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£30,000 prize will allow Lara to make a new LGBTQ+ short film in Wales – becoming the eleventh Iris production

Directed by Lebanese filmmaker Lara Zeidan, Three Centimetres has been announced the winner of the Iris Prize 2018, Cardiff’s International LGBT+ Short Film Prize – the first time in the festival’s 12 year history that a film from Lebanon has been nominated for the prize.

Winners were announced at the second Iris Carnival at Cardiff’s Tramshed on Sunday, marking the culmination of six days of film screenings, parties and talks.

The awards show included performances by Welsh musical artists Bright Light Bright Light, Lily Beau and These Brittle Bones.

Carrie Lyell, editor of DIVA magazine and this year’s International Jury Chair, said: “Three Centimetres is such an audacious film. It’s so refreshing to hear female sexuality spoken of in such a frank and positive way, and from a female perspective.

“It’s visually stunning, with utterly convincing dialogue and engaging characters, and it uses the form of short film perfectly to tell its story.

“And it’s so nice to see a coming out story in a context and a setting that feel new. It’s like nothing we’ve seen before.”

Of the film’s writer and director Lara Zeidan she said, “We all agreed that we couldn’t wait to see what she does next.

“If there’s any justice in the world, she has a great career ahead of her.”

After winning the prize, Lara Zeidan said, “I’m delighted to have won the Iris Prize. I love working in short film – It’s all about sharing small but meaningful moments.”

The three finalists in the international category were announced at an event on Saturday afternoon, with Pre-Drink, by Canadian filmmaker Marc-Antoine Lemire, and British director Harry Lighton’s film Wren Boys named alongside Three Centimetres.

Beyond ‘There’s always a black issue, dear’, directed by London-based photographer Claire Lawrie, was announced as Best British Short, sponsored by Pinewood Studios.

Best Performance in a Female Role, which was sponsored by DIVA Magazine, was awarded to Jamie Chung for 1985.

“Every scene Jamie appeared in was thoughtful, heartbreaking, and so honest we felt like we were in the room with her.”

Commenting on this year’s festival, Director Berwyn Rowlands said, “This year’s festival was all about the filmmakers. Helping them to network, to see each other’s films, discuss those films, and meet the audience for their films.

“We’re very happy and very proud that Lara and Claire [Lawrie] were both here in Cardiff to accept their prizes.”

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Danielle Mustarde

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