Cheryl Dunye emerged as part of the 90’s “queer new wave” with her Teddy winning debut film THE WATERMELON WOMAN. A member of the Academy, Dunye’s films foreground issues of race, sexuality and identity. Presently a Professor of Cinema at San Francisco State University, Dunye is at work on her next feature film BLACK IS BLUE.
“I can’t wait to experience life and culture in Cardiff during the Iris Prize Festival. More than anything, I’ll be looking for films that highlight racial and gender diversity within the LGBTQ+ community.”
Neil is a Manchester based writer/ director. He co-wrote and produced romantic comedy Three In A Bed, which won the Audience Favourite award at the Cinema Diverse film festival. The film was released on DVD, reaching No1 in the UK and US Amazon LGBT film charts. Recently, Neil garnered critical acclaim for writing/directing short film Mirrors, Mirrors was premiered at London’s prestigious BFI Flare LGBT film festival to rave reviews, and came highly recommended by the Iris Prize Festival for Best Short Film. Neil will return to Iris this year with short horror film Kill Pill which he co-wrote and produced.
It’s an honour to be asked to return to the superb Iris Prize film festival, I couldn’t be more excited to see this year’s entries. Last year was an incredible experience and fabulous fun, all held in a beautiful city that was completely welcoming to us film makers. Here’s to Iris Prize 2016
Award winning writer, Scottish BAFTA NTA nominee and pro-active member of the Scottish Independent filmmaking scene – Katie wrote / co-produced 2015’s Iris Prize winning Best British short ‘Middle Man.’ She is beyond delighted to have her team’s next short, ‘When a man Loves a woman’, screening at the Iris Prize 2016 Festival.
Some might imagine that attending a world-class LGBT festival, as a straight woman, I might feel out of place or not feel included. As a third time visitor to the Iris festival I have to say, hand on heart, I have only ever been made welcome and made to feel very much a part of the wonderful inclusive Iris family.
There is a Basque word – Extea – which describes perfectly what Iris means to me…Home
Christian is a 21 year old campaigner from Swansea, and was named Stonewall’s Young Campaigner of the Year 2015, and named an Attitude Magazine Pride Hero. As part of his campaigning, he went back to his former secondary school and established an Equality Panel, made up of sixth formers, who run peer-education sessions on tackling homo, bi, and transphobia. Earlier this year, Christian presented a documentary on welsh-language TV channel S4C on the experiences of young trans people in Wales. Having graduated, Christian looks forward to a career in campaigns, policy, and public affairs’.
‘I’m really excited to be on my first ever jury for the Iris Prize, and I’m really honoured to have been asked to judge Best Feature! I’m also really looking forward to meeting some fantastic people from the across the world who’ve created some brilliant pieces of work’.
Theresa Heath is a PhD candidate researching Queer Film Festivals and Cinema at King’s College, London. She is also founder and producer of Wotever DIY Film Festival, a queer event showcasing low-budget work by the LGBTQ community.
“I’m really excited to be part of this year’s Iris Prize Festival jury for best performer. I studied drama as an undergraduate and so performance is central to my appreciation of film. I’m really looking forward to working with the other jurors and hopefully finding a new LGBT talent!”
David Calderon is the PR, Communications and Events Manager at Gay Star News. With almost 10 years experience in PR ranging from film and now LGBTI media. His talents also include digital journalism, marketing, and social media
Charlie is a filmmaker from Glasgow, and was previously on Iris’ International Jury. He’s looking forward to introducing friends to this year’s Iris while hopefully nicking the new talent featured. He can be found crying over Final Draft™ and reminiscing about the time Danny Boyle said, “Please leave me alone.”
One of those Shoreditch queers, Scott spends his time pretending to be witty on the internet. He talks a lot, which is handy since he does stuff on the radio and YouTube. He’s a qualified masseur, lifeguard and ordained minister. He likes cake, gin and talking in the third person. He’s probably trying to shag your boyfriend.
I’ve been an admirer of Iris for several years now, so to be invited to be a jury member is an exciting development. I’m slightly worried that they must think I’m someone who has grownup thoughts about things, rather than just daydreaming about Jason Momoa and wondering where my next drink is coming from. While I make no promises, I’ll do my best not to fuck it up.
Martin is a retired gay activist.
Writer/Director Lloyd Eyre-Morgan trained at UCLA Film School his movies have received showings and release at: Picturehouse Cinemas London and Cineworld North West.
Lloyd’s movies have had large worldwide DVD Sales e.g.: Dream On – TLA Releasing 2012 – Best selling DVD in UK, with release Europe, USA
In 2015 Lloyd wrote and directed BAFTA accredited short film Closets which recently won the prestigious IRIS Prize Best of British – winning £14,000 to spend at Pinewood Studios on post production for his next film i.e. KILL PILL. (Closets is currently being developed into a feature film) .
Closet is set for cinema release by Peccadillo Pictures in July 2016 as part of a film collection and is to be released on DVD Worldwide and iTunes. Closets is also currently being shown around schools after winning the IRIS Youth Jury Award Prize
‘ I am so excited to be part of Iris again this year, the festival was one of my life’s highlights last year and this festival truly cares for emerging talent and makes you feel part of the family. I can’t wait to see this years short films and also features and discover new worldwide talent. I also want to go down to where they filmed Torchwood in Cardiff!!
Helen Wright is co-founder and Coordinator of Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF), which is an annual celebration of queer media and community in Scotland. Helen is also co-founder of queer collective, Lock Up Your Daughters Filmmaking, and a freelance writer and filmmaker.
I’m excited about being on a jury at Iris Prize Festival as it’ll be my first time as a jury panel member at a film fest and I’m curious to see how it all works. I’m pleased to be on the Best British Prize jury as I’m particularly interested in the variety of output that’s produced in the UK. I’m a fan of all kinds of styles and genres, so am looking forward to watching everything!
Frances Hendron has always loved film. Though 20 years in Glasgow, she comes from Northern Ireland. For 13 of these she ran the Celtic Media Festival. She has been a juror for film festivals in Canada and the UK. Recent projects include work with the Scottish Poetry Library, the Empire Café and the Scottish Civic Trust.
I have watched the Iris Prize Festival grow since 2007 when I chaired the first jury. That was a huge honour; all of us on the jury that first year knew this was a special event – a wonderful, big, business risk and without doubt one of the most creative film festival templates ever. Now 10 years on, I’m returning to chair the British jury – 15 short films vying for £20K of support. I am proud, happy and a little anxious to make a great decision, knowing it will be a hard decision to make. And very much looking forward to a week in warm, sunny Cardiff. Expectations are high and I’m excited to be there, watching films and catching up with Iris friends.
Michael Gamilla is the Programming Director of ImageOut Rochester LGBT Film Festival in Upstate New York. His love for movies and his desire to serve the LGBTQ community have equally fueled his passion to volunteer for the Film Festival for the last 15 years. He has served on the international juries at Berlinale (Teddy Awards), Inside Out Toronto, TLVfest Tel Aviv, and Frameline San Francisco.
“While a trip to Iris Prize combines my love for both international travel and watching films, what I am really most excited about being on this jury is participating in an amazing process that could possibly be life and/or career changing for a filmmaker. But I hope I get to see and enjoy Wales too!”
Arkasha Stevenson is a Los Angeles based writer and director. Stevenson is a recent graduate from the prestigious directing program at the American Film
Institute, where her thesis film Vessels about black market breast enhancement procedures within the transgender community was awarded the 2015 Iris Prize.
Prior to attending film school Stevenson worked as a photojournalist and videographer at the Los Angeles Times, an experience that greatly informs her narrative filmmaking. Stevenson’s recent work includes Pineapple, a television concept the she wrote and directed for Project Greenlight Digital Studios.
“As a first time jury member I am excited and honored to immerse myself in an exceptional selection of international LGBTQ film while spending more time with the Iris Prize family!”
Andrew was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He began working with the Atlantic Film Festival in 1999, serving as Programming Manager, overseeing the AFF Programming Department, helping secure Galas, Special Presentations as well as foreign independent titles, niche genre midnight titles and LGBT content.
In 2012, Andrew joined Inside Out LGBT Film Festival to serve as Director of Programming for its Toronto and Ottawa festivals and year-round initiatives. Andrew recently served as a member of the esteemed Teddy Jury for the Berlin International Film Festival in 2014. Inside Out celebrated its 26th annual edition in 2016 over 11 days at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Andrew has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Journalism and is still finding new ways to put them to use.
