Iris Prize International Jury

Members include award-winning director David Färdmar and our very own Roxy Bourdillon

We couldn’t be more excited about the return of Cardiff’s annual Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival. This six-day celebration of queer cinema is always a highlight in the DIVA diary and this year, its 15th edition, is no exception.

Iris has just revealed the jury members who will judge the Best British and the International Iris Prize categories. The coveted Iris Prize is a cool £30,000, making it the largest short film prize in the world. The chosen winner will be announced on the festival’s closing night.

Introducing the Iris Prize 2021 International Jury 🏳️‍🌈

For this year’s International Iris Prize, the jury chair is Rasheed Bailey, Director of External Affairs at Ghetto Film School, an award-winning non-profit which educates, develops and celebrates the next generation of storytellers.  In addition to being the manager of upcoming music producer Fool the Fox, Rasheed is a programmer at multiple film festivals including Raindance, Outfest, Inside Out, Newfest, Frameline and the British Urban Film Festival.

Rasheed will be joined by award-winning director and former Iris Prize nominee David Färdmar, last year’s Iris Prize winner from The Netherlands, Victoria Warmadamer (Short Calf Muscle), Best British winner 2020 Michael J Ferns (Better) and audience award winner Carla Fraser (Wings). Other jury members are Lewis Bayley, Industries Relationship Manager for Rose Bruford College (Lewis was previously with Bournemouth Film School), East Film Festival programmer Yi Wang and DIVA editor Roxy Bourdillon.

Say hello to the Best British jury 🏳️‍🌈

The jury for the Best British Short supported by Film4 is full of talented folks and chaired by Tim Highsted, Film4’s Senior Editor of Acquired Feature Films. Joining Tim will be Alfie Dale, Best British winner 2019, broadcaster and producer Emma Goswell, Brighton-based filmmaker Jayne Rowlands, Iris award-winning filmmaker and writer Jamie Weston and Nicky Wild, Seasonal Strategy Manager/ Planning Team, Coop Respect.

And don’t forget about the Best Feature, Performance and Youth Jury awards. DIVA is proud to sponsor the Beast Performance in a Female Role in a feature film.

Festival Director Berwyn Rowlands says:

“You can tell a lot about a festival from looking at the jury, and this year is no exception. The 2021 jury includes filmmakers, some are old friends, others are new friends to Iris. The jury also includes actors, journalists and a cross section of the public who share Iris’ interest in LGBT+ stories. They have an important job to do – winning a prize at Iris can be a huge help for a film maker, do I need to mention our inaugural winner Dee Rees who went on to be Oscar nominated. However, I also know that each year our jury as well as our audience also get to see the best of the best as we share some amazing LGBT+ stories.” 

After last year’s brilliant online festival, this year’s Iris Prize promises to be a much-needed celebration of queer cinema.

Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival takes place 5 – 10 October 2021. For more info visit

DIVA magazine celebrates 27 years in print in 2021. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 

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