›› The 2010 IRIS Prize Short Film Festival - Programme 5 of 6. ‹‹
›› on this page: You Can’t Curry Love | Watch Over Me | Mosa | Bombshell
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 – 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, together with promotional footage featured at the bottom of the page, as where applicable. Enjoy.
›› see also IRIS [ Programme 1 ]  [ Programme 2 ]  [ Programme 3 ]  [ Programme 4 ]  [ Programme 6 ]

 ›› You Can't Curry Love ±

 a short film by Reid Waterer
 2009 | 23 mins | US
 a Bollywood styled romantic delight.
You Can't Curry Love by Reid Waterer Playing like a fully fledged feature, this gay romantic comedy is but a lush cinematic ode to love from writer and director Reid Waterer.

It tells the story of Vikas (Ashwin Gore); a London based, if Australian born Indian who has the hots for his boss Thom (Russell Reynolds); namely a Scotsman with a-liking for dropping gay themed double entendres into the conversation, only to hide behind the conformity of his forthcoming marriage when it comes to matters of the homosexual heart. Yet when Vikas is sent to their Indian office, it's Vikas' heart that's taken aback, having been greeted by a hotel receptionist who's more than happy to show him the tourist sights and a lot more besides. Only with his business trip, now turned holiday romance rapidly drawing to a close, Vikas must decide between returning home to the manly embrace of his closeted boss, or to stay in India with Sunil (Rakshak Sahni); aka, the man of his dreams. Just what's a boy to do?

In a work that cannot help but bring a smile to your face, here Waterer notably takes time out from delivering a series of one-liners to shine the spotlight on a myriad of issues ranging from the Indian caste system, to the openness of men holding hands in public, right down to the Bollywood approach to gay visibility itself. Yet it's the pressure of having to be a dutiful - think straight son, let alone the rights or rather lack of them of the transgendered 'hijra' community that strikes a chord here, in a visual mix in which a series of gentle, loving and frequently tactile moments between the two leads act as a celluloid counterweight to the noticeable void of man-on-man lip-service, even if the short itself is gloriously gay to the core.

Sure, it's also a bit corny in parts, but that's all part of the boy-meets-boy charm of the piece, complete with and as to be expected, some Bollywood styled dancing come close of play, let alone the entire cast playing the story for all its worth and in particular the Gore / Sahni pairing who excel as the East meets West lovers of the story. A pure romantic delight.

 starring: Ashwin Gore / Vikas, Rakshak Sahni / Sunil, Russell Reynolds / Thom,
 Upasana Beharee / Amrita, Rajan Velu / Hijra and William Vega as The Swimmer.
Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

 ›› Watch Over Me - Shmor Alai / 2010 IRIS Prize Honourable Mention ±

 a short film by Mysh Rozanov
 2010 | 14 mins | Israel
 a rollercoaster ride of twist in the tale thrills.
Watch Over Me by Mysh Rozanov From the pen and directorial chair of Mysh Rozanov comes this Israeli short with a difference. It tells the story of Eitan; a soldier enlisted in an elite army unit. Close to completing his final training, Eitan is taken out by his team mates, only for their drinking session to be cut short upon the arrival of Shahar; an openly gay man busy distributing leaflets for a night of Tel Aviv styled celebration. It is a situation that Eitan’s superior turns to his advantage, challenging Eitan to queer bash Shahar, only to discover that Eitan harbours homosexual yearnings, rushing instead to the protection of Shahar and in the process a lover’s kiss along a moonlit beach. Only has Eitan still got what it takes to earn his stripes? Produced with the support of the Tel Aviv University Trust in Great Britain, this beautifully executed piece sees Rozanov delight in planting so many clues, both visually and narratively, that the closing revelation is all but telegraphed from the onset. Or is it? Given it depends on how you view this work, one that is played for all its worth by the cast, who like the director are united in providing a rollercoaster ride of twist in the tale thrills. Little surprise that this well played short went on to receive an honourable mention by the IRIS Jury, for the work from and in the words of Rebecca Mathews "an exceptionally promising and visionary filmmaker." Protect me from what I want, indeed!
 starring: Guy Kapulnik / Eitan, Davidi Hoffman / Shahar, Raz Weiner / Re'a,
 Omri Tessler / Ze'evi and Zvika Fohrman as Artzi, Commanding Officer.
›› available as part of the PECCADILLO PICTURES catalogue: Boys on Film 7: Bad Romance release: 26.September.2011.
Celluloid Sexuality - gay. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

 ›› Mosa / 2010 IRIS Prize Best UK Short Film ±

 a short film by Ana Moreno
 2010 | 15 mins | UK
 a powerful short on a horrific real life practice.
Mosa by Ana Moreno Some short films linger with you long after their end credits have rolled. Some, like Andrew Steggall’s political piece To the Marriage of True Minds relate a narrative that by its very nature, makes for a moving, if poignant experience. Well this is another fine example. It is a work that tells the emotional story of Mosa; a young lesbian living in South Africa who is subjected to corrective rape in the full knowledge of her mother, as a means to supposedly cure her homosexual nature. Only when a photographer offers Mosa the opportunity to start life afresh in England as a model, a photo shoot vividly brings back memories that are still, all too raw. Winner of the Best UK Short Film award at the 2010 IRIS Prize Festival, this disturbing work from the pen of Victoria Pilkington sees director Ana Moreno shine the spotlight on a brutal practice that sadly, is all too common. It is a work whose solid foundations speak of possible feature length development, that of a compelling story that needs to be told. A powerful short, on a horrific real life experience for all too many African women.
 starring: Isaura Barbe-Brown / Mosa, Jordan Page / Alice, Eric Kolelas / Abe, Marva Alexander / Mother,
 Diana Yekinni / Odele, Darren Clarke / Man #1, Ty Bankinson / Man #2 and Jerome Prince as Chris.
 also screened as part of the 24th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival March 2010.
Celluloid Sexuality - lesbian. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

 ›› Bombshell ±

 a short film by Kim Farrant
 2009 | 15 mins | Australia
 unspoken facts, family reactions, Aussie style.
Bombshell by Kim Farrant George and Yanni are your stereotypical macho Aussie Greek brothers, united in their liking for sport, their love and here think leer for women, let alone their bigoted attitude to the sexual diversity of life. Oh and they’re also living with the fact that their parents have recently gone their separate ways. But that doesn’t stop both sons loving them back in return. Only is their love for their father set to continue, when a brutal beating results with a previously unseen side of his nature being revealed? Jointly written by Anthony Johnsen and director Kim Farrant, this marks a tale without a twist, given the bombshell styled revelation on offer, is all but obvious. Thankfully this family reaction piece is well played throughout, even if it leaves a number of potential themes, if not twists unexplored, preferring instead to emphasise the macho image of the Australian male though an expletive laden narrative. It is a work dominated by the central performances of Paul Pantano as Yanni and Ashley Lyons as George, a pair of machismo bros who are given a sexual reality check as to the unspoken facts for their parents’ separation. As to whether they still love their father thereafter or couldn’t give a Four X about him, well that would be saying. Enough said.
 starring: Paul Pantano / Yanni, Ashley Lyons / George, Tony Nickolopolis / Dimitri, Zoe Carides /
 Toula, with Yael Stone / Girl in Pub, Sarah Grant / Lady in Lift, Johnny Williams / Queen,
 Jeremy Davies / Policeman and Victoria Young as a Nurse.
 cameo appearance by co-writer Anthony Johnsen as a Gay Man.
Celluloid Sexuality - gay. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 
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