Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival 2019 Programme

The 13th Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival brought a huge variety of LGBT+ short films to Cardiff, showcasing talent from around the world and stories never before seen on screen. Diverse in voice, content, genre and style, these are some of the very best modern LGBT+ short films. Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival are delighted to offer these world-class LGBT+ short films for FREE, available now (See booking & contacts tab for details on how to book).

Black Hat

Winner – Iris Prize 2019
Director: Sarah Smith
Country: USA
Time: 15 mins
Cert: U
Closeted, Religion – Jewish

At first blush, Shmuel is a pious Hasidic man leading a simple life. But when his family leave town for a few days, Shmuel steps out of his routine and into a world lit by the mirror ball and coloured lights. When he misplaces his black hat along the way, his two lives connect in ways he never could have predicted.

My Brother is a Mermaid

Winner – Best British Short 2019, Audience Award 2019, Youth Award 2019
Director: Alfie Dale
Country: UK
Time: 20 mins
Cert: 15
Trans, Young people, Magical Realism

In a bleak coastal town, transgender teen Kai battles with her family, her community and herself. But her adoring younger brother Kuda sees things differently, and it’s his unconditional love and magical imagination that sees things start to change.

Greta

Winner – DIVA Box Office Award 2019
Director: Sparkman Clark
Country: USA
Time: 27 Mins
Cert: 15
Bisexual, Mental Health, Comedy, Female-focused

Armed with self-loathing, hopelessness and existential dread, Greta tries to find one thing about adulthood that doesn’t suck. Despite the support of her family, the vague impression of a job, and a place of her own, Greta still struggles to get out of bed. Every day. Good thing she lives in New York City, where everything seems twice as hard. Greta’s world looks pretty bleak…until she meets a woman named April.

Invisible Women

Highly Commended – Best British Short 2019
Director: Alice Smith
Country: UK
Time: 25 mins
Cert: 12A
Documentary, Female-focussed, Activism

Angela Cooper and Luchia Fitzgerald have spent the last half a century fighting for their rights as women and as lesbians. Their work has revolutionised Manchester whilst transforming the lives of thousands of women and yet no record of them exists in the city’s archives; theirs is a story that risked disappearing from history. Until now.

Note – This film includes sequences of extended flickering light. We strongly suggest any screening is accompanied by a warning placed at the box office before or at the point of ticket purchase stating ‘This film [or insert film title] contains a sequence of flashing lights which might affect customers who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy.’

We Are Dancers

Highly Commended – Best British Short 2019
Director: Joe Morris
Country: UK
Language: German/English with English Subtitles
Time: 30 mins
Cert: 15
Drag, Anti-fascism, Historical, Based on Real Life

Set in 1933 Berlin, We are Dancers is the story of real-life anti-Nazi drag artist Hansi Sturm and his circle of friends in the immediate aftermath of the Reichstag fire – an event that allowed Hitler to become absolute dictator of Germany. Confronted by a former lover, now a Nazi, Hansi must decide whether to abandon his club or stay and face the Fascists on his own terms.

Ponyboi

Highly Commended – Iris Prize 2019
Director: River Gallo, Sadé Clacken Joseph
Country: USA
Time: 19 mins
Cert: 15
Intersex, Sex work, Magical Realism, Self-acceptance

Ponyboi is an intersex runaway, working at a laundromat and hustling as a sex-worker. But after a mysterious encounter with a man from his dreams, he learns that perhaps he is worthy of leaving his seedy life in New Jersey behind. Blurring the boundaries between fantasy and reality, Ponyboi is a queer film about love, redemption and self-acceptance.

Marguerite

Highly Commended – Iris Prize 2019
Director: Marianne Farley
Country: Canada
Language: French with English Subtitles
Time: 19 mins
Cert: PG
Aging, Closeted, Friendship, Female-focused

An elderly woman, Marguerite, is cared for by her young nurse, Rachel, and the two strike up a platonic friendship that transcends the patient-nurse dynamic. But when Marguerite learns of Rachel’s relationship with another woman, she finds herself looking back on earlier times and contemplates the paths she didn’t take, unearthing desires and longings she’d thought long-buried.

