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The Iris Prize unveils festival line-up as they prepare for 5th birthday celebrations!

The 5th Iris Prize Festival is delighted to announce that this year’s festival will open on Wednesday 5 October with the European premiere of August, directed by former Iris Prize winner Eldar Rapaport. The gala screening in Chapter, Cardiff will be introduced by New York based actor Murray Bartlett who plays Troy in the film.

A glowing review in Variety said "August is a gay romantic drama that's sexy without feeling like a flimsy excuse to bare well-toned skin…. With minimal dialogue and a strong but subtle directorial hand, writer-helmer Eldar Rapaport probes the tensions that ensue when an ex re-enters the life of the now happily re-coupled lover he'd previously abandoned.”

August is one of 8 new feature films in the festival programme, which the organisers have described as the strongest line-up in the festival’s 5 year history.

“Including Eldar we have 4 first time directors whose debut features are included in this year’s programme. Stories covered include the unconventional, and moving, boxing love-story My Last Round from Chile, Harvest which centres on two young apprentice farmers from Germany, and the US award winning Spork about a frizzy-haired pink cheeked outcast, written and directed by JB Ghuman JR who will also introduce the screening,” said Berwyn Rowlands.

The 30 short films competing for the Iris Prize - the World’s largest LGBT short film prize valued at £25,000 will be decided by a 13 strong International jury who will be chaired by Mary FitzPatrick, an independent Diversity Advisor who has worked for the BBC and the UK Film Council. Her 13 strong jury includes the Man Booker Prize short-listed author Sara Waters who’s had four novels adapted for UK television and Liliane Landor who is Controller, Languages and Global News at the BBC.

“We’ve been very lucky over the years in securing an eclectic group of renowned and respected figures to join the Iris Prize jury and 2011 is no exception! The 13 individuals who make up the jury represent men and women at the top of their game. The mix of talents we have secured, including actors, directors and the Man Booker Prize nominee Sarah Waters, will be essential for the difficult task of selecting the one film out of the shortlist of 30 to be crowned the Iris Prize winner 2011. I would like to thanks all the jury members for helping us out with their time and support and wish them all a great time in Cardiff,” said Iris Patron Andrew Pierce.

The festival organisers have also unveiled a new website to co-inside with the 5th birthday celebrations. The new site has been created by Creo Interactive as part of a new sponsorship deal.

“Creo were delighted to be approached to sponsor the new Iris website. The Iris Prize is an internationally recognised award and showcases Cardiff to the world - we are very proud to be a part of this,” said Andrew Ashton, Director, Creo Interactive.

The new website can be found here>


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