By Team Iris
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15 February 2016
• Iris Prize Outreach is delighted to be working with the Church in Wales

• The search is on to find Church and community groups to get involved in producing a short film

The organization responsible for running the Iris Prize, the world’s largest LGBT short film prize, has been awarded a Big Lottery Fund grant of £247,462 to launch and run a new project called Iris in the Community. The project will work to build tolerance and understanding of Wales’ LGBT communities, promoting equality and diversity alongside community cohesion.

The ambitious project is working in partnership with the Church in Wales and is looking for Church community and youth groups to get involved in the first phase. Groups have until the end of March 2016 to express an interest in taking part, and should do so by contacting Jamie Williams via e-mail jamie@irisprize.org

The project will run for three years and involve 36 communities across Wales. Each project will include the production of a short film and the production of a film festival.

Mark Williams, Project Facilitator, Iris in the Community commented:
“This is an exciting time as we meet potential communities to work with. I’m determined that every community in Wales will have an opportunity to take part. I’m thrilled that we have the support of the Church in Wales and look forward to confirming which groups we will be working with.”

“We already have a track record of delivering a similar project dealing with homophobic bullying in schools. The 8 short films we have made with school pupils in Wales can be seen here: http://bit.ly/IrisEducationYouTube

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said:
“This is a wonderful opportunity for all sorts of church groups – from youth forums to the Mothers’ Union – and I hope as many as possible will take it up.  It is a creative way to explore  what we mean by equality and diversity and offers us a chance to show that God’s church welcomes the whole of humanity since we are all made in his image.”

Iris Prize Chair, Andrew Pierce commented:
“We are thrilled, especially as we approach our 10th anniversary year, that we now have the funding to extend our outreach work across the whole of Wales. We have already been active in working with school groups in Wales and can’t wait to reach a wider audience.

Film is a democratic medium which in our experience allows people to express ideas about how they feel. This ambitious project will take us into many communities and I hope that by the end we will have helped many thousands of people to understand the diverse make up of LGBT communities, leading to improved community relations.”

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