Review: Iris Prize Festival 2013 - Day One @ Chapter
With the cold now coming on, Cardiff for a few days becomes even more fabulous with its now highly regarded LGBT+ film festival, The Iris Prize Festival.
We get a little taste of Hollywood or even Cannes and a keen audience was all it took for this to be a great opening night.
And so to kick us off was last year’s winner was Grant Scicluna from Australia and his short film, The Wilding in Cinema 2. Two boys sharing a cell in a young persons detention centre are in love. The stiflingly grim nature of the prison amounts to great heartbreak and much violence. This was a sobering film, but the realisation of love can be found anywhere was also inspiring. Brutal and tender, upsetting and loving. I can see why this won last year.
In the post-show discussion hosted by patron Andrew Pierce, Scicluna spoke of his difficulties in trying to get into the Melbourne rehabilitation centre for young people. He was denied access since he was regarded as ‘Media’ and therefore would put a bad light on such intuitions. So he obtained peoples stories by other means and discovered an old disused prison that was perfect. He said it cost about A$100,000 to make (around £75,000), was shot on classic 16mm film and took just five days to shoot.
He most amusingly found out he had won the award by a Tweet. The £25,000 prize money from last year has gone on Hurt’s Rescue made in Wales, set on Garth Hill, no less. His new feature film has also attracted heaps of attention and will feature Hugo Weaving. Speaking to him afterwards, we may at theSprout.co.uk be lucky enough to get an interview with this lovely guy. Let Weeping Tudor do his magicâ€¦
After some drinks, speakers and a crazy drag act, we packed into Cinema 1 for the main presentation. Here was the screening of Burger by Magnus Monk and Cupcakes by Eytan Fox. The first was filmed in Cardiff in an actual burger bar. This was Cardiff on any given Friday night with its realistic portrayals of gays and straights, females friends and other colourful characters. When certain chav characters emerge into this place, I expected a homophobic fight would be unleashed. Thankfully this doesn’t happen, only one teasing one of the gay characters, who in return gets his own back on him. Yet a passing remark by this gay character about the IRA and Northern Ireland was enough to make this audience gasp and whistle in disbelief. This work had moments to focus on certain peoples faces, even in the brief timescale of the film. It was imitate and bitingly realistic.
Keeping the food theme going, Cupcakes was our feature and what a feature! This Israeli comedy sees a group of friends who love a Eurovision-type show, finding themselves to be the next group to represent their country the following year. But can they make it to Paris for the show? The world here only seems to think in the goggles of Eurovision. The actress playing the Israeli Culture Secretary stole the show with snobbishness and an over zealous attitude for such an unserious subject. This made for hilarious viewing and proof that a subtitled film can be just as funny as any other film. The audience roared with laughter and found themselves in the presence of a worthy nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars next year.
This opening night has been a resounding success and I simply can’t wait to see more and as much as I can!
The Wilding Rating: 7/10
Burger Rating: 9/10
Overall Rating: 8/10
Photo Credit: Iris Prize