Iris Prize is now worth £30K - Bigger and Better

Organisers of the Iris Prize have today (12 January 2015) confirmed that the Iris Prize, awarded to the best LGBT short film, has been increased from £25,000 to £30,000 thanks to the generous support of The Michael Bishop Foundation.

“We are delighted that that The Michael Bishop Foundation has generously increased their support of the Iris Prize. Together with the sponsorship from Pinewood Studios, Gorilla Post and Martin Briggs we now have a total prize fund of £45,000. This significant fund, at a time of continued austerity, allows Iris to continue supporting new LGBT film making,” said Festival Chair Andrew Pierce.

The organisers also confirmed that the family of Partner Festivals, who each nominate one short film to compete for the Iris Prize, will include a festival from China. The ShanghaiPRIDE Film Festival, established in 2009, takes place annually in June in a country with an estimated 50 million LGBT people.

“We are thrilled to welcome Shanghai into the Iris family. This brings the total number of countries where we have a direct relationship to 13. Add to this the number of open submissions from non-partner countries and I think we can confidently state that Iris represents the global LGBT film making community,” said Festival Chair Andrew Pierce.

Submissions are now open for the 2015 Iris Prize Festival. The Cardiff (UK) based Festival, which takes place from 7th – 11th October 2015, presents three main awards:

  • Iris Prize - Cardiff's International LGBT short film prize supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation
  • Iris Prize Best British Short sponsored by Pinewood Studios Group
  • Iris Prize Best Feature Award sponsored by Martin Briggs

“Thanks to the generous support of The Michael Bishop Foundation, the Iris Prize continues to be the only LGBT short film prize in the world which allows the winner to make a new film. Iris is more than just a trophy that gathers dust or a certificate that yellows on the wall. Iris is what film makers need – funding, support and guidance,” said Festival Director Berwyn Rowlands.

“Six short films have been produced to date by the Iris Prize with award winning filmmakers from across the world.  The Sundance Film Festival, who selected Followers, written, directed and edited by Tim Marshall is just one of the major festivals that have screened the Iris films. Followers, the 6th short film produced by the Iris Prize, was selected from 8,200 entries to screen at the premier North America based festival following in the footsteps of Burger, which screened at Sundance last year.”

“I’m very proud of our track record in supporting new talent, having worked with film makers from all over the world and look forward to working with Brendan McDonall from Australia who will be responsible for the 7th short film,” he added.

Details about submitting films can be found here.