By Berwyn Rowlands
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Still from the short film
08 August 2018
• 15 short films - including one third from the Black and Asian communities - compete for Iris Prize Best British Award

• Pinewood Studios Group continue to offer the £20,000 award for Best British LGBT+ short film

• Bachelor 38 – becomes the 3rd film from Cardiff (home to the Iris Prize) and reminds us that even the gays get older!

Organisers of the Iris Prize have announced details of the 15 short films competing for the Iris Prize Best British Award at the 2018 Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival. The winner who will be presented with a prize valued at £20,000 from sponsors Pinewood Studios Group, will be announced during the October film festival in Cardiff, Wales.

Andrew Pierce, Iris Prize Chair, commented:

“With nominating partners in Glasgow, Liverpool, and Bristol and submissions from across the UK we are confident that we cover all the bases and this year is the strongest yet with the highest number of submissions recorded. This strand of the festival has become very popular with film makers and our audience as we share home grown talent.”

The festival is celebrating the most diverse mix of short films competing for the Best British Award with a third of the 15-strong shortlist includes films from and about the Black and Asian communities.

Berwyn Rowlands, Iris Prize’s Festival Director, commented:
“Representation matters to us. It’s one of the reasons why we’re here. Seeing an increase in the diversity represented on and off screen is amazing. We were simply not seeing these stories 5 years ago. I’m encouraged that the Black and Asian gay experience is coming to the fore in UK cinema. The shortlisted films deal with all the subjects you would imagine, like coming out, but also venture into more complex territory, including one very challenging film involving date rape. Many of these films remind me of the confident storytelling of ‘Queer Cinema’ in the early 1990s.”

Elsewhere, the recent trend of stories featuring older members of the gay community continues. In Bachelor 38, Bryan Robert Bale shares his memories of leaving Cardiff for London in 1963 as a 19-year-old gay man. Angela Clark’s powerful film allows Bryan to share decades of stories.

Berwyn Rowlands, Iris Prize’s Festival Director, commented:
“Sometimes I feel that getting older hasn’t been invented or at least recognised by the gay community. The focus on youth and the body beautiful has been a preoccupation of film makers before film was even invented! Recently however we’ve seen an increase in the mix of stories making it to the big screen, and one by one we are beginning to see a more complex, bigger picture that reflects the diversity of being gay. Bachelor 38, is a beautiful example of a person, a gay man in this instance, reflecting on a full and colourful life at a time of great change for gay people living in the UK.”

The full festival programme which runs from 9th through to the 14 October will includes talks, an education day and industry day for low budget films, alongside 13 new feature films.

Still from short film "Ladies Day" directed by Abena Taylor-Smith. Shortlisted for the 2018 Iris Prize Best British Award.

The 15 competing Best British short films are:

  • 46 (Dir: Joseph A. Adesunloye)
  • A Long Line of Glitter (Dir: Asten Holmes-Elliott)
  • Bachelor 38 (Dir: Angela Clarke)
  • BEYOND 'There's Always a Black Issue Dear' (Dir: Claire Lawrie)
  • Bleach (Dir: Jesse Lewis Reece)
  • Clothes and Blow (Dir: Sam Peter Jackson)
  • Courted (Dir: Andres Heger Bratterud)
  • Crashing Waves (Dir: Emma Gilbertson)
  • Fleshback: Queer Raving in Manchester's Twilight Zone (Dir: Stephen Isaac-Wilson)
  • Ladies Day (Dir: Abena Taylor-Smith)
  • Lehenga (Dir: Nathalia Syam)
  • Poof (Dir: Dean Anderson)
  • The Unlimited House of Krip (Dir: Garry Robson)
  • Two (Dir: Kenneth O'Toole)
  • Wren Boys (Dir: Harry Lighton)

More details

The names of the 35 short films competing for the Iris Prize will be announced on Monday 13 August.

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