Best of Iris 2021 + Iris Trans Stories

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The Iris Prize is a film and media organisation committed to increasing audiences for LGBTQ+ stories. Their main projects include the annual Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival and Iris on the Move, a UK wide touring programme.

The 15th Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival brought a huge variety of LGBTQ+ short films to their first ever in-person and online festival. Seven short films available free of charge in the UK, as two curated packages ‘The Best of Iris 2021‘ and ‘Iris Prize Trans Stories‘, or individually.

Baba

Winner – Iris Prize and Best British Short
Director: Sam Arbor and Adam Ali
Country: UK
Time: 18mins
Certificate: 12A

Living in the tunnels beneath Tripoli a queer Libyan teenager, Britannia, dreams of escape to a better life, but an unexpected discovery forces him to question whether to stay or flee from his homeland and his friends.

We Will Become Better–Sansara

Highly Commended – Iris Prize
Director: Andzej Gavriss
Country: Russia
Time: 6mins
Certificate: PG

Russian indie band Sansara made this music video as a tribute to Russia’s LGBT+ community, 12 months after the country passed legislation defining marriage solely as the union of man and woman. It’s a wonderful fusion of music and movement and a stirring tale of thwarted love, and though we can take no credit for this, it’s garnered over 1million views on YouTube since being submitted for the Iris Prize!

Cwch Deilen

Highly Commended – Best British Short
Director: Efa Blosse-Maison
Country: Wales
Time: 8mins
Certificate: U

An animated love story about a leaf which becomes a boat, and fears come out of the murky waters as sea monsters and storms. Will the Leaf Boat survive the tumultuous waves?

S.A.M.

Winner – Iris Prize Youth Jury Award
Directors: Lloyd Eyre-Morgan and Neil David Ely
Country: UK
Time: 16mins
Certificate: 15

Two young men form a connection on the swings of their local park.

God’s Daughter Dances

Highly Commended – Iris Prize
Director: Sungbin Byun
Country: South Korea
Time: 24mins
Certificate: 12A

A transgender female dancer, Shin-mi, gets a call from the Military Manpower Administration, to attend for the Military Service Examination. Shin-mi, with everything in readiness, takes her steps to the Military Manpower Administration.

Pop

Highly Commended – Best British Short
Director: Margo Roe
Country: UK
Time: 21mins
Certificate: 15

Jack is a young boy exploring his own identity when he befriends a recently released ex-convict, Pop. The pair bond, but Pop’s past and his inability to control his emotions threaten to put Jack in danger.

Birthday Boy

Winner – COOP Audience Award for Best Iris Prize Short
Director: Leo Lebeau
Country: UK
Time: 20mins
Certificate: 15

Birthday Boy follows a transgender boy, Alex, as he experiences bullying at a private all girls school. He lives a double life in online games, where he feels he can express his true identity. Alex has excitedly planned a digital birthday party, however, on the day of his birthday, the bullying takes a violent turn for the worse. We experience these tragic events through his memories, as he reflects from a hospital bed.

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