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Iris Prize announces 15 short films competing for Best British Award

All 15 films will be competing for the Best British Award at the 2018 Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival.

By Fabio Crispim

Organisers of the Iris Prize announced on Wednesday (August 8) details of the 15 short films competing for the Best British Award at the 2018 Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival.

The winner will be announced during the October film festival in Cardiff, Wales, and will be presented with a prize valued at £20,000 from sponsors Pinewood Studios Group.

Andrew Pierce, Iris Prize Chairman, said: “With nominating partners in Glasgow, Liverpool, and Bristol and submissions from across the UK we are confident that we cover all the bases and this year is the strongest yet with the highest number of submissions recorded.

“This strand of the festival has become very popular with filmmakers and our audience as we share home grown talent.”

The festival is celebrating the most diverse mix of short films competing for the Best British Award. A third of the 15-strong shortlist includes films from and about the Black and Asian communities.

Berwyn Rowlands, the Iris Prize’s Festival Director, said: “Representation matters to us. It’s one of the reasons why we’re here. Seeing an increase in the diversity represented on and off screen is amazing. We were simply not seeing these stories 5 years ago.

“I’m encouraged that the Black and Asian gay experience is coming to the fore in UK cinema. The shortlisted films deal with all the subjects you would imagine, like coming out, but also venture into more complex territory, including one very challenging film involving date rape. Many of these films remind me of the confident storytelling of ‘Queer Cinema’ in the early 1990s.”

One film also featured older members of the gay community. Angela Clark’s Bachelor 38 sees Bryan Robert Blake share memories of leaving Cardiff for London in 1963 as a 19-year-old gay man. 

Speaking about the film, Berwyn Rowlands said: “Sometimes I feel that getting older hasn’t been invented or at least recognised by the gay community. The focus on youth and the body beautiful has been a preoccupation of filmmakers before film was even invented!

“Recently, however, we’ve seen an increase in the mix of stories making it to the big screen, and one by one we are beginning to see a more complex, bigger picture that reflects the diversity of being gay. Bachelor 38, is a beautiful example of a person, a gay man in this instance, reflecting on a full and colourful life at a time of great change for gay people living in the UK.” 

The full festival program will run from October 9 to 14 and will include talks, an education and industry day for low budget films as well as 13 new feature films. 

The 15 competing Best British short films are:

  • 46 (Director: Joseph A. Adesunloye)
  • A Long Line of Glitter (Director: Asten Holmes-Elliott)
  • Bachelor 38 (Director: Angela Clarke)
  • BEYOND ‘There’s Always a Black Issue Dear’ (Director: Claire Lawrie)
  • Bleach (Director: Jesse Lewis Reece)
  • Clothes and Blow (Director: Sam Peter Jackson)
  • Courted (Director: Andres Heger Bratterud)
  • Crashing Waves (Director: Emma Gilbertson)
  • Fleshback: Queer Raving in Manchester’s Twilight Zone (Director: Stephen Isaac-Wilson)
  • Ladies Day (Director: Abena Taylor-Smith)
  • Lehenga (Director: Nathalia Syam)
  • Poof (Director: Dean Anderson)
  • The Unlimited House of Krip (Director: Garry Robson)
  • Two (Director: Kenneth O’Toole)
  • Wren Boys (Director: Harry Lighton)

For more details on the 15 films above, click here. Meanwhile, the names of the 35 short films competing for the Iris Prize will be announced on Monday (August 13).

Watch a trailer for the Iris Best British Award below: