Words: Steve Brown
The teen/transgender short film, My Brother is a Mermaid, wins the Best British award at the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival.
Directed by Alfie Dale, the film – which was sponsored by Pinewood Studios – tells a magic-realist story about a trans teenager living in a dilapidated seaside community.
The big winner of the weekend-long festival was award to US director Sarah Smith for her short film Black Hat – which tells the story of a closeted Hasidic Jewish man living in Los Angeles.
Winning £30,000 – supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation – Sarah will be able to make another short film in the UK.
Speaking of Black Hat, International Jury chair Jake Graf said: “It shone a light on an often unseen community in a sensitive, tender and positive way, without casting judgement.
“We found the lead charming and likeable, the film visually stunning, and responded well to this perfectly crafted and concise work of art. Accomplished, enjoyable and captivating.”
Other winners included And Then We Danced, which took home Best Feature, and Henry Golding took home Best Performance in a Male Role for Monsoon.
The Best Performance in a Female Role was won by Linda Caridi for the Italian comedy Mom + Mom (Mamma + Mamma).
For the first time, in the history of the Iris Prize - for which Attitude are Media Partners - films from from Peru, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia were screened.
Watch the trailer for My Brother is a Mermaid: