• Ground-breaking filmmaker and leading LGBT activist to lead 10 strong jury of filmmakers and festival programmers from North America and Europe
• Welsh music sensation BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT joins jury
• “one of the most friendly and brilliant festivals I’ve been to”
  Iris Prize, Cardiff’s international LGBT short film prize, is delighted to announce that Cheryl Dunye is to be the chair of this year’s International Jury who will be judging the 35 films competing for the coveted £30,000 prize. Director of the ground-breaking lesbian film, The Watermelon Woman which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, Cheryl is an award-winning screenwriter, actress and producer whose work has focused on race, sexuality and gender issues. In addition, she is Vice President of the Board of Directors for Queer Cultural Centre and on the advisory board of Queer Women of Colour Media Arts Project. On her appointment, Cheryl Dunye, says, "As jury chair of the 2016 edition of the Iris Prize Festival, I look forward to engaging with my global filmmaking community as we select projects that represent the stunning diversity of queer cinema.” Berwyn Rowlands, festival director, says. “I’m thrilled Cheryl Dunye is able to chair this year’s 10th anniversary jury. We started discussing ideas when she spent the night in our home about two years ago. Cheryl had a film in competition at Iris 2015 and I remember saying it would be nice to get her back, but it would have to be for something important! And here we are celebrating 10 years of Iris with Cheryl Dunye chairing the jury, it doesn’t get more awesome than this.” Andrew Pierce, says “The jury is once again an eclectic mix of creative people at the top of their game, many of them have feature films screening at the festival including Doug Langway who returns to Cardiff to sit on the jury for a second time. Personally I’m thrilled that Philip Wyn Jones is able to take his place at the table. He has been a member of the Iris Prize pre-selection jury since the inaugural festival in 2007. He’s probably seen more short film than the whole jury put together.” The international reputation of Welsh creative talent is represented by Rod Thomas, better known as Bright Light Bright Light, the music sensation who is currently on a sell-out tour of UK with his latest album, Choreography. He has toured with artists such as Elton John, Ellie Golding and John Grant as well as worked with Alan Cumming and Scissors Sisters. He also provided the soundtrack to last year’s Iris Prize Best British trailer. Rod says, “As someone who grew up in South Wales feeling like I had to travel miles to see anything out of the ordinary, it's amazing to see Iris bringing people to South Wales. I'm looking forward to seeing work from people I may never have heard of, and seeing what brilliant independent creatives are making across the globe in one of the most friendly and brilliant festivals I've been to.” The other members of the international jury include international award-winning film directors, journalists and artists. They are:
  • Arkasha Stevenson, US director of Vessels, last year’s Iris Prize winner. She has just completed filming her new short film in Cardiff, the 8th Iris Prize production.
  • Doug Langway, US director of Bear City 3, who’s returning to Iris Prize for the UK premiere of his latest fabulously furry gay comedy.
  • Andrew Murphy, Director of programming for Toronto’s Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, one of the original Iris Prize partner festivals
  • Michael Gamilla, director for ImageOut Rochester LGBT Film Festival, one of five the new partner festivals for Iris.
  • Nathan Adloff, US director of Miles, which receives its UK premiere at the festival
  • Sarah Rotella, Canadian director of Almost Adults, which receives its UK premiere at the festival
  • Philip Wyn Jones, Welsh film reviewer and past pre-selection jury member, who has been an integral part of Iris since its inception.
  • Maria Pecchioli, Italian director of Just Say Yes that receives its UK premiere at the festival
  • Malan Wilkinson, Welsh artist, journalist and deputy artistic director of Galeri Caernarfon.
The jury will be in Cardiff for the duration of the festival. MORE JURY INFORMATION HERE! The winner they choose from the 35 films in competition will be announced on Sunday 16th October at the Iris Award ceremony. The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation, Welsh Government, BFI, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Pinewood Studios Group, Cardiff University, Gorilla Group, Cineworld, Chapter, Gay Star News, Pride Cymru and Orchard.