The opening night will premiere talent from the host city itself, Cardiff


The 17th Iris Prize Film Festival, the largest LGBTQIA short film festival in the world, will open its doors on Tuesday 10 October 2023 with a spectacular Opening Night event at Vue Cinema, Wood Street. The evening marks the grand beginning of a six-day celebration of LGBTQIA cinema, bringing together filmmakers, enthusiasts, and supporters from all corners of the globe.

Hosted by Angharad Mair from S4C’s Heno and the charismatic Jolene Dover, the Opening Night will be a star-studded affair. Special guests included Adam Knopf, director of BBC’s Lost Boys And Fairies, Mena Fombo, the first recipient of the Iris Prize Documentary Film Finance Fund, and Emily Morus-Jones, the creative mind behind Diomysus. 

The evening’s highlight will be the premiere of four remarkable short films. A Cardiff Ghost Story is an animated tribute to queer Welsh icons, and a love letter to the city itself. Some Girls Hate Dresses, directed by Mena Fombo, will provide a nostalgic exploration of Black British tomboys’ history. Penguin, a modern-day dating tale set in Cardiff, will capture hearts, and Diomysus, an experimental film featuring puppetry to discuss experiences of polyamory, pushes boundaries. 

Berwyn Rowlands, Iris Prize Film Festival Director, said proudly: “Opening Night, fittingly, is the moment during the festival when Wales shouts loud and proud to the world – look what we are, and here are our stories. Every year we welcome a host of talented storytellers and filmmakers to Cardiff to showcase the very best of the very best. This year is no exception.”

The festival, supported by sponsors such as The Michael Bishop Foundation, Creative Wales, BFI, and many others, offers a £30,000 prize to the winner to create a new LGBTQIA themed film in the UK. 

As the festival gets underway, attendees can look forward to a diverse array of films, discussions, and celebrations of LGBTQIA cinema that embody the spirit of inclusivity and creativity.

For tickets and more information about the festival, visit

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