By Berwyn Rowlands
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28 January 2020
Submissions are now open for the 2020 Iris Prize Festival, with a total prize fund of £50,000 at the Cardiff based festival

Film4 boards the Iris Prize Best British Short as sponsor, in three-year agreement to acquire rights to screen the 15 shortlisted films at Film4 on All 4

“...with a strong track record for supporting British film making, this is the perfect partner for Iris. We are so excited"

Organisers of Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival have today (28 January 2020) announced details of a new three-year sponsorship agreement with British producer/broadcaster Film4. The agreement will see Film4 acquire broadcast and streaming rights to each of the 15 British LGBT+ short films shortlisted for the newly rebranded ‘Iris Prize Best British Short Supported by Film4’.

Andrew Pierce, Iris Prize Chair, commented:
“This is a pivotal moment in the development of the Iris Prize. This relationship with Film4 will allow Iris to achieve our main aim which is to increase audiences for LGBT+ stories. As the premier film channel in the UK, with a strong track record for supporting diverse British film making, this is the perfect partner for Iris. We are so excited!”

Tim Highsted, Senior Editor, Acquired Feature Films for Film4, commented:
“The Iris Prize, with its focus on diversity, inclusion and new voices, and its setting in Cardiff, is a perfect fit for Film4. Short form content is a critical proving ground for rising talent, but with new platforms allowing for a wider range of voices to be heard, it’s also increasingly a draw for viewers. We can’t wait to see this year’s shortlisted films and look forward to giving those filmmakers a chance to reach a nationwide audience through Film4 on All 4.”

Berwyn Rowlands, Founder Iris Prize, commented:
“This is always an exciting period for us at Iris HQ as we open submissions and wonder which filmmakers will take home this year’s prize fund of £50,000 to invest in new LGBT+ film talent. Thanks to the generous support of The Michael Bishop Foundation, the Iris Prize continues to be the largest and only LGBT+ short film prize in the world which allows the winner to make a new film.”

“Thanks also to Pinewood Studios Group we are able to support our British film makers directly with a prize valued at £20,000 for sound post production on their next short film project."

And now in 2020 we are also able to help British filmmakers reach a huge audience thanks to our new sponsorship agreement with Film4.

Iris is more than just a trophy that gathers dust or a certificate that yellows on the wall. Iris is what filmmakers need – funding, support, guidance and a new audience for their work.”

  • Iris Prize at £30,000 supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation continues to be the world’s largest LGBT short film prize!
  • “…we need to defend ourselves and speak for our rights more than ever. What better place to do that than at the Iris Prize Film Festival in Cardiff”

Russell T Davies, presenting the 2019 Iris Prize commented:
“I think the world is becoming a much more scary place. It’s becoming the sort of world where we have to fight for our rights. I thought all that was over 10 years ago. It turns out there was just a little lull, and now we need to defend ourselves and speak for our rights more than ever. What better place to do that than at a film festival where we all come together – different types of people, different types of ‘otherness’ and queerness, sexualities and identities. All together in one place, raising our voices. It’s brilliant.”

Submissions are now open for the 2020 Iris Prize Festival. The Cardiff (UK) based festival, which takes place from 6th – 11th October 2020, presents three main awards:

  • Iris Prize - Cardiff's International LGBT+ short film prize
  • Iris Prize Best British Short Supported by Film4
  • Iris Prize Best Feature Award

Eleven short films have been produced to date by the Iris Prize with award winning filmmakers from across the world.

Details about submitting films can be found here:

The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation, Welsh Government, the BFI awarding funds from the National Lottery, Film4, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Pinewood Studios Group, Cardiff University, BBC Cymru Wales, For Cardiff, Bad Wolf, Gorilla Group, Co-op Respect, University of South Wales, Ministry of Sound and Cineworld.

The festival also works in partnership with BAFTA Cymru, Pride Cymru and Stonewall Cymru.

Iris Prize past winners: Dee Rees (US) – 2007, Till Kleinert (Germany) – 2008, Eldar Rapaport (Israel/US) – 2009, Magnus Mork (Norway) – 2010, Daniel Ribeiro (Brazil) – 2011, Grant Scicluna (Australia) – 2012, Tim Marshall (Australia) – 2013, Brendan McDonall (Australia) - 2014, Arkasha Stevenson - 2015 (US), Toby Fell-Holden – 2016 (UK), Mikael Bundsen – 2017 (Sweden), Lara Zeidan (Lebanon) 2018 and Sarah Smith (US) 2019.

Iris Prize Best British past winners: 2007 – Abbe Robinson (Private Life); 2008 – Connor Clements (James); 2009 – Aleem Khan (Diana); 2010 – Ana Moreno (Mosa); 2011 – Andrew Steggall (The Red Bike); 2012 – Fabio Youniss (A Stable for Disabled Horses); 2013 – Jay Bedwani (My Mother); 2014 – Charlie Francis (Middle Man); 2015 – Lloyd Eyre-Morgan (Closets); 2016 – Toby Fell-Holden (Balcony); 2017 – Dionne Edwards (We Love Moses); 2018 – Claire Lawrie ( BEYOND (There’s Always a Black Issue, Dear); 2019 – Alfie Dale (My Brother is a Mermaid).

Iris Prize Best Feature, past winners:

  • 2008 – Dream Boy (USA) directed by James Bolton
  • 2009 – Redwoods (USA) directed by David Lewis
  • 2010 – My Friend from Faro (Germany) by Nana Neul
  • 2011 – August (USA) by Eldar Rapaport
  • 2012 – Sex of Angels (Spain) by Xavier Vilaverde
  • 2013 – Cupcakes (Israel) by Eytan Fox
  • 2014 – Boy Meets Girl (USA) by Eric Schaeffer
  • 2015 – Fourth Man Out (USA) by Andrew Nackman
  • 2016 – Real Boy (USA) by Shaleece Haas
  • 2017 – Prom King, 2010 (USA) by Christopher Schaap
  • 2018 – 1985 (USA) by Yen Tan
  • 2019 – And Then We Danced (Sweden/Georgia/France) by Levan Akin

Film4 is available for free to everyone with digital TV. A daily line-up of great movies guarantees a choice for every type of film fan, including the best of British film-making, US independent films, Hollywood blockbusters, mainstream drama and comedy. A curated selection of recent films shown on Channel 4 and Film4 are also available for catch-up via Film4 on All 4, Channel 4’s award-winning streaming service.

Film4 is Channel 4 Television’s feature film division, which develops and co-finances films and has an established track record for working with the most distinctive and innovative talent in UK and international filmmaking.  Film4 has backed many of the most successful UK films of recent years - Academy Award-winners such as Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, Asif Kapadia’s Amy, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire and Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady, in addition to critically-acclaimed award-winners such as Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not a Witch, Todd Haynes’ Carol and Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin. Forthcoming releases include Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield, Michael Winterbottom’s Greed, Sarah Gavron’s Rocks and Coky Giedroyc’s adaptation of Caitlin Moran’s How To Build a Girl.

www.film4.com | @Film4

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