By David Llewellyn
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13th October 2019

And the winner is…

Yesterday we found out which films are in the final running for the Iris Prize and Best British awards. Today we'll find out which films have won. But first, let's take a look at what happened on Super Saturday.

There are picture descriptions for those with a visual impairment at the end of this post.

Day 5 of the 2019 Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival kicked off with the tenth and final programme of shorts competing for the prize itself. This was introduced by yours truly, no mean feat when yours truly is coming down with what he can only describe as a “Bronte Sisters-level” bout of the lurgy.

Yes, it turns out that running around in the rain, ferrying guests to and from Radio Cardiff’s studio (a former shipping container on an industrial estate) isn’t exactly conducive to good health.

Still, I soldiered on, and managed to ask semi-coherent questions in the Q&A with visiting filmmakers Cyna Strachan (Strangers), Anthony Greyley (Dubs) and Gabriel Furman (Wonder). 

Then it was only left for the international jury to meet in their top secret, subaquatic bunker at the bottom of the Severn Estuary to make their deliberations.

We still don’t know which films have taken the top prizes, but we do know which three titles in each category our juries have whittled things down to. The excitement and anticipation are unbearable.

In the Best British category, we’re looking at a showdown between magic-realist fable My Brother is a Mermaid, Berlin cabaret drama We Are Dancers and the documentary Invisible Women. In the Iris Prize, our final three films are Ponyboi, Marguerite and Black Hat. All six of these very different films are excellent, but as I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, 2019 has been a vintage year for Iris. The filmmakers who didn’t make it into the final three can still hold their heads high.

So what remains for Iris 2019? Well, there’s the third Iris Carnival, taking place again this year at Tramshed. There’ll be live music from Cardiff band BLɅCKƎLVIS. There’s food courtesy of Co-Op Respect. And there’s RUSSELL T ACTUAL DAVIES.

This is Russell’s second time at Iris since he announced Till Kleinert as the winner (for Cowboy) in 2008, and we’re chuffed as can be to have him back, especially after his recent victory lap of British telly with A Very English Scandal and Years and Years.

All in all it’s lining up to be a beautiful day.

Picture Descriptions

  1. The characters from ‘We Are Dancers’, including Hans Piersbergen as the cabaret performer Hansi, embrace against a grey backdrop. Hansi is still wearing his blonde wig.
  2. River Gallo, in the title role of ‘Ponyboi’ – a close-up in quarter-profile, in striking blue light.
  3. An archive photograph from the film ‘Invisible Women’ – one of the women from the documentary stands with her hands on her hips in front of a notice board filled with activist posters.
  4. The lead character from Black Hat prays wearing a prayer shawl, a tefillin on his head.

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