This October, the wonderful Iris Prize Festival will launch once again in Cardiff, Wales, centred around its short film programme, which precedes the awarding of the world’s largest LGBT Short Film prize. This year’s shortlist for that massive prize has now been announced, which features 35 shorts from 20 countries – and even a nod for a film directed by Danny DeVito.

One of the main things that make Iris special is that the main award is structured around helping a filmmaker to create a new short film. The winner receives £30,000 worth of funding and expertise (supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation) which has resulted in some great new films, all backed by Iris.

Previous winners have included Dee Rees (US) – 2007, Till Kleinert (Germany) – 2008, Eldar Rapaport (Israel/US) – 2009, Magnus Mork (Norway) – 2010, Daniel Ribeiro (Brazil) – 2011, Grant Scicluna (Australia) – 2012, Tim Marshall (Australia) – 2013, Brendan McDonall (Australia) – 2014, Arkasha Stevenson – 2015 (US) and Toby Fell-Holden – 2016 (UK), many of whom have gone on to create more fab LGBT-themed shorts and feature films.

This year Brendon McDonald, who was the popular 2014 winner of the Iris Prize and the 3rd Australian to take the Iris Prize, is the first winner to be shortlisted again, after his film school in Sydney submitted his latest short film The Dam. 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 is confronted by feelings
that were impounded long ago, but cannot be contained any longer.

There’s also short from none other than Danny DeVito. Curmudgeons were directed, produced and stars the popular New York actor. 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.

You can find out more about the impressively eclectic lineup for this year’s Iris Prize over on the festival’s official website.

The 2017 Iris Prize Festival runs from October 10th-15th in Cardiff, Wales.