Iris is almost upon us, and she has a brand-spanking-new blog!
The nights are drawing in, and autumn's paintbrush is busily at work on Cardiff's trees, which can mean only one thing:
Iris 2015 is almost upon us! That's right. Someone seems to have pressed the fast forward button on the last twelve months and we're about to embark on another five day festival of movies, parties and more movies. (This year's motto is "Watch films. Party nightly. Repeat.")
Is it really almost a year since Brendon McDonall's excellent All God's Creatures won best short? Well, yes, apparently, and so the Iris Blogger has once again been woken from his slumber with a sharpened stick (behave), and is back at his keyboard to bring you all the news, views and gossip from another Iris Prize Festival.
This year, however, it's all change. From now on, you, the Iris-going (or just Iris-curious) public can comment and interact with each post. If the Blogger hates a film you love or loves a film you hate, you can tell him why he's wrong. Just remember to play nice, as anything unpleasant will be jettisoned into the Phantom Zone of online commentary, like Terence Stamp and Sarah Douglas in Superman.
This year's festival kicks off (in every sense of the word) with the appropriately programmed Scrum, a feature-length documentary about a gay men's rugby team from Australia competing in the Bingham Cup (pictured above). I say "appropriately programmed", because as well as being the home of Iris, Cardiff is also one of the host cities of this year's Rugby World Cup, and Sunday night will see Ireland take on Italy at our very own Millennium Stadium.
As if Iris had had a crystal ball when planning this year's festival long before the rugby fixtures were announced, 2015 will also have a focus on films from Ireland, showcasing some of the best Irish shorts we've seen over the last 9 years, as well as screenings of several features, including documentary The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Nameand the 2005 film Breakfast on Pluto, starring Cillian Murphy. And we're particularly looking forward to hearing people talk about the Iris Irish focus after their third Jagerbomb.
Right now, it's lunchtime on Sunday, October 4th, and the countdown clock on our homepage tells me we have just two days, twenty hours, nineteen minutes and four seconds until Iris 2015 is underway. In just over a week we will know who's won the Iris Prize(s) for Best International Short, Best Feature, Best UK Short, Best Actor and Best Actress.
No news yet on whether this year will see the introduction of a prize for 'Best Conversation Overheard in a 'Chippy Lane' Kebab Shop at 2am' or 'Most Embarrassing Walk of Shame', but the Iris Blogger is interested in any and all nominations.
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The Iris Prize is supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation