Featured image: Iris Prize 2011 winner, I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone. Photograph courtesy of Iris Prize 2011.

Twitter followers will no doubt have noticed that last week we were in Cardiff covering the Iris Prize Festival 2011. The festival was a brilliant success, with 30 LGBT short films competing for the grand prize of £25,000 to make a new film.

If you weren’t lucky enough to get yourself to Cardiff to take part in the festivities, or if our tweet-feed has pricked up your ears about the fantastic shorts that were showing, then you’re in luck. Peccadillo Pictures have teamed up with Blinkbox to show the entire programme for (almost*) free, broken down into the same five six-film compilation format that they were shown in at the festival.

To watch the films visit www.blinkbox.com/movies/gay-lesbian.

Some of our favourites from the festival were: Spring, a tense and seductive portrait of S&M (included in ‘Programme 3′); Tsuyako, a heartbreaking lesbian love story set in post-war Japan (‘Programme 1′); and winner, I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone, an original and touching tale of a young visually impaired schoolboy’s coming out (‘Programme 5′).

And if our recommendations haven’t whetted your appetite, watch the festival’s trailer of clips from all 30 films.

As for the rest of the festival, our coverage, which has already started with a review of feature film Spork, will include other feature reviews, interviews with directors, actors, and jury members, as well as a full round-up of the festival and our picks of the shorts.

* ‘Programme 3′ requires a credit card and a charge of 49p for adult verification as the content is quite steamy!

The Iris Prize Festival 2011 took place between 5 – 8 October 2011. For more information about the Iris Prize, visit www.irisprize.org. Follow us on Twitter @sosogay.