Iris Prize is one of many events in the LGBTQI calendar turning digital this year
BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS
Today the organisers of Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival have announced that the 14th edition of the Cardiff based film festival will be held online this October. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing – it means this year’s event will be completely free!
It has also been confirmed that the £30,000 Iris Prize, supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation, will be presented to a filmmaker to produce another short film on Saturday 10 October.
This year’s Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival will open 6 October and close 11 October, with all screenings, talks and events available online for free.
There will also be a pay-per-view catch-up service which will be running until the end of October. To support this, the organisers have launched their first public fundraising campaign.
Berwyn Rowlands, Festival Director, commented: “We are very excited about taking Iris 2020 online. It offers us the change to continue sharing LGBT+ stories with our loyal audience, but it also allows us to reach a new audience. By offering the festival for free, we are addressing issues of social inclusion. The cost involved in attending a festival is a barrier for many in our society, especially younger audiences. 2020 promises to be a turning point for Iris as we recognise and embrace the much-used phrase ‘every problem is a solution waiting to happen’.
“We will also be broadcasting live during the festival. The daily broadcast will offer us the chance to promote Cardiff as a destination, as well as signpost people to the festival next year, when we hope to return to a more familiar format.
“I honestly believe that after the experience of 2020 there will be no going back. Everything that we as a festival are introducing online this year furthers our aims and objectives. In many ways taking Iris online has the potential for us to share LGBT+ stories with an even bigger audience. Funding permitting, I anticipate Iris online will become a key part of what the festival must offer moving forward.
“Changes to our working practices introduced because of Covid-19 have already had a beneficial impact on many areas of our work. For example, the pre-selection jury, which works in parallel with our partner festivals in 20 countries, is now operating around the globe. Historically, the pre-selection process would have been centred in Cardiff. This change in the way we work has improved our diversity and I’m excited to see the results of this once the programme is revealed.”
The submission process for 2020 is still open and filmmakers have until 22 June to submit their work here.