The organisers of the Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival have announced the winner of the second Iris Prize Documentary Film Finance Fund.
Ira Putilova has won for her film which tells the story of four members of a queer Muay Thai club in London. The club focuses on confronting rising hate crime by teaching martial arts to queer, trans, and non-binary people and running self-defence classes for their community.
Commenting on the win, Putilova said: “At a time when LGBTQIA+ people are coming under increased threats, we really appreciate this opportunity to tell stories of queer joy and strength from within our community.”
“We are committed to shining a light on the untold stories from within the LGBTQ+ community” – Iris Prize Festival Director, Berwyn Rowlands
Iris’ Festival Director, Berwyn Rowlands, and the BAFTA-nominated filmmaker, Angela Clarke, shortlisted the submissions for the Fund.
Rowlands said he was “delighted” that the film can now be made due to the Fund. He added: “We are committed to shining a light on the untold stories from within the LGBTQ+ community and making sure they get to be seen by a new global audience.”
Philip Webb, the COO of FROOT and OUTtv added: “The documentary (title TBC) is set to be a poignant and celebratory exploration within the unique setting of a queer martial arts club in London and provides audiences with the opportunity to delve into a community they may not be familiar with.”
The Documentary Film Finance Fund was established by the Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival and is sponsored by FROOT, the UK LGBTQ+ streaming service, and Aberystwyth University who have committed to invest £20,000 in the final film.
The fund supports emerging British documentary filmmakers in telling unique LGBTQ+ stories between 22 and 40 minutes with a particular emphasis on underrepresented groups.
The Iris Prize Festival will return next year from Tuesday 8 October to Sunday 13 October 2024. Full details about Iris can be found here.