Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival unveils full line-up of movies and shorts for 2021

Filmmakers from Canada, Brazil, Philippines and for the first time, Iran and Russia, are up for the International Short prize


Words: Jamie Tabberer; pictures: A still from Sam McConnel's The Hunter (Provided)

The Iris Prize has revealed the full rundown of LGBTQ-related films being screened at its upcoming festival in Cardiff, taking place from 5-10 October 2021.

According to festival organisers, 19 countries are represented in the shortlist including Brazil, Philippines, Bulgaria, South Korea and for the first time, Russia and Iran. Meanwhile, three Welsh filmmakers are among the Best British Short nominations.

For that prize, there is a 50/50 divide between male and female filmmakers, including trans and non-binary filmmakers.

The festival - which runs online until 30 October - will also feature the UK premieres of hotly-anticipated new films such as Todd Stephens’s Swan Song and Bruce LaBruce’s Saint Narcisse.

Creators have also teased a special event involving the Rebel Dykes, a music workshop with Scottish synthpop band HYYTS and an awards ceremony on the Saturday night.

"Our new city centre home"

The Iris Prize's Berwyn Rowlands commented: “This year's programme offers those who are ready to reconnect and meet likeminded people to watch amazing films in person a lot of choice. Our venues, including our new city centre home Premiere Cinemas are ready to put on a show.

"And although we are still living in a different world to when we last came together in 2019 – there will be much which is familiar, and fingers crossed a few new surprises."


A still from Todd Stephens’s new film Swan Song, also screening at the festival (Provided)

Added Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden: “I’m delighted that Creative Wales is able to support Iris Prize again this year, in what will be the Festival’s 15th year.

"We are champions for inclusivity and diversity across the creative industries in Wales, and are proud to support an initiative that showcases Welsh creative talent within the LGTBQ+ community and takes this to a global stage.

"I’d like to wish participants the best of luck and congratulate them on their creative journeys so far.”

Other films to look out for include Lara Zeidan’s new short A Beautiful Form To See - a celebration of the female body - plus UK documentary, Rebel Dykes directed by Harri Shanahan and Siân A. Williams, offering an insight into the punk lesbian collective who found their unique form of activism fighting for LGBTQ rights during the 70s and 80s.

There's also Mathew David’s new film Skinny Fat, about a gay man who confronts his belly fat in a shop changing room, triggering him to relive an abusive past relationship. The film stars Welsh acting legend Ruth Madoc.

For full details of the programme, tickets and more information, visit IrisPrize.org. The box office is now open. Tickets are also available in person from 5-10 October at the Festival Box Office in Premiere Cinemas 30 minutes before each screening and at Festival Club, Queens Arcade, between 10am and 5.30pm. 

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