›› The 2010 IRIS Prize Short Film Festival - Programme 1 of 6. ‹‹
›› on this page: Bruderliebe | A Word | Broken Hart | Cake and Sand
the IRIS International Gay and Lesbian Short Film Prize
Born out of the desire to create an annual international short film prize that would recognise, celebrate and promote the gay, lesbian and transgendered moving image, one that would also promote tolerance, acceptance and further understanding of the art of filmmaking itself, the IRIS Prize is now recognised as one of the leading LGBT cinematic events of the year, held right in the heart of Wales.
The 4th edition of the IRIS International Film Festival took place in Cardiff, between the 6th Ė 9th October, 2010. In an unprecedented move, Peccadillo Pictures thereafter made almost all of the thirty short film nominees available to view online for one month via their Video on Demand service, thereby creating the first ever LGBT short film festival streaming viewing experience.
During this period, UK and Ireland viewers were able to vote for their favourite short film, resulting with Peccadillo Pictures' very own Public Short Film Prize awarded to the best gay and lesbian work with the most votes, together with the offer of a major distribution deal.
The competition as ever featured a mix of styles and narratives, with many a traditional theme no-where to be found. Instead on offer were shorts with a twist in their tale, a poignant political message to be found or stories in which few, if any words were spoken, leaving a moving score to emotionally convey the unspoken feelings of its players.
The following are summary reviews to each of the thirty works aired, listed in the order of the six programmes in which they were VOD presented, with promotional footage featured at the bottom of the page. Enjoy.
›› see also IRIS [ Programme 2 ]  [ Programme 3 ]  [ Programme 4 ]  [ Programme 5 ]  [ Programme 6 ]

 ›› Bruderliebe ±

 a short film by Marcus Schwenzel
 2009 | 16 mins | Czech Republic
 a troubled soul confronts his past.
Bruderliebe by Marcus Schwenzel This well played bilingual short tells of a lonely young man who checks into a hotel, only to find himself receiving some up close and personal attention from the bored, if somewhat flirtatious desk clerk in the middle of the night. Only not everything is what it appears to be. For this is a melancholic work that relates how for some, to move on in the present, equates to confronting the past. Told by way of a surreal flashback driven narrative, writer and director Marcus Schwenzel builds the pensive tension up nicely, aided by a series of menacing musical inserts, even if in the process the history of this troubled soul is all but telegraphed ahead of its newspaper styled revelation. Yet to say more would give the game away, even if the title for those who speak German, has all but done so. Enough said.
 starring: Thorsten Feller / Peter, Levy Meaden / Raoul and Anthony Gorin as Ben.
 dedicated to Agnes and Monika and M4.
Celluloid Sexuality - gay. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

 ›› A Word - Mila ±

 a short film by Yoav Inbar
 2010 | 18 mins | Israel
 a cinematic note on saying "I love you."
A Word by Yoav Inbar This telling short relates the story of a Ron; a cutie who for the life of him cannot say those three all important words to his boyfriend. Tired of trying to enlist an I love you response, even after sex, lover Taltul finally shows Ron the door. And heís not the only one, as later that day Ron finds himself ejected from his sisterís apartment, having got under her skin with his opposition to love, even that seen briefly during her failed relationship. Chancing upon a stranger at the beach and later in the park, could it be that Ron has finally learned some heartfelt lessons about life and love? Told by way of four episodic chapters, this relationship drama showcases the fact that some men are and some clearly arenít at ease, when it comes to expressing their emotions. And put it this way, when your partner says "that was the last time you told me that you love me" and you donít following his theatrical cue with the requested three word reply, then relationship bells are a-ringing. Yet this is a work in which those with a keen eye for detail, may well have figured the ending to be had, given a conspicuous prop seen during the Shir sister sequence. A cinematic note on saying "I love you" indeed.
Celluloid Sexuality - gay. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

 ›› Broken Hart ±

 a short film by Michael Allen Angel
 2009 | 25 mins | US
 a gay Cupidís Arrow, silent style.
Broken Hart by Michael Allen Angel Played like a 1920s monochrome silent movie, complete with dialogue captions and a roaring piano score, but with all the anachronisms of modern day technology, this hopelessly romantic piece sees gay singleton Hart wake up on Valentineís Day, only to become increasingly irritated with love seemingly visible on every corner. As cards, gifts and flowers abound, it would appear that everyone is exchanging gestures of líamour, apart that is for our forever lonesome Harold Lloyd look-alike. But wait, could love be just a step away? Written and directed by Michael Allen Angel and with more players for a short film that what you can throw a casting directors' megaphone at, this beautifully nurtured work is as much a testament to love, as it is a homage to the golden days of the silent era. Yet with a dried plant running gag only paying dividends in the end frame, the end result could prove a shade overlong for some, even if itís hats off to Angel to shooting a gay Cupidís Arrow, silent style.
 starring: Zak Barnett / Hart, Cathy Lind Hayes / Mom and Deborah Van Valkenburgh
 as The Gypsy Woman, amongst a cast of many players.
 official site: www.brokenhartthesilentmovie.com
 ›› check out the promo video.
Celluloid Sexuality - gay. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

 ›› Cake and Sand - Torten im Sand ±

 a short film by Christoph Scheermann
 2010 | 15 mins | Germany
 the cost of keeping love alive.
Cake and Sand by Christoph Scheermann Tim and Julianís relationship would seem to be the envy of many. Yet behind all the smiles and frowns of teaching your partner to drive, lies the reality that their relationship spark is no more. Knowing such, both are determined to re-light the romantic flame, only are their loving efforts to be in vain? Written and directed by Christoph Scheermann, this poignant piece raises the question of when exactly does love die? That Scheermann opts for a dramatic interpretation, goes without saying, even if in doing so he contrasts lush beach photography with a number of scenes that photographically speaking, are just too dark for their own good. That this well played bilingual short is a contemplative work, cannot help but leave you with a series of emotive questions. For is a relationship build on sex guaranteed to survive when you can no longer satisfy the person lying next to you? And what happens to two people who love each other, but who seemingly cannot live together as one? Indeed, just what is the cost of keeping love alive?
 starring: Bartholomew Sammut as Tim and Jan Andreesen as Julian.
 official site: www.fullyflared.com/tortenimsand.html
 available on DVD: as part of the Peccadillo Pictures catalogue - 'Boys on Film 7: Bad Romance' release: 26.September.2011.
 ›› check out the promo video.
Celluloid Sexuality - gay. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 
 And now over to the promotional footage...
2010 IRIS Prize Short Film Montage   Broken Hart   Cake and Sand
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