By David Llewellyn
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14th October 2018

Iris 2018 – Super Saturday

In which we learn the names of the five films battling it out for this year's Iris Prize and Best British Short.

Way back when the internet was in black and white, the Iris Prize Festival would have been over by now. The winners would have been announced, and the Iris Blogger would be nursing a moderate-to-severe hangover in the comfort of his bed.

Now, Saturday is but the prelude, the overture, to the extravaganza that is the Iris Carnival, and the day on which we discover which six films will battle it out for the Iris Prize and Best British Short. Well, I say six films, but this year one film made it to the top three in two categories, so technically it’s five films. Those films are:

Best British:

Beyond ‘There’s always a black issue, dear’, Ladies Day, Wren Boys

Iris Prize:

PreDrink, Three Centimetres, Wren Boys

The Iris Blogger has a pretty terrible record when it comes to predicting winners and hasn’t always agreed with the juries’ decisions, but this is a damn fine selection. Any of those films would be a worthy winner, and it came as no surprise that when the Iris Blogger pressed the international jury for some quotes, they broke down in tears. No, really. They had a very tough task this year, but IMO they chose wisely.

Day 5 wasn’t all about the Super Saturday revelations, however. There was also a chance to see the final programme of short films, which included the stunning The World is Round so that Nobody Can Hide in the Corners, a documentary about the experiences of a Nigerian refugee in Europe, and Sridhar Rangayan’s delightful film Evening Shadows. There was also the Pride Cymru Youth Conference, during which young people from across Wales had the opportunity to watch some of the short films from this year’s programme and vote for their favourite. Their votes, coupled with those from our Education Day, will go towards deciding the winner of our Youth Prize.

The evening took us to the gorgeously gothic Chapel 1877, and… well… then it gets a bit blurry. Yes. This blogger stayed out a little later than intended, and has only the vaguest memories of stumbling home in the wee hours of the morning. Now he has to whip himself into semi-respectable shape and put on his Sunday best ready for the Iris Carnival, where we’ll find out who has won this year’s prizes.

This year’s festival has been an absolute hoot. We’ve met lots of new friends and been reacquainted with old ones. When I look back at the last twelve years of Iris, it seems remarkable that when we began, the festival ran for four days, and we could pretty much get all of the jury, staff and guests from venue to venue in a minibus. It’s been one hell of a ride.

Tune in tomorrow to find out how Iris 2018 galloped across the finishing line, and just how much dignity – if any – the Iris Blogger managed to hold on to.

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