By Berwyn Rowlands
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18 May 2020
Filmmakers from 32 countries have submitted films for the 2020 Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival so far, including the Central America countries of Puerto Rico, Guatemala and Panama for the first time

Strong showing for the USA with over 100 submissions, followed by the UK with 50; Australia, Canada, Germany, France, India, Spain, Israel and Austria all in the top 10

Filmmakers with LGBT+ short films and features have until 22 June when submissions close for 2020

The Iris Prize festival team have confirmed that filmmakers from a record 32 countries have so far submitted films for the 2020 Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival, which will take place from the 6 – 11 October 2020. With only two months left before the submissions process closes, Team Iris have produced a short message reassuring filmmakers that it’s business as usual at Iris.

The Iris Prize, supported by Michael Bishop Foundation, continues to be the world’s largest short film award, with a cash prize of £30,000 to make a new short film in the UK. 35 short films in total will compete this October for the Iris Prize, with another 15 featured in the Best British Short Supported by Film4. As well as the traditional submissions process, a total of 25 Iris Prize competing films are nominated by partner festivals located in 19 countries.

Berwyn Rowlands, Festival Director, commented:
“The 25 Partner Festivals located around the world play an important part in making sure that the Iris Prize is able to highlight excellence in LGBT+ filmmaking. These festivals are our eyes and ears, making sure we can be confident that the films in competition are the best of the best.”

“The global pandemic is having a devastating impact on the film festival circuit. Many festivals have been cancelled and even more postponed until later in the year. Luckily most of our Partner Festivals have confirmed that they are able to nominate a short film this year. This is wonderful news for both the filmmakers and the Iris Prize.”

“However, there are 10 spaces left and these are filled from the hundreds of short films that are submitted directly to us at the festival, via FilmFreeway. The pre-selection process involves a team of 30 people from around the world. Each film is viewed by at least two people in the first stage, and the full team in the next, until the hundreds of films are whittled down to just 10. These, alongside the 25 partner nominations, leave us with the 35 short films competing for the Iris Prize.”

Filmmakers have until 22 June to submit their work.


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