While the GAZE Film Festival may have just recently finished for this year, those in need of a queer film fix should cast their eye over the selection of LGBT+ stories in the running for the 2018 Iris Prize.
A host of shorts from all over the world will compete to take home £30,000 award enabling them to create their next film in the UK, supported by the Michael Bishop Foundation. There’s a varied list of themes this year, including films featuring contemporary dance, brutal violence and challenging stories about gender. Spokesperson for the Iris Prize, David Llewellyn, said: “This year, we’ve noticed a number of films that tackled masculinity in interesting and provocative ways.”
Andrew Pierce, the Chair of the Iris Prize, said: “This shortlist represents the very best in LGBT+ storytelling, offering a window into queer lives of the past, present and future. From love stories to tales of persecution, and from moving documentaries to joyous celebrations of freedom and pride.”
One of the films in the running is The Red Tree from Irish director Paul Rowley. A documentary short, it looks at the horrific true story of what transpired during the 1930’s in Italy when the fascist regime attempted to wipe out homosexuality by forcing gay men in their hundreds onto a remote island in the Adriatic Sea and leaving them to rot.
While many films tackling LGBT+ issues can obviously be dark and upsetting due to the ever-going battle against intolerance and homophobia, not all the nominees deal with heavy themes.
One of the strands which the films fall under, ‘It’s A New Day’, “Focuses on stories which are are all life-affirming and positive, from the animated tale of a woman’s deepest desires, to a meditation on bottoming that features an animated talking poo!”
A full list of all the films nominated is available here.
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