« Previous | Main | Next »

Iris film festival

Post categories:

Nicola Heywood Thomas Nicola Heywood Thomas | 15:28 UK time, Monday, 12 October 2009

"You don't have to be a friend of Dorothy to be a friend of Iris." That's what it says in the programme brochure for the third Iris film festival, held in two Cardiff cinemas between 7 and 10 October.

Iris is an international festival of gay and lesbian film and attracted a large crowd from Wales and far beyond. Feature films, documentaries, talks and what seemed like a fair amount of partying all culminated in the awarding of the third Iris Prize for the best international short film.

With 30 works screened, this year's prize was won by the American, Eldar Rapaport's 16-minute film Steam. It's an exploration of anxiety, reflection and fear as two strangers find themselves stuck in a steam room. The prize was presented by Torchwood actor Gareth David-Lloyd and means that Rapaport will return to Cardiff to be a member of the jury for next year's prize and  then come back to the UK to make a new short film.

This continued involvement with the Iris Festival is really clever as it maintains the links with international film-makers from year to year. In this year's festival the film made as the result of the first ever Iris Prize was premièred. Butetown's Colonial Gods was the work of New Yorker, Dee Rees who was the inaugural winner and who returned to South Wales to shoot the half hour film.

It's set in the Butetown area of Cardiff though much was shot in Newport as the appearance of the Transporter Bridge gives away to anyone who knows south east Wales! The film explores both the relationship of a young immigrant with his older colleague and landlord and the struggle of an ethnic community to stay in an area that's moving upmarket.

There are some strong performances - notably from 24-year-old Said Mohammed in his first screen role - and the film looks lovely. I felt some scenes had been lost which left the story and message a little unclear but see what you think on BBC Two Wales at 10pm on 14 October. There's also a documentary about the making of the film on BBC Two Wales at the same time on 13 October.


  • No comments to display yet.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.