We Don’t Call Them Strangers – new short film to receive premiere screening in Cardiff

• Friends of Iris talk candidly about hosting visiting filmmakers at annual Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival

• “245 filmmakers have been accommodated by the Friends of Iris since 2007”

• Cardiff residents become stars for the night as Cardiff University’s School of Journalism hosts film premiere in new Central Square home

  We Don’t Call Them Strangers, a new film from the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival will receive its premiere screening on Thursday 6 December in the new home of Cardiff University School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Central Square, Cardiff. The documentary features candid interviews with the Friends of Iris, the Cardiff residents who have been opening their homes to visiting filmmakers from around the world for the past 12 years. Berwyn Rowlands, Iris Prize’s Festival Director, commented: “This film has been 12 years in the making! The Friends of Iris have been amazing, especially those who have been there since the beginning, who happily open their homes to filmmakers from all over the world visiting Cardiff for Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival.” “Although I’m the festival director, it became obvious as I was watching the film that I don’t quite know everything that happens during Iris! I must confess to having discovered a few ‘secrets’ during my first viewing, including ‘ham-gate’”. Since the first Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival in 2007, 73 hosts have welcomed 245 filmmakers into their homes, and during the film we discover why: Steve Mullis, Friend of Iris, commented: (pictured above) “We just wanted to meet new people to be honest, people who shared the same passion we have for film.” Claire Vaughan, Friend of Iris, commented: “The thing about Iris and the queer community is that we look after each other. I got involved to give back to the community and welcome guests in the way I felt welcomed when I first joined Iris.” Tim Heywood, Friend of Iris, commented: “I thought by getting a bit more involved I might get to understand more about what goes on behind the lens as well as being an audience member.”   Berwyn Rowlands, Iris Prize’s Festival Director, commented: “What I like most about the film is the way the team have allowed all the contributors to relax in front of the camera and open up about the experience. We talk a lot about the ‘Iris Family’ and this film gives you a glimpse of that. They are a diverse family of kind and humane people, who thanks to their generosity and interest in film, have allowed the Iris Prize to become recognised not just as the “gay short film Oscars” but also as one of the friendliest festivals in the world.” Friends of Iris by numbers. Since 2007:
  • 245 filmmakers have been accommodated
  • 73 hosts in total over 12 years
  • 16 have hosted every year since 2007
  • 1256 bed nights have been donated
  • 5024 cups of tea have been drunk
Following the premiere the film will be available to view on the Iris Prize YouTube Channel. The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation, Welsh Government, BFI, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Pinewood Studios Group, Cardiff University, For Cardiff, Bad Wolf, Gorilla Group, Co-op Respect, Gelert Post Production and Cineworld. The festival also works in partnership with BAFTA Cymru, Pride Cymru and Stonewall Cymru. Iris on the Move is also funded by Film Hub Wales.