The 15 LGBT+ short films shortlisted for the 2021 Iris Prize Best British Short Supported by Film4 will be broadcast on Channel 4 and streamed on All 4, beginning Monday 29 November.
2021 marks the second year of a three-year sponsorship agreement between Film4 and the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival, the Cardiff-based annual celebration of LGBT+ film. Film4 is the title sponsor of the festival’s Best British Short film competition, acquiring broadcast and streaming rights to the 15 shortlisted films, which were free to view by a UK-wide audience for the first time in 2020, achieving half a million views on All4 and an additional half a million viewers on Channel 4 over the past year.
2021’s shortlisted films explore the breadth of British LGBT+ experience, with stories ranging from the dark depths of drug addiction and workplace bullying to the joyous highs of tender first love and releasing your inner drag king. Featuring diverse characters ranging from a transgender teenager to Mr Gay Wales, this year’s shorts highlight the wealth of talent working in short film in the UK. The selection includes Baba – only the second film in the Festival’s history to win both its main award the Iris Prize and the Best British Short award – and the two films highly commended by this year’s jury, Cwch Deilen and Pop. The list also includes three films from Wales.
Tim Highsted, Senior Editor, Acquired Feature Films for Film4, who chaired the jury for Best British Short, commented “Our partnership with the Iris Festival continues to showcase the sheer diversity of talent we have in UK short filmmaking and its success on All 4 proves there is an audience wanting to watch unique stories from new talent. We are delighted to continue presenting these short films on All 4 to as wide an audience as possible.”
Berwyn Rowlands, Festival Director said:“We knew that working with Channel 4 and All 4 would be amazing, and we were looking at a game changer in how we could reach a new audience for the Iris Prize short films. I did start dreaming about audience numbers, but it soon became apparent that this was the gift that kept giving. Never in a million years did I ever think we would reach so many people, introducing an audience to new and exciting LGBT+ stories. I’m delighted for the film makers and grateful to the talented people at Channel 4 who took a chance with Iris. I’m speechless!”
The 15 films are:
BABA – Sam Arbor and Adam Ali – Winner
CWCH DEILEN (Wales) – Efa Blosse-Mason – Highly commended
POP – Margo Roe – Highly commended
ACRIMONIOUS – directed by Olivia Emden
BABY BOY – Greg Hall
BIRTHDAY BOY – Leo Lebeau
DRAGGED UP – Laura Jayne Tunbridge
FACTORY TALK – Lucie Rachel & Chrissie Hyde
FROM A TO Q – Emmalie El Fadli
INERTIA – Mat Johns
LESBIAN (Wales) – Rosemary Baker
S.A.M – Lloyd Eyre-Morgan & Neil David Ely
SILVER AND GOLD – Jack Pulford
SPLIT SOLE – Barnaby Boulton
THREE LETTERS (Wales) – Ian Smith
The Iris Prize – the largest LGBT+ short film prize in the world is supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation. £30,000 is available to the winner to make a new LGBT+ themed film in the UK. In 2020, for the 5th time, Iris was identified as one of the “top 50 film festivals worth the entry fee” by Movie Maker Magazine. In 2017 the festival was promoted by BAFTA to A-list festival status, alongside Cannes and Sundance, by officially being recognised as a qualifying festival for the BAFTA awards.
The Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival is a celebration of LGBT+ stories which takes place annually in Cardiff, Wales. The 2022 festival will be the 16th edition and much has changed since the first 3-day festival in 2007 with 1,500 admissions. Today the festival is almost a week-long, attracts 11,000 admissions to Cardiff, and the month-long on-line version reaches a UK audience in excess of 80,000.