Each of the films released by the LGBT+ Film Festival has a focus on female filmmakers

BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS, IMAGE VIA IRIS PRIZE

Organisers of the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival have today confirmed they are making three short films from the Iris archive available for free on their YouTube channel. That’s right folks, three short films for you to enjoy in your home cinema.

The films are all directed by women who have made short films with the £30,000 Iris Prize, sponsored by the Michael Bishop Foundation. 

As many people have time on more time on their hands than ever, the initiative will begin with the first ever Iris production, Colonial Gods by Dee Rees, going live on their YouTube Channel today!

The Iris Prize is the only short film prize in the world which allows the winner to make a new film. “Iris is more than just a trophy that gathers dust or a certificate that yellows on the wall. Iris is what film makers need – funding, support and guidance.”

The focus on successful Iris Prize female filmmakers is presented in anticipation of the world premiere of Lara Zeidan’s A Beautiful Form To See, starring Alicia Agneson. 

The eleventh Iris Production will screen as part of the 2020 Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival in Cardiff on its opening night – Tuesday 6 October. 

In May, they will share Daisy and D by Arkasha Stevenson, and in June Susan Jacobson’s Wild Geese will be available. 

Berwyn Rowlands, Festival Director, commented: “One of the primary reasons for Iris to exist is to get more people to see LGBT+ stories. I hope that this focus will combine our enthusiasm for October’s film festival in Cardiff with the reality of today, when people have more time on their hands to access content during this period of physical distancing and lockdown.”

“The mix of films is truly astounding. We have always been proud of the fact that the Iris Prize is a very rare opportunity for filmmakers to do whatever they would like to do. These are the stories they want to bring to the screen, without any interference from a funder or financier.”

”As we progress during the focus, leading up to the festival in October, we will also have a chance to discuss and contextualise the work by sharing memories of producing these films in Cardiff and the surrounding area.”

Read on for some more info on the LGBTQI+ short films coming your way. 🌈

Colonial Gods

The first Iris Production, Colonial Gods, premiered at the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival in 2009 and the following year it screened in LA at OUTFEST Fusion and London’s BFI Flare. Set in Cardiff’s Butetown, Colonial Gods is a gritty, realistic and poignant short drama about the challenges facing a changing community, represented by Abdi and Izi’s two very different responses to a world in transition.

Daisy and D

Daisy & D is close to the reality of a night Arkasha Stevenson witnessed during a photo-journalism assignment. The film explores the complicated love that can exist between two people in the most ugly of circumstances.  It’s dark and ugly to watch, if it wasn’t there would be something wrong.

Wild Geese 

Directed by Susan Jacobson and written by Katie Campbell and Kayleigh Llewellyn. Full of comedy and human vulnerability, this is a story of recovery and the redemptive nature of love. When Amy catches her husband in the act, she falls down a flight of stairs and wakes up with amnesia – believing she is 16 and that the year is 1999.

Make sure you head over to the Iris Prize YouTube Channel to check out their first free offering now. 

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