“I reckon I first met Berwyn back in 2005 when I had the honour of sitting on a jury for the Celtic Media Festival which happened to take place in Cardiff that year. It was my first time sitting on a jury in my professional career and it was one of the best experiences, not just professionally, but also in that I met several people with whom I’d forge life-long friendships. As a result, Cardiff holds a very special place in my heart, and I am humbled and extremely excited to be part of the Iris Prize Jury on its 10th Anniversary, as a representative of Inside Out, one of Iris Prize’s original partner festivals. Iechyd Da!”
Malan Wilkinson works as Deputy Artistic Director of Galeri, Caernarfon – a not for profit community enterprise operating as a Development Trust. Galeri holds the vision that: “anything is possible…through creative thought and sustainable action”. Malan also coordinates the PICS GALERI Film Festival for Children and Young People (an unique festival that awards original and creative Welsh language & no language films.) Furthermore, she sits as a member on the Cofis Bach Board, a charity that provides free artistic opportunities for children and young people in Caernarfon’s Peblig Ward.
American screenwriter, editor and film director, best known for the multiple award-winning BearCity trilogy returns to Iris Prize with the already award-winning BearCity 3. He appears as himself in Malcolm Ingram’s 2010 documentary Bear Nation, and is a producer of Ingram’s 2015 film Out to Win. Doug also helmed the 1996 festival hit Raising Heroes, the first gay action film.
“I am excited to be invited once again to the Jury of Iris Prize. I look forward to sharing Cardiff with my producers Jay Barry Azzato and Joe Amorin, as well as, reconnecting with Berwyn, Grant and the Iris Prize team. “
Sarah Rotella directs short films, web series, and features with her debut feature length film, Almost Adults. Her directing efforts have garnered 80+ million YouTube views and her films have been screened in 80 international film festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival, Outfest Los Angeles, and in a Master Class with director Tim Burton.
“I am looking forward to visiting Wales, and the UK for the first time and being on my first LGBT jury.”
Philip Wynn Jones is a freelance editor and reviewer, has been commenting on films since the early 1970s and has published two books on the subject. He has reviewed films on radio, TV and in various publications, both in print and online. He has been a member of the Iris pre-selection jury since the launch of the Iris Prize Festival.
“After nine years on the Pre-selection jury and one on the Best Feature jury I’m looking forward to joining the main Iris Prize jury. What am I looking for? Originality, humour and, above all, emotional impact.”
Maria Pecchioli is an interdisciplinary artist, her practice shifts between performing art, filmmaking and curatorial projects focus on social practices, group working and activism
In 2009 she co-founded Radical Intention collective and since 2010 she has been directing the Corniolo Art Platform interdisciplinary art residence.
Since 2013 she is co-author and director of “lei disse si” cross media project on lgbtq issue and civil rights.
“I’m really proud and happy to take part as jury member at Iris Prize Festival, this can be the occasion to build a new network on filmmaking and the queer culture. It’s my first time in Galles, i love the possibility to spend time in Cardiff and be in touch with local people and projects.”
Nathan Adloff made his feature film debut with “Nate & Margaret” (Director/Co-Writer/Producer). It sold for worldwide distribution prior to completion and received a commendatory review from Roger Ebert. “Miles” is his second semi-autobiographical feature, starring Molly Shannon and Paul Reiser, which won the 2016 Audience Award at Outfest.
“It’s always an honor to be able to travel the festival circuit with a film, but I am greatly excited about making the trek to Wales to sit on the jury for the Iris Prize. What a perfect reason to visit Europe for the first time ever!”
Bright Light Bright Light is Neath’s Rod Thomas who has toured the world with Elton John, Ellie Goulding and John Grant, won fans of Pet Shop Boys and Michele Visage and worked with Alan Cumming and all Scissor Sisters members on his critically acclaimed albums.
“As someone who grew up in South Wales feeling like I had to travel miles to see anything out of the ordinary, it’s amazing to see Iris bringing people TO South Wales. I’m looking forward to seeing work from people I may never have heard of, and seeing what brilliant independent creatives are making across the globe in one of the most friendly and brilliant festivals I’ve been to.”