›› The 2010 IRIS Prize Short Film Festival - Programme 6 of 6. ‹‹
›› on this page: The Samaritan | Tech Support | The Single Mother | Professor Godoy | Organism | Engayging Lives
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. Enjoy.
›› see also IRIS [ Programme 1 ]  [ Programme 2 ]  [ Programme 3 ]  [ Programme 4 ]  [ Programme 5 ]

 ›› The Samaritan / 2010 IRIS Prize Winner ±

 a short film by Magnus Mork
 2010 | 29 mins | Norway
 a good Samaritan, or perhaps not?
The Samaritan by Magnus Mork In this trilingual, but mainly English work, writer and director Magnus Mork weaves a soulful story around the emotive themes of use and abuse, if not trust and betrayal, along the way skilfully blending his profound narrative with the basic human need for company. For Knut is a lonely, middle aged homosexual in need of friendship, a wish that comes his way courtesy of an accidental hit but no run, one that results with Knut taking wounded Mirza into his home, namely an illegal immigrant in search of food, shelter and work. Both men have desires. Yet will their union be the answer to their individual needs? For that is the issue at hand here, one of civil union, given Mork has Knut offering marriage to Mirza as a means of fulfilling his desire for a long-term companion and Mirza’s need to stay legally in Norway. Only who’s using who here? Winner of the coveted 2010 IRIS Prize, Mork surprisingly opts for an ending that I dare say is not going to please those who like neat and tidy conclusions. Rather the ambiguous end reel will leave many questioning as to why Knut acted the way he did, that of a good Samaritan, or perhaps not?
 starring: Terje Tjøme Mossige as Knut and Sharam Khalifeh as Mirza.
Celluloid Sexuality - gay. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

 ›› Tech Support ±

 a short film by Erik Gernand
 2009 | 9 mins | US
 lesbian love and romance, support style.
Tech Support by Erik Gernand Have you ever had to contact technical support for help? Well in this comical short, a young girl encounters the problems of trying to get through to an IT wizard who could provide her with some much needed laptop assistance. Only in what seems like the longest support call in history, this troubled soul receives more than just words of advice, courtesy of a female operator determined to provide her with satisfaction and in more ways, than just one. For could love be just a byte away or is it a case of crossed wires? Jointly written by director Erik Gernand and Jenny Hagel who here doubles as the girl in urgent need of support, this gem of a short whilst coming undone somewhat in its cinematic middle eighth, nevertheless remains a pure delight for anyone who has experienced first hand the riggers of getting through to an understaffed press one for this, press two to wait support line. It’s also a lot of fun, as lesbian love and romance arrive support style. Need more be said?
FREEVIEW courtesy of vimeo.com/18096544.

Festival screenings include: Iris Prize UK / Shortlist, Hamburg Queer Film / Best Lesbian Short, Pittsburgh Lesbian and Gay Film Festival / Audience Award.

 starring: Jenny Hagel, featuring Niki Lindgren and Amy Phillips as the Operator Recorded Voice
 with Noah Gregoropoulos, Melissa Cathcart, Jay Olson, Joshua Hanson, Carrie Barrett,
 Marla Caceres and Neal Dandade as the Global Operators.
 see also: jennyhagel.wordpress.com
Celluloid Sexuality - lesbian. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

 ›› The Single Mother ±

 a short film by Ryan Logan
 2009 | 6 mins | US
 singleton and parenthood, silent style.
The Single Mother by Ryan Logan Written and directed by Ryan Logan, this big hearted short tells the story of a sweet transvestite who yearns for a family of her own. Only when her sexual status comes between singleton and parenthood, desperate times see her resort to increasingly desperate measures to become the mother of all mothers. Produced and filmed in Salt Lake City, this short like the Michael Allen Angel piece Broken Hart is delivered silent movie style. Along the way however, Logan delights in a series of surreal carton styled dream sequences that wonderfully illustrate this girls' state of mind, determined as-she-is to secure the nuclear family of her dreams, whatever the price. Only in searching for a son, perhaps this Mommie Dearest has been looking in the wrong places, all along. I’ll say no more.
 starring: Jason Rickenbach / The Single Mother, Nedsin Cordre / The Single Father, Michael Britton /
 The Single Son, Karl Bayerlein / Adoption Counselor, Cherine Simonsen / Train Mother
 and Kaden Simonsen as the Train Baby, amongst a cast of many players.
 official site: www.thesinglemotherfilm.com
Celluloid Sexuality - transgender. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 

 ›› Professor Godoy ±

 a short film by Gui Ashcar
 2009 | 14 mins | Brazil
 a captivating cinematic equation of love.
Professor Godoy by Gui Ashcar Have you ever got bored with life, yet somehow cannot seem able to break free from the security of a repetitious routine? Well in this telling short Professor Godoy (Roney Facchini) has for the past twenty-five years of his life been teaching applied mathematics to a differing set of faces at a private high school. Clearly bored by an existence that revolves around variation methods, differential equations and applied probability, this is a man who knows all about rules, only to be too afraid to break his own set of controls. That is until senior student Felipe (Kauê Telloli) dares to show him the equation of love.

Beautifully written and directed by Gui Ashcar and complete with an overtly gay dream sequence, this short film captivates you with the story of an elderly teacher who has dedicated his life to his work, in the hope that his students will one day emerge more knowledgeable in his field, than what he is - but at a cost; that of the enjoyment of life itself. Well aware of the boundaries between the two; both professional and age, he refuses to play the cat and mouse game that Felipe, ever the cock-tease, would love him to engage in.

For it is that boundary that this work plays with; that of a line that must never be crossed. Yet at the same time, Felipe has awoken a side to the Professor long since suppressed, as this short comes to question just who is the pupil and the teacher when it comes to learning lessons about life, about love? Simply wondrous.
Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

 ›› Organism ±

 a short film by Nina Reyes Rosenberg
 2009 | 13 mins | US
 lesbian relationship blues, unsure of love style.
Organism by Nina Reyes Rosenberg Written and directed by Nina Reyes Rosenberg, this is in essence the story of the off / on relationship of high school lovers Carmen and Jen. It is a work told out of sequence, with a seven months later heading making you question exactly what is now and what was then. Yet into a mix that is already perplexing, Rosenberg adds a dream sequence, an insert that is as surreal, as it is bloody. Thankfully Rosenberg does not mask the sexuality of her piece, proudly flying the lesbian flag from the start, even in part porno video fashion, in a short film that places the spotlight on relationship blues, of the unsure of love style. Ah, c'est la vie.
 starring: Samantha Greiff as Carmen and Ji Young as Jen,
 with: Leo Khuh-Chan Townsell, Joe Rocha and Neelo Norry as the Punks,
 Naima Woods, Christine Marquet and Estelle Grosso as the Girls,
 amongst a cast of many players.
Celluloid Sexuality - lesbian. 
Nudity - porno video fashion. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 

 ›› Engayging Lives ±

 a short film by Shruti Rao
 2010 | 26 mins | India
 the diverse lives of four gay men living in Mumbai.
Engayging Lives by Shruti Rao As the concluding title to Gay Celluloid's summary reviews of the thirty 2010 IRIS Prize nominees, this work equates to the one that got away, given I have still to view this short film. For the sake of completeness and from what I am aware, this documentary explored the lives of four gay men living in Mumbai. Namely the life and times of a composer, an Haute Couture designer, a NGO employee, to the political voice of a young gay activist. The result by all accounts is a piece that illustrated the diverse classes, cultures and social backgrounds of the contemporary gay urban landscape of Mumbai. Screener anyone?
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