The winners at this year’s LGBT+ Iris Prize film festival were announced at a special awards ceremony on Saturday October 10th night including performances by Casi Wyn and Heather Small. Victoria Warmerdam’s Short Calf Muscle (Kote Kuitspier) is the winner of the Iris Prize 2020, Cardiff’s International LGBT+ Short Film Prize, supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation. The £30,000 GBP prize will enable Warmerdam to make a new short in Wales, becoming the thirteenth Iris production. The shortlisted finalists included the runner up Victoria, plus Boys and On My Way.
Philip Guttman, from the Iris Prize iury says, “Short Calf Muscle captures a universal sense of being misunderstood in an hilarious yet absurd comic tone, setting it apart in a class of its own. Piquant dialogue, accomplished storytelling and tongue-in-cheek acting are distilled into a potent black comedy, where Anders, a gay man, suddenly finds himself labelled to be a “gnome” by everyone around him, harkening to our own society that all too often misgenders or misidentifies others. Filmmaker Victoria Warmerdam masterfully tackles themes of prejudice and societal authoritarianism, captured through an impeccable Stepford style lens which contrasts the loss of control in a world gone mad. Ms. Warmerdam reveals herself to be a singular, exciting and rising comedy director”.
The winner of Best of British short film is Michael J. Ferns’ Better. Queens was the official runner up in the British category, while The Passing and Wings also made the final shortlist.
“The quality and range of this year’s Best British Short film contenders has been excellent – so much so that the jury was spoiled in having to choose a winner,” commented Tim Highsted, Senior Editor, Acquired Feature Films for Film4, who chaired the jury for Best British Short. “Michael J Fern’s short film Better was distinctive for its quietly controlled and beautifully orchestrated examination of gender as a young mother tries to cope with the bullying of her young son at school. Our other shortlisted titles, Queens, The Passing and Wings raised the bar in their unique portrayals and studies of LGBT+ lives and stories.”
All 15 films in Best British programmes will be available for free streaming in the UK on All 4 from Sunday October 11th.
Iris International Feature Film Award Winners:
Best Performance in a Male Role in a Feature Film was awarded to Leandro Faria Lelo for his role in Daniel Nolasco’s Dry Wind.
Best Performance in a Female Role in a Feature Film was awarded to Lena Urzendowsy for Cocoon.
Leonie Krippendorff’s Cocoon, distributed in UK by Peccadillo Pictures, also won Best International Feature.
Iris Youth Jury Winner
The winner of the Youth Jury Award was Wings from UK director Jamie Weston, and the runner up was Luca Padrini’s When In Rome (Paese Che Vai). The four short-listed films, chosen from 35 nominees for the main Iris Prize, wereWings, My God I’m Queer, When In Rome (Paese Che Vai) and Snake.