The final three programmes of short films in competition at the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival were certainly an intriguing bunch, ranging from the complex and somewhat sinister to the very silly. The six-day celebration of LGBT+ film is centred around its justly prestigious Iris International Prize. This is the most valuable LGBT short film prize in the world, worth £30,000, which allows the recipient to make another short.
The second day of the Iris Prize Film Festival brought another trio of eclectic film brought together into themed programmes. The six-day celebration of LGBT+ film is centred around its justly prestigious Iris International Prize. This is the most valuable LGBT short film prize in the world, worth £30,000, which allows the recipient to make another short.
You can read about what we thought about the films from Day 1 by clicking here, but read below for Day 2. [Read more…]
The ‘gay short film Oscars’, the Iris Prize, is happening in Cardiff, Wales as I post this. The six-day celebration of LGBT+ film is centred around its justly prestigious Iris International Prize. This is the most valuable LGBT short film prize in the world, worth £30,000, which allows the recipient to make another short. The first of the 35 films in competition have now screened, and once more it’s an eclectic and fascinating bunch, covering a range of themes concerning sexuality, gender and more.
This year the screenings of the shorts have been brought together into thematic groups, so take a look below to see our thoughts on the Iris Prize International Shorts from Day 1 of the fest.
Click here to read Iris Prize Festival LGBT+ International Short Films 2018 – Part 2 [Read more…]
Director Jessica Champeaux looks into the world of lesbian parenting via artificial insemination in Belgium. This is mainly done via interviews with medical professionals, women who’ve decided to have children that way, and adults whose gay parents had them by artificial insemination.
It’s the last of those that’s the most interesting. Both the doctors and the parents largely let us know exactly what we’d expect to hear (at times parroting a party line that perhaps needs to be challenged a little more). However, the adult children are the voice that offers something new, expressing their confusion at the homophobia they experienced growing up because of their parents. They also talk about how they experience an oppression that is unique to them and can be quite acute – it’s not merely homophobia once removed as many would like to believe. [Read more…]
Fire Island, located just off Long Island, New York, is a legendary part of gay history. It’s a place bound up in ideas of hedonism, sexual freedom/liberation and, some would say, debauchery, but perhaps more importantly its seen as a place where LGBT people have long been able to themselves in ways it was (particularly in the past) difficult to be anywhere else. It’s reached the status that for people who’ve never been there it’s almost mythic. Cherry Grove Stories is a documentary that helps to bring this spit of land back to earth, focussing on the Cherry Grove community and showing what it really was and is. [Read more…]
Director Daisy Asquith’s mixture of archive footage and music is the sort of film that is likely to beguile and entrance some viewers while leaving others perplexed and a bit bored. That’s essentially the nature of the beast though, as there’s no traditional voiceover or simplistic signposting (barring a few title cards) in this journey through decades of queer footage from the BFI (British Film Institute). It’s done somewhat chronologically and somewhat thematically (more the latter than the former), with the whole thing held together by the music of John Grant, Goldfrapp, and Hercules And Love Affair.
At first it feels a little random, taking its time to get the audience accustomed to the way it cuts between its multiple sources, sometimes showing chunks of historic TV documentaries interspersed with footage of queer lives from films and shorts, or using music or a particular interview to thematically anchor what you’re seeing on screen. Through this it starts to build something surprisingly powerful, paying testament to both LGBTQ lives in Britain over the past century and celebrating (and sometimes reproaching) the way queer lives have been depicted on screen. [Read more…]
Many of the most interesting gay-themed films are shorts – not least because the lower budgets often allow them to explore themes and ideas that longer movies would be afraid to try in case it hurt their economic potential. French Kisses brings together six Gallic shorts, which vary quite a bit in quality. But are they worthwhile as a whole? Can a look below to see what we thought about each film.
A young man is going swimming, but is worried that he doesn’t stack up ‘down below’ compared to the other guys. In his head everyone else’s package seems bigger and their body looks better. After an attempt to stuff his Speedos goes awry – and eating endless bananas doesn’t work either – he begins to despair about ever being ‘virile’ enough… until something unexpected happens. Quite short and a little odd, Apollo nevertheless has worthwhile points to make about the negative side of masculinity. It’s keen to point out that it’s not just women who feel the need to live up to unattainable standards. It’s also quite fun.
3 out of 5 [Read more…]
For several years New Queer Visions has been presenting programmes of LGBT short films at various film festivals. Now some of the shorts that have been screened by NVQ have been brought together into a package available for us all to watch via Filmdoo (worldwide) and Amazon (in both the UK and US).
While a previous New Queer Visions collection we covered concentrated on female-led films, this one is all about the boys. They range from how sexuality touches race and ethnicity to dating someone deep in the closet. Take a look at what we thought of the films below. [Read more…]
There are far worse ways to say goodbye to an old year and hello to a new one than with a brand-new Boys On Film release. The DVD/VoD series is the most successful short film collection in the world – not just gay short films, that’s any short films at all. The series is now on its 17th instalment, once more bringing us a mix of sweet, sexy and thought-provoking gay-themed tales, adding up to over two-hours of entertainment.
So does this one match-up to the great Boys On Film releases that have gone before? Take a look at what we thought of the shorts below.
The Iris Prize Festival has now drawn to a close, but its still worth seeking out some of the excellent short film that competed for the world’s largest short film prize, the Iris Prize. We’ve already posted our thoughts on the first 23 short films that screened across the festivals five days, and below you can find reviews of the final 12 (presented in screening order – opinions are mine and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts of the overall jury).