All submissions must be made via FilmFreeway
The deadline for submissions is22 June 2021. No work will be accepted after this date.


Iris Prize

The winner of the Iris Prize 2021 will receive the largest short film prize in the world – valued at £30,000 – in order to to make another LGBT+ short film in the United Kingdom. The winner will also be invited to Cardiff to sit on the 2022 Iris Prize International Jury.

Category Rules

  • All entries must be 39 minutes or less, and should be for, about or of interest to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex audiences, and must have been completed within 2 years prior to the submission deadline (between 22 June 2019 and 22 June 2021).
  • We have no restrictions regarding short films that have previously been or are currently available online, or which have been broadcast on television.
  • A shortlist of 35 entries will be selected to compete for the Iris Prize and screen as part of the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival. Iris partner festivals will nominate 20 of the shorts, and 15 will be selected from open submissions by a pre-selection jury.

Exhibition Format

.MOV, .MPEG, and DCP. We screen in 1.85 flat, and 2.35 scope.
Works in languages other than English or Welsh must be subtitled for exhibition. English subtitles are strongly preferred for online screeners, but works without subtitles will be viewed for consideration.


Iris Prize Best British Short supported by film4 

The winner of the Iris Prize Best British Short Supported by Film4 2021 will be invited to Cardiff to sit on the 2022 Iris Prize International Jury and receive a package of services sponsored by Pinewood Studios Group.

Best British & Film4

All films accepted into the 2020 Best British Shortlist will screen on Film4 at a date after the festival and be hosted online on All 4 for one year from 1 November. This is a condition of festival acceptance – If your film is selected you MUST agree to screen on Film4 and be hosted online by All 4.

As part of this, filmmakers must assign the following rights to Film4:

  • Exclusive right for Channel 4 Television Corporation to exploit the films in the UK & Ireland on their linear licensed services including internet transmission for one year from 1 November;
  • Exclusive right for Channel 4 Television for streaming and temporary download on demand in the UK & Ireland for one year from 1 November;
  • Exclusive right for Channel 4 Television Corporation to temporary sideload films via their platforms, approved third party platforms and any devices with the appropriate functionality for one year from 1 November.

Filmmakers are still free to:

  • Screen online (apart from UK & Ireland – streaming must be geolocked)
  • Exhibit the film theatrically – even in the UK;
  • Distribute the film on physical media for home entertainment;
  • Make the film available on a Transactional Video on Demand service;
  • Make the film available on a Download -to-Own basis.

Category Rules

  • To be eligible for the Iris Prize Best British Short Supported by Film4 you should be a UK citizen or have been resident in the UK for at least three consecutive years prior to submitting your film.
  • All entries must be 39 minutes or less, and should be for, about or of interest to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex audiences, and must have been completed within 2 years prior to the submission deadline (between 22 June 2019 and 22 June 2021).
  • We have no restrictions regarding short films that have previously been, or are currently available online, or which have been broadcast on television.
  • A shortlist of 15 entries will be selected to compete for the Iris Prize Best British Short Supported by Film4, and screen as part of the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival. Iris partner festivals will nominate 5 of the shorts, and 10 will be selected from open submissions by a pre-selection jury.

Exhibition Format

.MOV, .MPEG and DCP. We screen in 1.85 flat, and 2.35 scope.
Works in languages other than English or Welsh must be subtitled for exhibition. English subtitles are strongly preferred for online screeners, but works without subtitles will be viewed for consideration.


best feature

Any feature film 40 minutes or longer will be eligible for the Iris Prize Best Feature Award. We also award two Best Performance awards to performances in our feature film shortlist.
Please note: any feature film selected to appear in the 2020 Iris Prize Festival programme will only be eligible for the Iris Prize Best Feature Award and NOT the Iris Prize, which is for short films ONLY.

Exhibition format

If selected, you must be able to submit your work to be exhibited on DCP.  (We cannot exhibit using other formats) plus a digital file for online viewing if required. We screen in 1.85 flat, and 2.35 scope.
Works in languages other than English or Welsh must be subtitled for exhibition. English subtitles are strongly preferred for online screeners, but works without subtitles will be viewed for consideration.

