By Team Iris
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08 August 2016
  • 35 films compete for £30,000 Iris Prize, the world’s largest LGBT short film prize supported by the Michael Bishop Foundation
  • 17 countries represented including first time entry from Taiwan
  • Horror tales reveal the darker side of LGBT imagination
  • Filmmakers tackle the taboo of confronting issues of ageing

The horror of nightmares and growing old dominate the themes of this year’s short list of films that are competing for the prestigious Iris Prize in its tenth anniversary year.   Supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation, the organisers of Cardiff’s International LGBT Short Film Prize have today announced the 35 films competing for the £30,000 prize, which continues to be the world’s largest international LGBT short film prize.  Twenty-five have been nominated by the respective number of partner festivals with 10 chosen by a pre-selection jury from a record number of over 300 films entered through open submissions.

Filmmakers from Russia, UK, Australia create darkly compelling stories rooted in the horror genre reflecting the wider interest in fantasy enjoyed by the LGBT community. Equally, a sobering number of this year’s entries address the concerns for growing old and the emotional dilemmas that we face with ageing.  This year’s selection explores LGBT stories from all corners of the globe including Sweden, Italy, Ireland, Spain, India, US, Canada, and for the first time, Taiwan.

The most number of entries come from US with 8 films represented, followed by Australia with 4 films and Canada with 3 films.  The UK is one of six countries with two films in competition alongside Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Italy and Brazil.

Fittingly in this anniversary year, there are a number of Iris alumni who have been nominees in previous years and are now returning with their latest project.

Andrew Pierce, Iris Prize Chair, says “With the shortlist for this year’s Iris Prize now announced, I am thrilled by the high standard of entries for this 10th anniversary year.  Having been involved in the festival since its inception, I have been delighted to see not only the number of films being submitted increasing year on year but also the quality of the filmmaking itself. We get to see wide world view of the LGBT community with submissions from countries as diverse as USA, Australia, Sweden, Italy and India.

“Furthermore”, he continues, “I am delighted that the number of partner festivals continues to expand, with five more now nominating a film for the shortlist. This is a testament to the growing reputation of the festival on the global stage and how prestigious the Iris Prize has now become”.

The films will screen during this year’s Iris Prize Festival which takes place from October 12th – 16th in Cardiff, Wales, (UK). The winner of the Iris Prize will be announced on Sunday 16 October 2016 during the Iris Awards hosted by Amy Lamé.

This year’s shortlisted films in alphabetical order are listed below / FULL DETAILS HERE:

09:55 – 11:05, Ingrid Ekman, Bergsgatan 4B  –    Dir: Cristine Berglund & Sophie Vukovic   Country: Sweden

A Doll’s Eyes  –   Dir: Jonathan Wysocki   Country: USA

– Dir: Kai Stänicke Country: Germany

Balcony  –   Dir: Toby Fell-Holden   Country: UK

Between Us  –   Dir: Daithí Ó Cinnéide   Country: Ireland

Buddy  –   Dir: Niels Bourgonje   Country: The Netherlands

Cecil + Carl  –  Dir: Elvis León    Country: USA

Choke Hold   –  Dir: Robert Gray    Country: Canada

Dawn   –  Dir: Jake Graf   Country: UK

Great Escape  –    Dir: Sal Bardo    Country: USA

How To be Alone   –   Dir: Erez Eisenstein   Country: Israel

I Don’t Believe in That   –   Dir: Neil Fennell   Country: USA

Il Manichino   –   Dir: Renato Muro    Country: Italy

Kaspar X: If I Had a Soul    –  Dir: Kaspar Wan   Country: Hong Kong

Last Vestiges   –  Dir: Seth Poulin    Country: Canada

Letargo    Dir: Xavier Miralles   Country: Spain

Like a Butterfly (Wie Ein Schmetterling)  –    Dir: Sabrina Maria Roessel   Country: Germany

Little Boy Blue    –  Dir: Nathan Keene   Country: Australia

Little Doll  –   Dir: Kate Dolan     Country: Ireland

Nineteen  –    Dir: Madeline Kelly    Country: Australia

Pink Boy   –   Dir: Eric Rockey    Country: USA

Push Me  –    Dir: Tove Pils   Country: Sweden

Pytor495  –     Dir: Blake Mawson   Country: Canada

Sign   –   Dir: Andrew Keenan-Bolger  Country: USA

Submarine (Submarino)   –   Dir: Rafael Aidar   Country: Brasil

Sunday Lunch (Le Repas Dominical)    –  Dir: Céline Devaux   Country: France

Thanks for Dancing (Takk for Turen)   –   Dir: Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken    Country: Norway

The Den (La Tana)  –   Dir: Lorenzo Caproni    Country: Italy

The Last Day Before Zanzibar (O Ultimo Dia Antes de Zanzibar)   –  Dir: Filipe Matzembacher & Mario Reolon   Country: Brazil

The Summer of ABC Burns  –   Dir: Dannika Horvat    Country: Australia

Tonight It’s You  –   Dir: Dominic Haxton    Country: USA

The Threshold  –   Dir: Nishant Roy Bombarde    Country: India

Vamonos  –   Dir: Marvin Lemus   Country: USA

You Deserve Everything  –   Dir: Goran Stolevski   Country: Australia

Yu and Rachel (《他好?)  –   Dir: Wu Ji’en    Country: Taiwan

The organisers have also confirmed the names of the 15 short films competing for the £20,000 Iris Prize Best British short award sponsored by Pinewood Studios Group.

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.