Day 1

In which Iris dug up the past and unearthed a house party full of zombies.
As the great Scottish poet Robert Burns once wrote, "The best laid plans of mice and men, often result in them drinking far too much white wine in Cardiff nightspot Wow." Well. He didn't write that, but based on Day 1 of Iris he should have. I was going to get an early night. Pace yourself, I thought. You've got another four days of this. And yet... and yet... I still ended up staying out until some unsavoury hour, drinking far too much and waking late. Day 1 of Iris was pretty epic. And I'm not just talking about my bar bill. Things kicked off at Chapter Arts with the education day, which saw schoolchildren from across Cardiff watching films and interrogating filmmakers, before moving over to the Park Inn for the unveiling of Iris and Me. This was an exhibition of pictures taken by Iris's official photographer, Jon Pountney (pictured above), during the production of the eight films made by previous Iris winners. fullsizerender-1We then hot-footed it across the road to Cineworld, where we were given the red carpet treatment and welcomed by the South Wales Gay Men's Chorus performing close harmony versions of pop hits. Quite what the popcorn-laden clientele who were just there to watch The Girl on the Train made of it, we'll never know. As this is Iris's 10th Birthday, there was an excellent introductory film, Digging Up the Past, made by our very own Nathaniel Plevyak, which took us on a very touching journey through the last 10 years of Iris. If anyone in the audience saw the Iris Blogger dabbing his eyes it was... erm... because he was... umm... chopping onions? In a cinema? In previous years, the opening night's programme has centred on a feature, but this year - in keeping with Iris's history of championing short films - we were treated to not one, not two, not three but four short films:When a Man Loves a Woman from 2014 Best British winners Charlie Francis and Katie White, Iris-produced Welsh language short Ariach from Bethan Marlow and Carys Lewis, Iris 2014 winner Brendan McDonnell's film **Spoilers** and Kill Pill, from Iris Best British alumni Lloyd Eyre-Morgan and Neil David Ely, in which a house party turns into zombie-infested chaos. [caption id="attachment_3472" align="alignleft" width="321"]Kill Pill (dir. Lloyd Eyre-Morgan) Kill Pill (dir. Lloyd Eyre-Morgan)[/caption] The Kill Pill gang were on lively form, and dragged the Iris blogger - completely against his will, mind you - to Wow, where there was swinging and swaying and records playing. What time did the Iris blogger get home? He does not know. But an emergency dose of Alka Seltzer and a very strong coffee will hopefully set him up for Day 2, and the first batch of Iris shorts.