The future of Iris is bright, DIVAs! 🎥


In a moment of renewal for LGBT+ film festival Iris Prize, Tom Abell has been announced as the new chair. As the MD of Peccadillo Pictures, Tom is a respected figure in film, having been awarded the inaugural Iris Prize Fellowship in 2019 as a recognition of his significant contribution to the world of LGBT+ film. Congratulations, Tom!

Suzy Davies and Alice Blanc have further been appointed to the Board, with the festival looking to the future as outgoing Chair Andrew Pierce departs after almost seven years in the role.

In his acceptance of the role, Tom paid tribute to Andrew for his efforts in securing major sponsorship and funding for the Iris Prize, stating: “It’s an honour and a privilege to be invited to become the new Chair of Iris Prize. I wish to pay thanks to Andrew Pearce for his tireless dedication to the festival these past few years, enabling it to grow and expand its activities over that time. I very much look forward to working with team Iris over the coming months in helping shape its future”.

Festival Director Berwyn Rowlands elaborates: “I’ve always been a huge admirer of Tom Abell and his commitment to making sure that audiences in the UK have access to LGBT+ stories. His experience and enthusiasm is well-known within the sector and Iris will be in a strong position because of his involvement”.

This year, the Iris Prize championed LGBTQI women and non-binary people in film with an iconic win from Rebel Dykes. Sponsored by The Michael Bishop Foundation, the event took place in Cardiff from 5-10 October, with DIVA editor Roxy Bourdillon presenting the prize for Best Performance in a Female Role to Senan Kara for Leyla Yilmaz’s Not Knowing.

Excitingly, the Iris Prize will return through touring initiative Iris On The Move. Commencing in January 2022, it will offer special screenings and workshops across the UK, including in London, Manchester, Brighton and Glasgow. For more information, visit

Didn’t catch this year’s film festival? Continued sponsorship from Film4 means that all of the shortlisted projects are available to view on All 4. Yay!


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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