John Sheedy’s groundbreaking Tarneit takes home the coveted £30,000 award


The LGBTQIA “Oscars”, aka the Iris Prize film festival, took place in Wales this weekend. DIVA was proud to sponsor the event once again this year and DIVA’s editor-in-chief Roxy Bourdillon was part of the international jury.

The annual celebration showcases the very best in short filmmaking and queer creativity.

Awards were given for short films and features at a ceremony in Cardiff on Saturday night. 

This year’s Iris Prize winner was Tarneit by John Sheedy. It tells the story of friends Tyrone and Clinton, both deaf, both neglected by family, and dreaming of escaping the brutal violence that surrounds them.

Jury Chair, Bård Ydén, said the film, “touched us in numerous ways, through exceptional storytelling and performances. This is a multi-layered film that will stay with you, and we can’t wait to see what the filmmaker will present us with in the future”.

The winners were awarded a £30,000 prize enabling them to make a new short film in Wales.

Bård said the quality of films in the competition was “as high as it is diverse”. He described the selection process as “an emotional rollercoaster”, adding, “which is exactly where we want films to take us”.

Queer Parivaar, directed by Shiva Raichandani, won Best British Short (supported by Film4 and Pinewood Studios). The film centres on a mysterious gatecrasher appearing at Madhav and Sufi’s wedding, forcing them to “face past secrets and reflect on what makes a family”. 

Queer Parivaar, directed by Shiva Raichandani, winner of Iris Prize Best British Short Credit: via Iris Prize

Tim Highsted, Channel 4, and Chair of the Iris Prize Best British Short jury, described the film as, “joyful and warm”. He said Iris is “a unique organisation that presents the best and most original LBGTQ+ work each year”.

He announced that Film4 would support the Iris Prize and the Best British Short for another three years.

Metamorphosis, by Jose Enrique Tiglao, won Best Feature. It was chosen by a jury of students from the University of South Wales Film and TV School. The story focuses on 15-year-old Adam who was raised as a boy but has male and female genitalia. His whole life is thrown into turmoil when he menstruates for the first time.

The award for Best Performance in a Female Role in a Feature Film, sponsored by DIVA, went to the brilliant Lacey Oake as Izzy in Before I Change My Mind.

Breathe, by Harm van der Sanden, won the Youth Award.

The Community Awards went to:

  • Want/Need, directed by Niamh Buckland (Best Community short)
  • The Bed, directed by Thalia Kent-Egan (Best Education Short)
  • Hold Me Close Please, directed by Max Roberts.

For a full list of winners visit here.

DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.

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