Plans have been revealed for an event to celebrate the OSCAR recognition of Dee Rees, the first Iris Prize winner. Her latest feature film Mudbound has received 4 nominations including a personal nomination for Dee in Best Adapted Screenplay alongside co-writer Virgil Williams.
Dee Rees was the winner of the inaugural Iris Prize in 2007, returning to Cardiff to take her place on the Iris Prize jury the following year. In 2009, she made another visit to Wales where she made Colonial Gods, the first Iris Production produced with the Iris Prize.
The event will take place at the Atrium, University of South Wales when guests will have a chance to send their best wishes to Dee Rees at a special screening of her Iris Production Colonial Gods, as well as the documentary An American Eye on Butetown, which follows the making of the film back in 2009.
Andrew Pierce, Iris Prize Chair, commented:
“I’m immensely proud of everything Dee has achieved since her win at Iris back in 2007. I was a member of the first Iris jury and to be honest we were a little annoyed with Dee at the time. The simple idea for Iris was to create an LGBT short film competition. Dee’s competing short film however was so good, it became obvious she would win! So, the element of surprise was lost when she was announced the winner!”
“For those who have followed Dee Rees since those early days in both her and Iris’ careers it will come as no surprise that she is now being honoured with the highest accolades in the world of filmmaking. Her feature Mudbound is nominated in 4 categories at the 2018 Academy Awards – including a personal nomination for Dee in Best Adapted Screenplay alongside co-writer Virgil Williams.”
Economy Secretary Ken Skates said:
“Huge congratulations to Dee Rees and the production team on Mudbound’s four Academy Award nominations. This really is a huge achievement and we are incredibly proud of Dee and her ongoing links with Wales. I wish Dee every success at this year’s awards and look forward to seeing more of her work produced here in Wales.”
Frances Hendron, Jury Chair in 2007 commented:
"This film was impactful. It is a personal story told in a universal manner. The film maker displays excellent film making skills from the direction of the actors, the integral music sound track and a natural control of its subject.”
The Iris Celebrates Dee Rees event on Sunday 4 March is supported by University of South Wales and the Welsh Government.
The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation, Welsh Government, BFI, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Pinewood Studios Group, Cardiff University, For Cardiff, Gorilla Group, Co-op Respect and Cineworld. The festival also works in partnership with BAFTA Cymru, Pride Cymru and Stonewall Cymru. Iris on the Move is also funded by Film Hub Wales.
Photo: Andrew Pierce in conversation with Dee Rees (2008).