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LGBTQ+ short film prize announces shortlist for Documentary Film Fund

02 May 2023 3 minute read
The Documentary Film fund has been announced

Organisers of the Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival have announced the five shortlisted projects through to the final stage to be the second film commissioned by the new Iris Prize Documentary Film Finance Fund.

The Film Fund is Sponsored by FROOT, the UK LGBTQ+ streaming service, and Aberystwyth University who have committed to invest £20,000 in the final film.

The fund supports documentary filmmakers in telling unique LGBTQI+ stories – with a particular emphasis on those from underrepresented groups.

The five shortlisted films are:

  • Claud Cunningham and Paula Gannon-Lewis – Black Angel: Feel Free To Be
    The untold story of how two black lesbians created a ground-breaking club night that shook up Manchester’s white male-dominated gay scene, paving the way for inclusivity in the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Stacey Greg – Queer Trouble
    Tracing unheard queer voices from the Troubles through to today’s youth, what does it mean to be young and queer in the north of Ireland.
  • Ira Putilova – Bender Defenders
    Five queer, non-binary and transgender people from “Bender Defenders”, a queer Muay Thai club in East
    London talk friendship, love, intimacy, queerness, London and bodies.
  • Charlotte James and Clementine Schneidermann – Rio
    A dreamlike portrait, set against the post-industrial backdrop of the South Wales Valleys, we explore
    dreams and realities with a 16-year-old young person, as she is about to begin gender affirming hormone
  • Damian Kerlin – Memories From The Dance Floor
    Memories from the Dance Floor is a documentary celebrating LGBTQ+ venues and unravelling the
    forgotten history behind queer nightlife across the UK, colourfully told by the community that lived it.


Angela Clarke, BAFTA-nominated documentary filmmaker who has been looking after the shortlisting process said: “We are thrilled with both the quality and volume of applications submitted in our second year of running the fund, and the final five shortlisted projects are packed with untold stories, all of which deserve the opportunity to be brought to life on screen.

“I’m keen to hear more detail from the film makers about their respective projects over the coming months.”

Philip Webb, COO of FROOT and OUTtv said: “The quality and diversity of the submissions this year is overwhelming.

“It sends a clear message that there is a plethora of immensely talented LGBTQ+ doc filmmakers in Britain who need more access to financing and support, and we are proud to be a part of bringing some of these projects to our audience.”

The finalists will be invited to a Summer School in Aberystwyth with support of the Theatre, Film, and Television Studies Department at Aberystwyth University, and the commissioned documentary will be announced at the end of July / early August 2023.

The Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival is a six-day celebration of LGBTQ+ film which takes place annually in Cardiff.

The 2023 festival will be the 17th edition and much has changed since the first 3-day festival in 2007 with 1,500 admissions.

Today the flagship festival is almost a week-long, attracts 11,000 admissions, and the online offer is a month long with a UK online audience of 84,000.

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