Philip’s Top Five Short Films For 2015 are….
Philip's top five has become an Iris tradition which predates the Iris Prize! As a member of the pre-selection jury Philip has probably seen more LGBT short films than any human on Earth. Once again he hand pics his favorite shorts from 2015. Don't worry if your film is not included in this list, he's never picked a winner. However if you are included in his top five, there is always a first time.
DANIEL (Dean Loxton, UK). Dean Loxton trained as an actor and has been making shorts since 2008. This is his fourth film as director. He favours an element of improvisation in his films and you can decide to what extent he does that here. Handsome, affable Daniel is a student who finances his studies by operating as a gay escort. His best friend invites him round for lunch with her Hungarian family. She’s eager for him to meet her new boyfriend. Oh dear! Was this a good idea? ELGIN PARK (Danny Yourd, USA). Danny Yourd is an award-winning producer – at Sundance. This documentary is his first film as director and what a lovely debut it is .It’s a moving portrait of Michael Paul Smith and his creation, Elgin (pronounced Eljin) Park, a miniaturised recreation of his hometown over a period of forty years. You may feel pangs of nostalgia while you watch this beautifully made film but Michael’s recollections are not happy ones. Watch it and find out why. GLORIA (Luis Hernandez de la Rena, Mexico). The director’s background is in writing and directing commercials. After winning a screenwriting competition, he made this film with the partial backing of a government grant. He researched the day jobs of drag artists and chose Jose Maria as his subject .He’s simply a man with two jobs. By day he’s a popular bus driver. At night he impersonates Mexican diva, Gloria Trevi. It’s the naturalness of this true story that makes it so appealing. HORA (Yoav Brill, Israel). Yoav trained in Jerusalem and Prague and initially designed the sound for animated shorts. He was at Iris four years ago with his heartfelt animated short, Ishihara which depicted the loneliness of people who are somehow different to the ‘norm’. In the more light-hearted Hora, also an animated film, we have the dilemma of people who are together! Where is it acceptable for gay couples to hold hands in public – be it in Israel or any other country? THE LITTLE DEPUTY (Trevor Anderson, Canada). Here’s another familiar name. We’ve previously enjoyed three of Trevor Anderson’s films at Iris; Rock Pockets, Dinx and The Island. In his latest he takes us back to the 1980s when Trevor tried to get his picture taken with his father. The 1980s become the 1880s and we’re in the Wild West.. This is an imaginative short in which Trevor’s entertainingly laconic commentary adds to the fun. Philip Wyn Jones