“And that’s a wrap…”

The 10th Iris Prize Festival ended in style with the Iris Awards Show and wrap party.
Ah. The Monday after Iris. Brought to you by Netflix, your sofa and a nice cup of tea. The last five days have been the most fun this blogger has had with his clothes on in quite some time - great films, great company and lovely new friends - but he is now exhausted, having barely enough strength to type these very words. _dsc6334Yesterday was a great way to end Iris's tenth year. The awards show saw Real Boy scoop Best Feature, Sign (one of my favourites) win the Youth Award, Tom Green and Kerry Fox pick up the acting awards for their excellent performances in Downriver, and the brilliant Balcony deservedly win both Best British and the Iris Prize itself - as I predicted yesterday! So maybe my crystal ball isn't so faulty after all. There was some great news, too, from the festival's chief sponsor, Lord Glendonbrook, who announced that as of 2017 he will increase The Michael Bishop Foundation's contribution to the festival from £35,000 to £50,000. After a slap-up lunch at the Park Inn, the Blogger was taken to mysterious drinking den The Dead Canary (you have to ring a buzzer to be let in), where he drank delicious cocktails in the company of a merry band of Iriseers and was introduced to Ian H. Watkins from the band Steps. (He just about managed to refrain from gushing about how Stomp  is one of the finest pop songs of the early Noughties.) We then hotfooted it over to the old library building for the wrap party, a traditionally subdued affair where we sit around, sipping sherry and reminiscing about- sissy-boy-tearsWho am I kidding? I drank lots of wine, at one point found myself at the front of a conga line and I think I may have twerked to Missy Elliott's WTF (Where They From). The tunes, provided by Sissy Boy Tears, (aka Stephen Phillips and Christopher Hicks, pictured right) were fantastic. We danced, we laughed, we bellowed "I - REALLY - LIKED - YOUR - FILM" at filmmakers with a limited command of English. It was fun. But I've woken up with a mysterious bruise on my hip. So if anyone who was present knows how I acquired said bruise, please feel free to enlighten me in the comments below. Anyway. That's about it for this year's festival. The Iris Blogger will return at irregular intervals between now and Iris 2017 (which, from past experience, will be with us in about a fortnight), to blog about queer film stuff and any Iris-related events, so watch this space. Till then...