Mother Knows Best, directed by filmmaker Mikael Bundsen has been announced as the winner of the 2017 Iris Prize, Cardiff’s International LGBT Short Film Prize, supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation. The £30,000 prize will allow Bundsen to make a new short film in Wales, becoming the tenth Iris production.
The winners were announced at the Iris Carnival at Cardiff venue Depot on Sunday, marking the culmination of six days of film screenings, talks and forums. The event included a programme of live music, with a special guest appearance by Heather Small.
International Jury chair Brian Robinson said, “Mother Knows Best is a brilliantly scripted and intense short film which uses a great economy of shots to tell a powerful and beautifully acted, universal story in which the realities of a young gay man’s different relationships with his parents are played out.”
Special commendations also go to: Odd Job Man and The Mess He Made.
“Odd Job Man is a well-shot, beautifully constructed film that tells a heart-warming story with compelling dry wit and humour, boasting a great lead performance.
“The Mess He Made manages to create a whole world with fine cinematography and a wonderfully nuanced central performance, when some mundane errands turn into a life-changing moment.”
The winner was announced by Heather Small, and the Iris Carnival hosted by Capital FM’s Matt Lissack.
The other winners are:
We Love Moses directed by Dionne Edwards was announced as Best British Short, sponsored by Pinewood Studios.
Best British jury chair Katie White said, “We Love Moses is a vividly realised tale of curiosity, secrecy and regret. One of its most refreshing aspects is the film’s mediation through the eyes of a young black girl, a perspective seldom foregrounded in cinema. Avoiding clichés of childhood innocence and naïveté, Edwards works more in the vein of a filmmaker like Catherine Breillat, allowing girlhood to be a space of sexual curiosity and wry observation.”
The award was presented by David Johnston of Pinewood Studios.
Also highly commended were:
Where We Are Now directed by Lucie Rachel and Eté directed by Gregory Oke.
Best Feature Film went to Prom King, 2010, directed by Christopher Schaap. The award was presented by Emma Clark and Chris Williams of Buzz Magazine.
Announcing the winner Chris said, “I loved everything about Prom King, 2010. I was able to relate to the main character, as I’m sure must be the case for the wider audience. Christopher takes the conventional US teen drama and presents the story with visual flare and a European cinematic sensibility. I hope the film gets to be seen by as wide an audience as possible.”
Also highly commended was Icelandic horror film Rift, directed by Erlingur Thorrodsen.
Best Performance Awards, sponsored by Attitude and DIVA:
The award for Best Performance in a Male Role went to Miles Szanto for Teenage Kicks.
The award for Best Performance in a Female Role went to Fawzia Mirza for Signature Move.
The winners were announced by Matt Cain, editor of Attitude, and Carrie Lyell, editor of DIVA magazine.
Commenting later, the jury said:
“Miles Szanto’s performance was amazing. The juxtaposition between physical strength and emotional vulnerability was mesmerising. We’re looking forward to watching his movie career with great anticipation.
“We believe that Fawzia Mirza came across as naturally funny, with impeccable comedy timing. Her performance challenges the public perception of what it’s like to be a young Pakistani Muslim lesbian.”
And finally, the Iris Prize Youth Award, sponsored by Cardiff University, went to Lily, directed by Graham Cantwell from Ireland. The votes were cast by over 100 students at the Iris Prize Education day and over 60 young people at the Pride Cymru Youth Festival.
The award was presented by Youth Council representatives Alex Jones and Eve Limbrick, who said, “Lily was inspirational, and if it’s played in schools and universities it will change behaviours. Winning this award is such an important part of this year’s festival.”