New film library to tackle homophobic bullying in schools

Organisers of the Iris Prize have today (28 January 2016) launched a library of short films produced by young people dealing with LGBT bullying. The short films have been produced by secondary school pupils from all over Wales over the past two years. Available free of charge on YouTube, the 8 short films are all unique telling a different story using comedy as well as hard hitting drama to communicate their message.

Figures released by Stonewall confirm that over half of all young gay people experience homophobic bullying and of them, 41% have attempted or thought about taking their own life. 56% of young people deliberately self-harm and this rises to 61% if subjected to bullying.

Andrew Pierce, Chair of the Iris Prize said: “There’s something quite special about empowering young people to deal with these important issues on their own terms. We’ve been fortunate to have worked with some incredibly talented and brave pupils from all over Wales to produce these films.

“I’m encouraged that we have schools in Wales who are willing to address issues of homophobic bullying head on. These films can now be used by other schools as a starting point for debate and discussion. The films can also be integrated into different parts of the curriculum.”

“Thanks to the generous support of Ffilm Cymru Wales we are able to deliver the project for another year and during 2016 we will be visiting 5 secondary schools in Wales, and by the end of the year we will have another five films to add to the library.”

Janine Barnett-Phillips, Woodlands High School, Cardiff said: “Pupils who attend Woodlands High School have special needs. Thanks to the approach of Team Iris in treating the pupils as equals it has been a joy to see how they developed as individuals during this project. The level of discussion and debate, stimulated after making and watching short films, continues to make me proud of the individuals I teach. They are extraordinary and Team Iris have inspired them and helped to raise their self-esteem. The pupils from Woodlands more than most pupils understand the impact that being different can have on your life and this has helped them understand issues of homophobic bullying.

The 8 short films can be found here:

The Iris Prize education outreach project has received financial support from Google, Ffilm Cymru Wales and UIA Charitable Foundation.


Further Details.

Berwyn Rowlands, Tel: +44 (0)29 20232744, Mobile: +44 (0) 7860 818294


The Iris Prize – Cardiff’s International LGBT Short Film Prize is supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation and continues to be the only LGBT short film prize in the world which allows the winner to make a new film. Iris is what film makers need – funding, support and guidance. The winner receives £30,000 to make their next short film in the UK.

Past winners, include Dee Rees (US) – 2007, Till Kleinert (Germany) – 2008, Eldar Rapaport (Israel/US) – 2009, Magnus Mork (Norway) – 2010, Daniel Ribeiro (Brazil) – 2011, Grant Scicluna (Australia) – 2012, Tim Marshall (Australia) – 2013, Brendan McDonall (Australia) 2014 and Arkasha Stevenson 2015 (US).