Here’s a very special treat to add film fuel to the Exeter Pride celebration – a screening of the Best of Iris 2017. Which means ‘a special selection from the world’s largest LGBT+ short film prize, representing the breadth of LGBT+ storytelling.’ Plus it’s free!
The Best of Iris screening is part of the Cine Queer season at the Exeter Phoenix, which is in partnership with Exeter Pride.
The Iris Prize is a six-day international film festival in Cardiff. “With a focus on excellence in LGBT storytelling on screen, the Iris Prize Festival awards the largest short film prize in the world – the prestigious £30,000 Iris Prize, supported by the Michael Bishop Foundation,” says the blurb.
The Best of Iris 2017 features five films which picked up accolades at the 2017 Iris fest.
Winner of the 2017 Iris Prize was Mikael Bundsen for Mother Knows Best.
“A lot of cinema and TV is preoccupied with how horrible and awful it is to live as an openly gay person, that it’s basically a life full of suffering with a constant threat of violence and oppression,” he told the Iris blog.
“This is of course, horribly enough, still a reality for way too many LGBT+ persons living today.
“But alongside these images, I also think it’s important to show that it is possible to live a happy life as an openly gay person. These are the images that I longed for as a teenager, these are also the images that I wished my generation of parents had seen. It most certainly affects what mothers and fathers tell their children about what it’s like to live openly. Making the film was a way for me to highlight this.”
Here’s what Dionne Edwards of We Love Moses, winner of the Best British Short had to say: “Besides the fact that We Love Moses pretty much changed my life and opened up doors for me, it’s the one short, of all the shorts I’ve made, that I’m most creatively satisfied with and proud of.”
Director of the Highly Commended film Odd Job Man, Marianne Blicher told Iris: “All the people working on Odd Job Man put their heart and soul into the film and invested their salaries in the project. We all know that short films usually earn no money. So, I owe everything to the people involved, for believing in the project and in me.”
Graham Cantwell picked up the Iris Prize Youth Award with Lily.
“We made it specifically to reach out to a young audience and engage them in conversation about bullying, specifically bullying of young people who identify as LGBTQ+,” said Graham.
“Lily is a very personal film, one that I hope will continue to resonate with young people. At its heart is a message that I wish I had heard at a young age, that it is okay to be yourself and to stand up to bullying.”
The article finishes with a few words Graham said before the Cardiff screening of Lily, and we would advise you to pop over to the Iris site to take a look, because they need reading, re-reading and repeating.
And if you got a film for Iris, submissions are still open