Preview format

We ONLY accept online screeners for preview purposes, and all submissions should be made through FilmFreeway.


 Iris Outreach, Education & Micro Short Awards

The Iris Prize Community Award is open to films made by UK-based community groups.  We consider a Community Group to be a group which works for the public benefit or the benefit of its members, or a group who share a common interest (such as sports teams; choirs etc.) Charities or public sector organisations are eligible, but we do not accept submissions from commercial businesses.

The Iris Prize Education Award is open to schools/colleges/other education establishments or youth groups based in the UK. At least 90% of participants involved in making the film must be under the age of 20 years.

The Micro Shorts category is open to any individual or group based in the UK. Micro short films must be 2 minutes or less.

Prizes

  • The winning community group will receive £250 to enable the community group to make more films.
  • The winning school or youth group will receive £250 prize money to enable them to make further films.
  • The winner of the Iris Prize Micro Award will receive £100 prize money to enable them to make further films.

Category Rules

  • All entries should be related to or be of interest to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBT+) audiences and completed within 2 years prior to the submission deadline
  • Community and Education short films must have a running time of 20 minutes or less. Films submitted for the Micro Short category must be 2 minutes or less. Any films that exceed these limits will not be viewed by the pre-selection panel.

FULL Terms & Conditions

  1. All entries should be for, about or of significant interest to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex audiences, and must have been completed within 2 years prior to the submission deadline (That is they must have been completed between 22 June 2019 and 22 June 2021).
  2. All Iris Prize and Best British short films must having a running time of 39 minutes or less. (20 mins for Community & Education, 2 mins for Micro Short). Any work over 39 mins will be considered a feature.
  3. All entrants must certify that appropriate copyright clearance for public exhibition of the work in the United Kingdom has been obtained. Failure to do so will result in the entry being disqualified.
  4. By submitting your work to the Iris Prize Festival, you grant The Festivals Company Limited a non-exclusive licence to exhibit your work (if selected) theatrically during the 2020 Iris Prize Festival. Shortlisted film makers are encouraged to also license their work for use in secure on-line streaming in the United Kingdom for one month after the theatrical exhibition. In addition, you also grant The Festivals Company Limited a non-exclusive licence to use an excerpt of your submission up to two minutes in length for promotional purposes only, and without limitation as to time in all media including but not limited to internet and television broadcast.
  5. It is the intention of the Iris Prize to compile a selection of the shortlisted entries for the Prize (Best of Iris 2021) to be made available as a package to festivals worldwide to promote Iris and the shortlisted entries. By entering your work, you agree to have your entry included as part of the package (exceptions can be made if requested).
  6. We also undertake education and outreach work throughout the year to combat homophobia, and develop an audience for LGBT+ film. As part of this work we would like you, if selected for the shortlist, to grant us a non-exclusive licence to exhibit your film in programmes offered as part of this activity.
  7. The Iris Prize Festival, The Iris Prize, and Iris Prize Outreach are trading styles of The Festivals Company Limited. The Festivals Company Limited reserves the right to vary the programme and detail of the Iris Prize Festival and Iris Prize competition in the light of commercial, economic or other operating requirements.
  8. Viewing by the pre-selection jury will take place after submissions close, in July 2021.The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  9. Updated versions of submitted short films will not be accepted after the submission deadline date, Monday 22 June 2021
  10. We are sorry but any short film shortlisted for Iris 2020 is ineligible to compete
  11. The Festivals Company Limited and the Iris Prize accept no responsibility for the loss or damage of any exhibition material whilst in transit. All shortlisted entrants are strongly encouraged to attend the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival in Cardiff, and every effort will be made to provide them with accommodation.
  12. The international juries will comprise of film makers, film industry personnel and figures from the LGBT+ community invited by the festival to fulfil the duties allocated to them. The decision of the juries and the festival will be final.
  13. The Iris Prize Festival takes place in Cardiff, Wales – part of the United Kingdom. All terms and conditions will be interpreted according to the laws of England and Wales.