Iris Prize names Peccadillo Pictures MD Tom Abell as new chair

“I very much look forward to working with team Iris over the coming months in helping shape its future"


Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Supplied

Tom Abell has been confirmed as the new Chair of the Iris Prize.

The Peccadillo Pictures MD takes over the role as the festival looks to the future and its 20-year anniversary in 2026.                             

Abell is replacing outgoing Chair Andrew Pierce, who leaves the role after almost seven years. 

"A privilege"

Accepting the role, Abell paid tribute to Pierce for his work in securing major sponsorship and funding for the festival.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to be invited to become the new Chair of Iris Prize,” he said in a statement. “I wish to pay thanks to Andrew Pierce for his tireless dedication to the festival these past few years enabling it to grow and expand its activities over that time.

“I very much look forward to working with team Iris over the coming months in helping shape its future.”

Abell appointed the inaugural Iris Prize Fellowship in 2019, which honours those who have made a significant contribution to the LGBTQ film industry.

Other appointees to the Board are Suzy Davies and Alice Blanc, joining Carol Jones, Christopher Racster, Heather Small, Katie White and Iris Prize Company Secretary, Grant Vidgen.                        

Berwyn Rowlands, Festival Director commented: “I’ve always been a huge admirer of Tom Abell and his commitment to making sure that audiences in the UK have access to LGBT+ stories.

“His experience and enthusiasm is well-known within the sector and Iris will be in a strong position because of his involvement. I can’t wait to work more closely with him.”

The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation, Creative Wales, a Welsh Government agency that supports the creative sectors in Wales, the BFI awarding funds from The National Lottery, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Film 4, University of South Wales, Cardiff University, Co-op Respect, Bad Wolf, Gorilla Group, Peccadillo Pictures, Pinewood Studios, Attitude Magazine, Diva Magazine and The Ministry of Sound.

The festival also works in partnership with BAFTA Cymru, Pride Cymru and Stonewall Cymru.        

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