This period is quite strange, the week before you announce to the world your festival programme of films, talks and everything in between. We go live with the 17th edition of the Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival on Monday 4 September. Until that point almost everything is kept under wraps!
This year's collection of 12 new feature films, is probably the best lineup we've ever had at Iris. One of the films (as it happens a Welsh production) has got me very excited. The last time I was this excited was after seeing Muriel's Wedding at a festival almost 30 years ago. I spent the best part of 2 months phoning Daniel Battsek, who was then at Buena Vista, to secure the film for our closing night. Securing this Welsh title (all will be revealed on 4 September) also needed me to phone a few friends!
Over the next couple of days, I will need to write about my top 3 features. I know, that's like asking a parent to choose their favourite child, they might have one, but I'm guessing they love them all. And that's my situation, all 12 features deserve to be introduced to an audience for different reasons. However, they do have one thing in common. They are all examples of excellence in storytelling. Some will make you cry, some will make you laugh out loud and one of them will have you on the edge of your seat, a British thriller which premiered in Berlin, can you guess?
They are also stories about the LGBTQ+ communities that don't normally feature in the mainstream. Coupled with the fact that more than half the programme will be introduced by the filmmakers, I'm once again getting rather excited, and if I'm honest, a little nervous!