By Berwyn Rowlands
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28 January 2019
Birchgrove WI Cardiff, were the winners of Leadership Award at the third annual Iris Community and Education Short Film Awards 2019. The other winners were Y Lolfa (The Lounge) by Ysgol Gwynllyw, Pont-y-pŵl, which took the Best Education Short Film Award and We Leave Our Labels at the Door by SWS (Wrexham) (pictured above), who took the Best Community Short Film Award at a packed ceremony at Cineworld in Llandudno Junction.

 

The Iris Community and Education Short Film Awards 2019 were presented by Tom Selway and celebrate the achievements of organisations across Wales, including schools, workplaces and community groups, who over the past year have worked with Iris to make a short film exploring LGBT+ issues.

The first award of the evening for Best Education Short Film was presented to Ysgol Gwynllyw, Pont-y-pŵl. The education jury awarded second place to Lledaenu'r Gadwyn (Pass It On) by Ysgol Bro Edern and third place to Realised  by HomeEd, Carmarthenshire. 

Pauline Williams representing the Education Jury commented:
"Y Lolfa was the complete package. Well-paced and contemporary, the humour was sustained throughout and the film looked at important issues in a fresh, entertaining way."

Rhian James, Ysgol Gwynllyw, commented:

“As a school, we are proud of our pupils’ success in being awarded the Iris prize in education this year. The film ‘Y Lolfa’ promotes the school’s ethos of respect, tolerance and acceptance for all pupils, whatever their sexuality may be. We sincerely hope that the film will be used as a valuable educational tool so that the LGBT community will be fully accepted across Wales and the wider world. We would like to thank Stonewall Cymru and Iris Prize for the opportunity to be a part of the festival.”

Y Lolfa will be available to view on YouTube later this year.

The second award of the evening for Best Community Short Film was presented to We Leave Our Labels at the Door by SWS (Wrexham). The community jury awarded second place to Cake by Birchgrove WI Cardiff and third place to Clinq by TSMU (Trans Social Meet Up, South Wales).


Kris Francies representing the Community Jury commented:

“We were presented with a very strong category of amazing community films. They were all winners and the final three we felt presented the best of the best. In the end we felt that We Leave Our Labels at the Door allowed the audience a chance to experience the lives of lgbt people who are more often than not invisible.”

You can watch We Leave Our Labels at the Door below.


Nicole Mitchell-Meredith, Person Centred Planning Coordinator who works with the Standards of Wrexham’s Services (SWS) group, commented:

“We at the SWS are absolutely thrilled to have won this award! The SWS is a group of individuals who have been diagnosed with a disability and who are supported by Wrexham Adult Social Care. The SWS wanted to support people with disabilities to express their sexuality in a safe and informed manner. We hope this film goes some way to accomplish this. Everyone has worked very hard and to receive such prestigious recognition and it is very encouraging for those involved and to the wider LGBT community in Wrexham. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved and to encourage the SWS and Iris to continue with their excellent work.”

The final award of the evening for Leadership Award was presented to Birchgrove WI Cardiff, with a special commendation for Ty Dewi Sant Care Home, Penarth. Myra Vidgen is seen above accepting the award for Birchgrove WI Cardiff.

Carol Jones representing the Leadership Jury, commented:
We were impressed with Birchgrove WI’s real passion to make a difference - raising awareness of LGBT+ issues and stories within the group that made the film and the wider membership in Birchgrove WI but also at a national level. It doesn’t stop there and their future plans to ensure that the WI is perceived as an organisation that welcomes all adults who identify as women shows real leadership.”

You can watch Cake! below.


Birchgrove WI Cardiff, commented:
“Blimey!! What can we say? Here at Birchgrove in north Cardiff, we've been delighted to work with Iris Prize Festival over the past two years. Making our Cake! an lgbt WI short film was an exciting challenge in itself - taking it out there into the big wide world has been both a pleasure and an eye opener.

Birchgrove WI's debut short film CAKE! (written and directed by Cate Hopkins) was nominated in two categories. We were thrilled to hear CAKE! announced as a runner up in the Iris Community Film category.

Going on to win the Leadership Award - given to those judged to have shown outstanding support and leadership within the #LGBT+ community - was a real honour. Learning that we had won the Leadership Award by UNANIMOUS VOTE? Well, that was just the icing on the cake.”

The seven secondary schools and youth groups competing for the Education Award were: Ysgol Gwynllyw, Trefddyn; Ysgol Bro Edern, Cardiff; Ysgol Eirias, Colwyn Bay; Risca Community School, Newport; Home Educated Pupils, Carmarthenshire; Media Academy Cardiff and Willows High School, Cardiff.

The films were judged by:

  • Joshua Bebbington Chair, Bangor University LGBT+ Society
  • Claire Lawrie Director: BEYOND ‘There's always a black Issue Dear’ (Iris Best British Winner 2018)
  • Pauline Williams Off y Grid
  • Jacob Percival Student, University of South Wales

There were twelve short films competing for the Iris Community Short Film Award, the groups responsible for the films are: TSMU (Trans Social Meet Up, South Wales); PRISM (Welsh Government’s LGBT+ staff network); Unique Transgender Network, North Wales; Birchgrove WI, Cardiff; UNA International Students; Powys Mind/PAVO; Cymru Cymraeg Caerdydd; Aberration, Aberystwyth; SWS (Standards in Wrexham Services), Attic Players, Newcastle Emlyn; Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board and Ty Dewi Sant Care Home, Penarth.

The films were judged by:

  • Tim Heywood South Wales Gay Men’s Chorus
  • Paula Johnson North Wales Police Enfys
  • Lara Zeidan Director: Three Centimetres (Iris Prize Winner 2018)
  • Kris Francies University of South Wales

The Leadership Award, was open to all the community groups competing and was judged by:

  • Carol Jones Chartered Marketer / Iris Trustee
  • Sue Oliver RainbowBiz Ltd
  • Sarah Way RainbowBiz Ltd

All photos by Harrison Williams.

The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation, Welsh Government, BFI, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Pinewood Studios Group, Cardiff University, For Cardiff, Bad Wolf, Gorilla Group, Co-op Respect, Gelert Post Production 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.

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