The Iris Prize LGBT+ short film festival returns to Cardiff today after last year's event was forced to go online because of the pandemic.

The capital city is hosting the festival at several venues but films will also be viewable across the internet too. Organisers say they are hoping to capture the 84,000 strong online audience they reached last year.

In its fifteenth year, the Iris Prize welcomes filmmakers from around the globe and is a significant event in the international short film festival calendar. 

A BAFTA-qualifying festival for UK films, it features a £30,000 film award, which is the world’s largest short film prize. 

The director of the festival, Berwyn Rowlands, said: “We wanted to continue with the energy and momentum we injected into the festival last year.

"To some extent the festival this year is really two festivals, an in-person experience in Cardiff and an accessible on-line experience for the UK.

“We’ve introduced a ‘pay what you can’ policy for all the shorts programmes on-line, allowing us to reduce barriers to access. We are also grateful for the growing number of people who are donating on-line to allow this to happen.”

The National Wales: Cinema audiences will be allowed back to watch the Iris Prize in person for the first time since before the pandemic. Photo: Iris PrizeCinema audiences will be allowed back to watch the Iris Prize in person for the first time since before the pandemic. Photo: Iris Prize

Meanwhile, First Minister Mark Drakeford, said he was delighted to see the return of the Iris Prize: “We value diversity, the strength it gives us, and the pride we have in our LGBTQ+ communities here in Wales.

"Iris allows filmmakers to tell important stories, often not heard through other media. For some people it will mean they see themselves represented for the very first time.

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