Featured image: still from Fourplay San Francisco, one of the 30 short films competing in this year’s festival. Photograph courtesy of Iris Prize 2011.
Shwmae! Next week sees the opening of the Iris Prize Festival 2011 in Cardiff. Now in its fifth year, the event is bigger and better than ever. This festival is the world’s largest of its kind for LGBT short films, where 30 films from all over the world are competing for a £25,000 grand prize.
The 13-strong panel of judges include chair Mary FitzPatrick, best known for her diversity consultation work with the BBC, Channel 4, and various other organisations, and several times Booker Prize nominee, Sarah Waters.
Although eight of the 30 films in this year’s shortlist hail from our own shores, films included in the programme come from as far afield as India, New Zealand, Israel, Brazil, Thailand, Japan, and Australia, along with many other countries. As well as representing a diverse array of nationalities, an eclectic mix of stories includes: a French terrorist seducing a soldier; a Norwegian musical; a bored 1950s German housewife; a cross-dressing American sex worker; and a Spanish hook-up that ends up in a discussion about mortgage rates.
POUT Festival organisers, Peccadillo Pictures, will also be at the festival launching their latest Boys on Film DVD, ‘Bad Romance’.
Opening the festival will be a new feature film by former prize winner, Eldar Rapaport. His film, August has already received praise from publications such as Variety, and is part of the official selection of several LGBT film festivals worldwide. It will be shown alongside three other feature films this year from first-time directors.
Tipped as the festival’s most dazzling year yet, there will also be workshops, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and of course a spectacular awards ceremony and plenty of parties!
Can’t make it to Cardiff yourself? Never fear: So So Gay will be there covering the festival with gusto.
A short montage of the 30 films taking park in this year’s competition.
The Iris Prize Festival 2011 takes place between 5 – 8 October 2011 at various venues in Cardiff. For more information visit www.irisprize.org.