WELCOME / CROESO - The Iris Prize Festival 2014!
I always think of Iris as family. Granted a rather bigger family today than we knew back in 2007 when the world’s finest LGBT filmmakers gathered in Cardiff for the first time. We had 7 feature films as part of our inaugural programme, this year we have 16. In 2007 we had 5 programmes of short films, this year we have 10.
There is no denying that our family is getting bigger. Guiding Iris on her journey needs constant attention and is a responsibility I cherish and enjoy. As Iris extends her reach to include unexpected but welcome new partnerships (more about this during the festival!) I, with your support, will make sure we never lose that friendly family feel that makes Cardiff in October such a special place.
If you have been to Iris before you will notice some changes. I’ve already eluded to growth and in reality what this means is you will need to make choices about what you would like to see. In previous years you’ve been able to see everything, this will not be possible in 2014! I’ve had a good look at the programme and have made my viewing decisions. It was a little like opening a large box of chocolates, slightly overwhelming, but worth the effort.
If this is your first visit to Iris, please enjoy our programme of the best LGBT films which this year includes the new Iris Prize Best British Short programme sponsored by Pinewood Studios, our first country focus looking at LGBT Cinema from Israel and the welcome return of Iris Alumni Till Kleinert with his new feature film The Samurai and Daniel Ribiero with The Way He Looks.
Before I leave you to consider your viewing and partying opportunities at Iris this year I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our funders and sponsors. Without them Iris would not happen. Once again this year I would like to pay particular thanks to my good friend Lord Glendonbrook who continues to support the Iris Prize through his generosity via The Michael Bishop Foundation. I’m delighted that he is able to join us this year for the Iris Awards as we present for the 8th time the Iris Prize, the world’s largest LGBT short film prize at £25,000.
Chair, Iris Prize