Swedish film Mother Knows Best announced as winner of 2017 Iris Prize

This year's Iris Film Winners announced at carnival celebration in Cardiff


Above: Mother Knows Best by Mikael Bundsen



Mother Knows Best (Mamma Vet Bäst) directed by Swedish filmmaker Mikael Bundsen has been announced as the winner of the 2017 Iris Prize, Cardiff’s International LGBT Short Film Prize. The £30,000 prize will allow Bundsen to make a new short film in Wales which will become the tenth Iris production.


The winners were announced at the Iris Carnival on Sunday, marking the culmination of six days of film screenings, talks and forums. The event also included a programme of live music, with a special guest appearance by British soul singer Heather Small.


International Jury Chair Brian Robinson said: “Mother Knows Best is a brilliantly scripted and intense short film which uses a great economy of shots to tell a powerful and beautifully acted, universal story in which the realities of a young gay man’s different relationships with his parents are played out.”


Special commendations also went to Odd Job Man and The Mess He Made.



We Love Moses directed by Dionne Edwards, was also announced as Best British Short. Katie White, who chaired the jury for Best British Short, said of the film:


“We Love Moses is a vividly realised tale of curiosity, secrecy and regret. One of its most refreshing aspects is the film’s mediation through the eyes of a young black girl, a perspective seldom foregrounded in cinema. Avoiding clichés of childhood innocence and naïveté, Edwards works more in the vein of a filmmaker like Catherine Breillat, allowing girlhood to be a space of sexual curiosity and wry observation.”


Sponsored by Attitude and DIVA magazines, the award for Best Performance in a Male Role went to Miles Szanto for Teenage Kicks and the award for Best Performance in a Female Role to Fawzia Mirza for Signature Move. Winners were announced by Matt Cain, editor of Attitude, and Carrie Lyell, editor of DIVA magazine.


Commenting later, the jury added: “Miles Szanto’s performance was amazing. The juxtaposition between physical strength and emotional vulnerability was mesmerising. We’re looking forward to watching his movie career with great anticipation.


“Fawzia Mirza came across as naturally funny, with impeccable comedy timing. Her performance challenges the public perception of what it’s like to be a young Pakistani, Muslim lesbian.”


The Iris Prize Youth Award, sponsored by Cardiff University, went to Lily, directed by Graham Cantwell from Ireland. The votes were cast by over 100 students at the Iris Prize Education day and over 60 young people at the Pride Cymru Youth Festival.


The award was presented by Youth Council representatives Alex Jones and Eve Limbrick, who said: “Lily was inspirational, and if it’s played in schools and universities it will change behaviours. Winning this award is such an important part of this year’s festival.”


The Iris Prize is a six-day celebration of LGBT film in Cardiff, including screenings of 35 international short films competing for the Iris Prize and 15 Best British Short nominees, as well as feature films, parties, talks, an education day and much more. Iris continues to be the only LGBT short film prize in the world which allows the winner to make a new film.





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