“What will you see in Cardiff?”

This is our new strapline which we have adopted for Iris in this our 11th year. Those of you who’ve been to Iris before will know the answer and those of you who are attending for the first time, what a wonderful surprise you have in store. Our film programme of shorts and features are often called the best of the best and even the Gay Oscars. At Iris, we bring together the best lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) stories from around the world supported by our 25 partners located in 20 countries.

Cardiff has been a happy home for Iris and as I mentioned earlier this year during our reception at the Ministry of Sound in London I and many others can’t imagine October without the annual trip to the Capital of Wales.

Last year we celebrated our 10th anniversary in style as we took stock of what we had achieved in our first decade. As we enter our second decade we are determined to be fresh and relevant – therefore this year you will notice some changes to the festival programme.

To bring the festival to a close we are organising our biggest party ever – that’s the promise as we present the inaugural Iris Carnival an all-day extravaganza combining, music, food and film. We are taking over the Depot on Dumballs Road and the delightful Heather Small will be headlining our sound stage, Matt Lissack, from Capital FM is back by popular demand to present the Iris Awards Show and the Co-op Food Village will be bursting at the seams with some amazing Welsh food and drink.

Saturday will now be known as Super Saturday as we introduce two new award ceremonies! The first will announce the three short films through to the Iris Prize Best British final and then later that evening the three finalists for the Iris Prize will be announced before we party the night away in Chapel 1877!

Over the next 12 months Iris will be visiting Manchester, Brighton, Newcastle and Llandudno Junction sharing the best of LGBT stories with audiences across the UK. As we embark on this exciting expansion in our activities we will not forget our primary role and that’s to recognise and celebrate the best of LGBT film by awarding annually the Iris Prize, the world’s largest short film prize.

None of our activities would be possible without our generous sponsors and funders. The Michael Bishop Foundation continues to be our biggest funder thanks to the generosity of my good friend Lord Glendonbrook. This year we are delighted to welcome Cardiff BID and the Co-op to our family. We are also thrilled to have Attitude, Winq and Diva become our official media partners, they are playing a key role in sharing our news with their audiences.

What will you see in Cardiff?

Andrew Pierce
Chair Iris Prize.


Cardiff’s International LGBT Short Film Prize

Iris is the home of LGBT filmmaking. Now a BAFTA qualifying festival, Iris has also been identified as one of the top 50 film festivals in the world by Movie Maker Magazine for 3 years in a row. The festival prides itself on sharing the best content from around the globe to our annual audience in Cardiff each October, made possible through our 25 partner festivals in 19 countries.

The Iris Prize is supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation and continues to be the largest LGBT short film prize in the world. With the winner receiving £30,000 to make their next short film in the UK, Iris is exactly what film makers need – funding, support, guidance and of course a warm welcome into the Iris Prize family.

To date 8 short films have been produced with the winning filmmakers of the Iris Prize, with the 9th currently in pre-production. As for the 10th? Well you’ll have to wait and see who is crowned the winner at the festival in October.

The Iris Prize Awards:

Often referred to as the Gay Oscars, every Iris Prize Festival ends with a glittering award show where the winners of the following prizes are announced:

  • Iris Prize – Sponsored by The Michael Bishop Foundation, the winner will receive the largest LGBT short film prize in the world – valued at £30,000. They will be invited back to the UK to make another short film, benefiting from the very best filming equipment and facilities available in the country, and are offered the chance to sit on the 2018 Iris Prize International Jury;
  • Iris Prize Best British Short – The winner will receive a package of sound post-production services sponsored by Pinewood Studios Group, valued at £20,000, and be invited to Cardiff to sit on the 2018 Iris Prize International Jury;
  • Iris Prize Best Feature Award – sponsored by Buzz Magazine;
  • Iris Prize Best  Performance in a Male Role in a feature film sponsored by Attitude Magazine;
  • Iris Prize Best Performance in a Female Role in a feature film sponsored by DIVA Magazine;
  • Iris Prize Youth Jury Award for Best Short – sponsored by Cardiff University.