The Iris Prize opens for submissions confirming the importance of diversity in its 15th anniversary year!

Submissions are now open for the 2021 Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival. Celebrating its 15th edition, the Cardiff (UK) based festival, will take place in October 2021. The organisers are keen to continue to share LGBT+ stories from all over the world and closer to home, with the introduction of community and education awards at main festival.

The festival present 9 awards:

Andrew Pierce, Festival Chair commented:

Diversity has been at the heart of Iris from the beginning. Thanks primarily to the relationships we have with 30 partner festivals located in 20 countries we have always enjoyed seeing diversity represented on our screens.

Diversity across the board is taking a little longer. However, I’ve been encouraged by the improved gender balance and over the past three years we have seen women directors taking the main prize.

We have also seen a steady increase in the number of trans stories included in the festival programme. I’m hoping in 2021 and from this point in time we will also see an increase in films made by Trans filmmakers.

Community and Education Awards
The 2021 festival will see the inclusion of the fourth Iris Community and Education Awards, and for the first time they will be presented during the main festival in Cardiff.

Berwyn Rowlands, Festival Director commented:

“We have a popular outreach programme at Iris working with community and education groups across Wales and the rest of the UK. Using film to further understanding and tolerance of LGBT+ issues we have been successful in introducing elements of the main festival into our outreach work. It was therefore only natural that we would bring the celebration of community and education awards into the main festival.

Who knows, the future community and education winner could be an Iris Prize winner of the future.”

“We can now look back at 2020 as the year Iris came of age – when she stood tall and stepped out into the world, stronger and more determined. We are going to build on the success of 2020, and over the next few months we are looking forward to sharing more exciting news about our work and how Iris is going to be continue to share LGBT+ stories to a growing audience.”

Details about submitting films can be found yma

The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation, Welsh Government, the BFI awarding funds from the National Lottery, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Film 4, University of South Wales, Co-op Respect, Bad Wolf, Gorilla Group, Peccadillo Pictures, Pinewood Studios, Attitude Magazine, Diva Magazine and The Ministry of Sound.

The festival also works in partnership with BAFTA Cymru, Pride Cymru and Stonewall Cymru.

Cover image: 9 shortlisted filmmakers from 9 different countries taking part in the online edition of Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival 2020.

Clip of Iris Prize winner 2020, Victoria Warmerdam from the Netherlands discovering she was the winner here.

You can read the full press release here

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