Iris Prize announces amazing shortlisted films including Northern Irish film Homebird

The Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival returns for its 2022 edition with a fantastic line up of British and international films.

The image is a still from the film Homebird which has been shortlisted for the Iris Prize 2022. It shows a young man leaning his head against the inside of a car window. A bright light is shining in from the window behind.
Image: @calebjfilms via Instagram

The prestigious Cardiff-based Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Festival 2022 returns for the first in-person festival since 2019 with an incredible lineup of gorgeous new short films.

Now in its 16th year, the Iris Prize aims to highlight LGBTQ+ stories through the medium of short films.

Among this year’s filmmakers battling it out for the Best British Award are 15 short films from across the UK, including Homebird by award-winning Northern Irish filmmaker Caleb J Roberts.

Homebird tells the story of a father and son as they attempt to navigate their estranged relationship during a night at the seafront amusements.

Speaking to GCN in 2021, Caleb explained, “I started writing Homebird during the summer of lockdown last year, moving back into the family home for a few months. I began to reflect on how the relationship between my parents and I had not only changed quite dramatically but flourished since transitioning.

Homebird was in turn, inspired by the experience felt between myself and my father in the months following my ‘coming out’ and subsequent move to the big city. The awkwardness, the mismatched ideals surrounding masculinity and sexuality – the old and new; but most importantly the rekindling of our connection as father and son after months of tension and uncertainty.”

He describes the film as, “An ode to queer placelessness, and a commentary on the often-portrayed cliché that queer people must move away to ‘re-invent’ themselves in order to find their tribe.”

Homebird will also screen as part of the ‘Queer Éire: New Irish Shorts‘ programme at the 2022 GAZE International LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

Also featured in the shortlist for the Best British Award are three Welsh films. Skinny Fat, by Mathew David, which explores the issue of body image, told through the eyes of a gay man having traumatic flashbacks of being bullied as he tries on clothes in a changing room.  

Jelly by Samantha O’Rourke tells the story of Kerry a young woman trapped in life’s mundanities. In the hope of escape, she discovers an underground cave with plenty of tasty treasures.

Set in the mountains of Snowdonia, Tom Chetwode Barton’s Nant uses themes from Welsh myths and legends to narrate the visually arresting journey of Dion as he navigates his sexual awakening.  

Other films hoping to get their hands on the coveted prize are A Fox in the Night, Fluorescent Adolescent, Hornbeam, Jim, Keep off the Grass, Looking for Barbara, Queer Parivaar, Silence, The Piss Witch, The Rev, and Tommies.

The Iris Prize Festival 2022 will take place in Cardiff from October 11 to 16 and tickets go on sale on September 16. For more information go to

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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