Short List of Films for Iris Prize: Best British Shorts Unveiled

The wait is over for 15 filmmakers, as the organisers of the Iris Prize, have today announced the directors of the short films who are competing for this year’s Iris Prize Best British Short supported by Film4.  Additionally, for the first time in the festival’s history, UK audiences can join in the experience by watching all the nominated shorts for free online. It also means the Iris Prize, which runs 6th to 11th October, will be reaching a wider audience than ever.  

The shortlisted films, selected from a record number of submissions, explore a multitude of stories reflecting richly diverse LGBT+ experiences of contemporary British life in cities or countryside. The filmmakers invite audiences on journeys of self-discovery and belonging from childhood into old age. These are tales of falling in and out of love, addressing personal battles lost and battles won, all are filled with tears, laughter or hope.  This is a joyous celebration of how we express our individuality in our community, our family, and the wider world, helping to bring us together. 

The winner will receive a package of services sponsored by Pinewood Studios Group. 

The shortlist of 15 films are: 

BETTER (UK, 2019) – directed by Michael J Ferns
CINDY (UK/ France, 2020) – directed by Rosanagh Griffiths
DUNGAREES (UK, 2020) – directed by Abel Rubinstein
GO HOME POLISH (UK, 2019) – directed by Ian Smith
JUST ME (UK, 2019) – directed by Adam Tyler
MANDEM (UK, 2019) – directed by John Ogunmuyiwa
MY GOD, I’M QUEER (UK, 2020) – directed by Matt Mahmood-Ogston
PAINT THE DRAGONS’ EYES (UK, 2020) – directed by James Lucas
POMPEII (UK, 2019) – directed by Harry Lighton, Marco Alessi & Matthew Jacobs Morgan QUEENS (UK, 2020) – directed by Nick Bechman
QUEERING DI TEKNOLOJIK (UK, 2019) – directed by Timothy Smith
RHIW GOCH (ON THE RED HILL) (UK, 2020) – directed by Anna Winstone
THE PASSING (UK, 2020) – directed by Nichola Wong
THE SCENE (UK, 2019) – directed by James Corley
WINGS (UK, 2020) – directed by Jamie Weston

This year also marks the first of new three-year sponsorship agreement with British producer/broadcaster Film4. The agreement will see Film4 acquire broadcast and streaming rights to each of the 15 British LGBT+ short films shortlisted for the newly rebranded ‘Iris Prize Best British Short Supported by Film4’.

Berwyn Rowlands, Festival Director, commented:

“Congratulations to the Class of 2020, in a year where good news is at a premium, I’m delighted we
have 15 superbly crafted stories to share in the Best British competition. This year was particularly competitive with many previous Iris alumni not making the final 15. I can’t wait to share these films for the first time with a UK wide audience. I hope that the many thousands who have shown an interest in Iris but have been unable to join us in Cardiff for our annual celebration of LGBT+ cinema will get a better idea of what the fuss is all about. These films are without a doubt the best of the best.”

Tim Highsted, Senior Editor, Acquired Feature Films for Film4, commented:

“The Iris Prize, with its focus on diversity, inclusion and new voices, and its setting in Cardiff, is a perfect fit for Film4. Short-form content is a critical proving ground for rising talent, but with new platforms allowing for a wider range of voices to be heard, it’s also increasingly a draw for viewers. We’re delighted to congratulate this year’s shortlisted films and look forward to giving these filmmakers a chance to reach a nationwide audience through Film4 on All 4.”

All of the nominated films are eligible for consideration for BAFTA and can automatically be entered by the filmmakers. You can view all the shortlisted films with extra details about the directors and images by following this link:

The festival opens on Tuesday 6th October and close on Sunday 11th October, with all screenings, talks and events available online for free. There will also be a pay-per-view catch-up service which will run until the end of October. 

The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation, Welsh Government, the BFI awarding funds from the National Lottery, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Film4, University of South Wales, Co-op Respect, Bad Wolf, Gorilla Group, Peccadillo Pictures, Pinewood Studios, Attitude Magazine, Diva Magazine and The Ministry of Sound. 

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