Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival signs sponsorship deal with Film 4


The Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival has announced details of a new three-year sponsorship agreement with British producer/broadcaster Film4.

The agreement will see Film4 acquire broadcast and streaming rights to each of the 15 British LGBT+ short films shortlisted for the newly rebranded ‘Iris Prize Best British Short Supported by Film4’.

Iris Prize development

“This is a pivotal moment in the development of the Iris Prize”, Andrew Pierce, Iris Prize Chair, commented.

“This relationship with Film4 will allow Iris to achieve our main aim which is to increase audiences for LGBT+ stories.

“As the premier film channel in the UK, with a strong track record for supporting diverse British film making, this is the perfect partner for Iris. We are so excited!”

Tim Highsted, Senior Editor, Acquired Feature Films for Film4, commented: “The Iris Prize, with its focus on diversity, inclusion and new voices, and its setting in Cardiff, is a perfect fit for Film4.

Short form content critical

“Short form content is a critical proving ground for rising talent. But with new platforms allowing for a wider range of voices to be heard, it’s increasingly a draw for viewers.

“We can’t wait to see this year’s shortlisted films. We look forward to giving those filmmakers a chance to reach a nationwide audience through Film4 on All 4.”

Berwyn Rowlands, Founder Iris Prize, commented: “This is always an exciting period for us at Iris HQ as we open submissions and wonder which filmmakers will take home this year’s prize fund of £50,000 to invest in new LGBT+ film talent.

“Thanks to the generous support of The Michael Bishop Foundation, the Iris Prize continues to be the largest and only LGBT+ short film prize in the world which allows the winner to make a new film.”

“Thanks also to Pinewood Studios Group we are able to support our British film makers directly with a prize valued at £20,000 for sound post production on their next short film project.”

“And now we’re also able to help British filmmakers reach a huge audience thanks to our new sponsorship with Film4.”

“Iris is more than just a trophy that gathers dust or a certificate that yellows on the wall. Iris is what filmmakers need – funding, support, guidance and a new audience for their work.”

Russell T Davies

Writer/producer Russell T Davies, who presented the 2019 awards, commented: “I think the world is becoming a much more scary place.

“It’s becoming the sort of world where we have to fight for our rights. I thought all that was over 10 years ago.

“It turns out there was just a little lull. Now we need to defend ourselves and speak for our rights more than ever.

“What better place to do that than at a film festival where we all come together – different types of people, different types of ‘otherness’ and queerness, sexualities and identities.

“All together in one place, raising our voices. It’s brilliant.”

Submissions are now open for the 2020 competition.

The Cardiff (UK) based festival, which takes place from 6 – 11 October 2020, presents three main awards:

  • Cardiff’s International LGBT short film prize
  • Best British Short Supported by Film4
  • Best Feature Award

Eleven short films have been produced to date by the Iris Prize with award winning filmmakers from across the world.

Details about submitting films can be found here.

The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation, Welsh Government, the BFI awarding funds from the National Lottery, Film4, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Pinewood Studios Group, Cardiff University, BBC Cymru Wales, For Cardiff, Bad Wolf, Gorilla Group, Co-op Respect, University of South Wales, Ministry of Sound and Cineworld.

The festival also works in partnership with BAFTA Cymru, Pride Cymru and Stonewall Cymru.