakers, and includes the festival’s own version of Loose Women hosted by Welsh actor/writer Mathew David Hill and cabaret artist Jolene Dover. Plus, there’ll be virtual versions of Iris’ legendary parties!
Iris Prize Festival opens on Tuesday 6th October and close on Sunday 11th October, with all screenings, talks and events available online for free. The Awards ceremony itself is shown live on Sat 10th Oct at 7pm. There will also be a pay-per-view catch-up service which will run until the end of October .
You can find out more about the fantastic full programme here: https://www.irisprize.org/festival/
If you want to know how you can take part from anywhere in the UK, there’s more info about that here: https://www.irisprize.org/howitworks/
And you can take a look below for previews of the Iris International Shorts and Best British Shorts below.