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The shortlist for the Iris Prize – the world’s biggest LGBT short film prize – has been announced.

A total of 35 films from 20 countries are in competition for the 2017 prize, with all of the films being screened together in Cardiff later in the year.

Presented annually during the October film festival of the same name in Cardiff, Wales the Iris Prize continues to be the world’s largest short film prize. Previous winners have gone on to produce more award winning short films with the £30,000 prize funded by The Michael Bishop Foundation.

Danny DeVito, star of Matilda and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is nominated for his film Curmudgeons, which he directed, produced, and stars in. The film has already played extensively on the international circuit including BFI Flare, London and Frameline in San Francisco who nominated the film, which features two men who discover love late in life.

Brendon McDonald won the Iris Prize in 2014 and went on to spend the summer in Cardiff working on his new Iris Prize funded short Spoilers before becoming a jury member the following year. Thanks to his film school in Sydney who submitted his latest short film The Dam, Brendon becomes the first Iris winner to be shortlisted twice. The Dam is the story of a lifelong friendship which comes under siege when two mature men visit the monolithic dam that defined their young lives and are confronted by feelings that were impounded long ago, but cannot be contained any longer.

Andrew Pierce, Iris Prize Chair, said: “These are once again a great mix of films from every corner of the world with 20 countries represented this year including a film which brings together the unlikely combination of Indonesia, Egypt, Netherlands and the US. Together these films give a very clear picture of what it’s like to be lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (lgbt) in 2017.

“As we recognise the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales it is clear that much has yet to be done, especially in the countries not represented at Iris. It is distressing to be reminded that being gay is still a crime in way too many countries.

“But there is much to celebrate and the shortlist of films includes some uplifting stories of young love as the new generation of lgbt people move away from the traditional coming out stories and focus on the joys of being true to themselves.

“The 25 nominating partners located across the globe are our eyes and ears and they have once again helped make Iris the place to see the “best of the best”. I think Iris is a window on the world, and as our new strapline asks: ‘What will you see in Cardiff?’”

See the list of all the films in competition for the prize here.

The full festival programme for the 11th Iris Prize Festival will be announced on Tuesday 22 August.

Attitude Magazine

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