This year I was able to attend the Iris Prize Festival, a Gay and Lesbian Short Film Festival held yearly in Cardiff. This year marks its 11th year, and I couldn’t wait to attend!! Referred by some as the ‘Gay Oscars,’ Iris is a haven for those who want to share the LGBT stories to an audience and a fantastic event for those who want to showcase their talents for the first time. Filmmakers from around the world flock to the tiny capital of Wales to enjoy the creme de la creme of Gay and Lesbian cinema.
This year Iris had 35 short films for us to enjoy as well as plenty of feature films. We were also provided with some of the best grub in Cardiff and enjoyed some delicious meals in The Stables, FED, the Park Inn and Chapel 1877.
The motto of Iris is ‘Watch Films, Party Nightly, REPEAT’ and we definitely did that!! Every night, we enjoyed some top-notch filmmaking then headed to the after party. The parties were held at different venues all around Cardiff. We all dabbled in a bit of Karaoke on Thursday. They held the Annual Pulse Party on Saturday, which I sadly couldn’t attend due to prior rave engagement. This year they held the Iris Carnival for the first time. It came with the amazing combination of music, food, and films held at the Depot Cardiff where they announced this year’s winners!! What a stunning venue and what an amazing night!!
Not only were we spoilt with incredible films we were also given some talks throughout the whole event. My personal favourite was Lisa Gornick’s ‘What is Lesbian Film.’ The whole audience of her talk howling with laughter!! Another interesting talk was the ‘Remembering 1960s Cinema-Going.’ Many members of the audience recounted their cinema experiences of the sixties. For some of you who are not aware, homosexuality was illegal until 1967 and even after that there were a myriad of problems. Of course then filmmakers were touching on the subject that was idiotically considered taboo.
Of course, this year marked 50 years since the legalization of homosexuality (I know, absolutely crazy). We had soo much to celebrate, and I met some amazing people!! It felt like a family. On Sunday, I could’ve cried. I miss them all so very very much but we’re all going to keep in touch!! And I cannot wait to see them again next year!!
I have so so soo many posts I’m planning on writing about the Iris Film Festival. I hope you enjoy them!!