Skin

Director: Audrey Rosenberg
Country: USA
Time: 22 Mins
Cert: 15
Trans, Young People, Bullying, Body Horror, Family

In small-town Massachusetts an isolated queer teenager struggles to navigate adolescence. Imprisoned in a body that feels wrong, Charlie hits puberty. It’s a milestone which turns into a dark, surreal journey into an underground cave, where they’re presented with the opportunity to wear another skin and see life through a new – perhaps more fitting – pair of eyes.

Leaking Blue (Azul Vazante)

Director: Julia Alquéres
Country: Brazil
Language: Portuguese with English Subtitles
Time: 15 mins
Cert: PG
Trans, Coming Out, Family

A mother searches a hospital ward for her estranged son and finds instead a daughter. What could have played out as a conventional drama, shot on a soundstage or on location in a real-life hospital is instead acted out in the open, in crowded squares and on busy streets, with members of the public playing an unwitting part in the drama that unfurls.

U for Usha (U Ushacha)

Director: Rohan Kanawade
Country: India
Language: Marathi with English Subtitles
Time: 22 mins
Cert: 12A
Female-focused, Family, Rural Life, Female Empowerment

Usha is a single mother and farm labourer in rural India. Unable to read or write, she finds herself drawn to her children’s English teacher in ways she never knew possible, and this attraction fires her passion and her determination to learn. U for Usha is a subtle portrayal of sexual awakening, and how naïve attraction can empower a woman to take control of her life.

How to Live Your Correctly

Director: Xindi Lou
Country: USA
Language: Chinese with English Subtitles
Time: 20 mins
Cert: 12A
Young People, Rebellion, China, First Love, Political Satire, Female-focused

Ming, a Chinese teen, is disillusioned by society’s “rules.” Upon meeting a young woman named Ace, the door is opened to allow Ming to live the life she’s always wanted. However, when society’s pressures begin to crowd in once again, that bond is put to the test, causing Ming to question who she is and where she belongs.

Hey You

Director: Jarred Watmuff
Country: UK
Time: 4 mins
Cert: 15
Micro Short, Dating, Homophobia

In the middle of the night two men send messages via a dating app, but how will the night play out? And how do we know who is on the other side of that screen? Hey You is a shocking but timely film about the ways in which technology has changed the dating scene for good and bad.

Carlito Leaves Forever

Director: Quentin Lazzarotto
Country: Peru/France/Spain
Language: Ese’Eja with English Subtitles
Time: 8 Mins
Cert: U
New Start, Journey, Family, Rural Life

In the heart of the Amazon jungle, on the banks of the Madre de Dios, the village of Palma Real resists the modern world. Nomadic in origin but Christianised by colonial force, the community’s pagan customs persist. Carlito, a quiet young man, has lived here all his life. Until, one day, he decides to leave. He bids goodbye to his grandmother and sets out onto the river in search of happiness and freedom.

Outdooring

Director: Maxwell Addae
Country: USA
Time: 18 mins
Cert: 15
Homophobia, Ghanaian-American Community, Coming Out

Kobby arrives late to his baby nephew’s naming ceremony only to be confronted by his angry sister and parents. How could he have missed such an important event? But Kobby has a secret. Chance conversations cause him to look at the occasion through different eyes. One opportunity gives way to another, and nothing will ever be the same again.

Renovation

Director: Fábio Leal
Country: Brazil
Language: Portuguese with English Subtitles
Time: 15 mins
Cert: 18
Comedy, Body Image, Dating

A succession of hook-ups do nothing to quell Francisco’s concerns about his body image. As he helps his friend Flávia to paint her apartment, he can’t seem to stop over-sharing about his rotating cast of handsome bed-mates, or his love of sweets and Julia Roberts movies.

Deep Clean

Director: David Wilson
Country: UK
Time: 4 mins
Cert: 18
Micro Short, Dance, Self-pleasure, Comedy

Guaranteed to drop jaws, raise eyebrows and flare nostrils, this stylish short features a winning turn by entertainer and performance artist Harry Clayton Wright as a house-proud domestic diva who just won’t rest until his house is spotless. Cleanliness is next to Godliness!

Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival 2019 short films are available to book individually or as one of 6 curated packages (see below for details). To book, or for more information including screeners, marketing assets & further programming advice, contact daisy@irisprize.org

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