By Berwyn Rowlands
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28 April 2020
Cardiff’s Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival - named one of the Top 50 Film Festivals for fifth time!
Organisers confirm “Iris Prize supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation, will be awarded in 2020”

The Iris Prize Festival team are celebrating having been recognised as one of the top “50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” by MovieMaker Magazine, for the fifth time! The annual list is produced by the world’s most widely read independent film magazine and is an indication of how useful a film festival is for film makers.

Andrew Pierce, Iris Prize Chair, commented:
“This is wonderful news for the Iris Prize and Cardiff and, without being too biased, well deserved too. We’ve never taken for granted the relationship between Iris and the film makers and I think this is at the heart of this recognition from MovieMaker.

“The film making sector is facing a difficult time with productions across the globe having been postponed or even cancelled because of the pandemic. Today we are delighted to confirm that we will be presenting the Iris prize later this year. Thanks to the generous support of The Michael Bishop Foundation we will be presenting the 14th Iris Prize, which at 30,000 continues to be the world’s largest short film prize.”

Berwyn Rowlands, Festival Director, commented:
“These are unprecedented times for all of us who love film - the producers and directors, the writers and actors, the general public, and everyone who supports the work film festivals do to give direct access to film makers and their work.

“Not being able to go to the cinema is proving difficult and although there are a number of platforms offering some amazing LGBT+ content, including Iris [see here!], nothing quite replaces the experience of watching a film in a darkened room with hundreds of other people. Let’s hope that the “new normal”, which I hope includes going to the cinema, will be with us before too long.

“Presenting the Iris Prize is an important part of our work as an organisation. However, our main aim is to be a world leader in sharing LGBT+ films to as wide an audience as possible to encourage diversity and understanding, and support future film making. I’m happy to also confirm that we will be presenting the 14th Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival as planned from the 6 – 11 October 2020. What format it will take is still unknow. However, we are working on several ideas on how we can share the best LGBT+ films with our audience. Some of the ideas are very exciting and offer new ways of interacting with our audience. We will be announcing our plans at the end of July 2020, when we will also be opening the box office, selling passes and tickets for the festival.”

MovieMaker Magazine, commented:
"Film festivals, like so many large-scale events, have taken big financial hits, a sacrifice they’ve accepted, as have so many others, in the name of the greater good.

"But when we emerge, when it’s safe, it will be more important than ever to support the things that celebrate beauty and humanity. And for us, because we love and revere movies, nothing celebrates beauty and humanity like a film festival.

"We researched a wide swath of festivals to compile this year’s list, and, as usual, had to make some tough decisions about what to include and what not to. We’re very conscious of the fact that celebrating one wonderful festival means leaving out another.

"We chose these film festivals based on a rubric intended to highlight the festivals that provide the best possible return for moviemakers—on their valuable time, on their intense effort, and of course on their money. We relied on questionnaires from the festivals themselves, their track record of helping moviemakers, our own additional research and, whenever possible, first-hand experience with the festivals."

Submissions are still open for the 2020 Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival and will close on Monday 22nd June 2020. Details about submitting films can be found here.

The full list published by Movie Maker Magazine is available 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.

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