The Iris Prize opened for submissions on 16 January


The Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival is a six-day celebration of LGBTQ+ film that takes place annually in Cardiff, Wales, UK. It began as a three-day festival in 2007 that had 1500 admissions, and now for the 17th edition, they are a widely acclaimed festival that attracts 11,000 admissions.

The prominent film festival is looking for short and feature films, and will be awarding 14 prizes – one of which is the much desired £30,000 Iris Prize supported by the Michael Bishop Foundation.

Another of the prizes is the Iris Prize Best British Short sponsored by Film4 and Pinewood Studios which is also quite appealing. All films nominated in this category are eligible for consideration for a BAFTA and can be automatically entered by filmmakers. The films which are shortlisted will broadcast on Film4 and streamed on All4. The winner of this award will receive a package of services sponsored by Pinewood Studios.

There will also be a new category for 2023 which is sponsored by Out&Proud: Iris Prize Best British Performance Beyond the Binary. This shows a commitment to encouraging filmmakers to push boundaries in their work.

Berwyn Rowlands, Iris Prize Festival Director stated:  “This is an exciting time of the year for me personally, and the wider Team Iris, when we make the call for submissions, during one of the darkest and often most dismal months of the year.”

The link to submit your film is here.

Additionally, in 2022 a fund was established by the Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival to finance documentary films (running time: 22/25 minutes or 40 minutes) produced by emerging British LGBTQ+ filmmakers.

On 16 January 2023, the Iris Prize announced that the second round of the Iris Prize Documentary Film Finance Fund sponsored by FROOT and Aberystwyth University had opened. A prize of up to £20,000 will be awarded for the production of a documentary annually for at least three years.

The first recipient of this award was Dr Somina ‘Mena’ Fombo from Bristol, and she has started work on a film titled Some Girls Hate Dresses which provides a nostalgic look into the experiences of black British tomboys in the 1990s. Mena shared her experience with the Iris Prize Documentary Film Fund, and said “This award really is about supporting passionate filmmakers with a vested interest in documentary storytelling… I was able to bring my whole self and my whole idea to Iris Prize with flexibility to develop and evolve during the process. I would say just go for it!”  

The link to submit your documentary is here.

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