Organisers of the Iris Prize Festival have confirmed that the Cardiff based LGBT film festival has adopted a rugby theme for their opening night to coincide with the Rugby World Cup. Supported by the Welsh Rugby Union, who allowed the festival team to film their cinema advert at the Millennium Stadium, the 2015 festival will open with the rugby documentary Scrum.
Directed by Australian film maker Poppy Stockell (pictured left), who will be in Cardiff for the screening, the documentary focuses on the 2014 gay rugby world cup – The Bingham Cup.
“I’m thrilled that Scrum has been selected to open the 2015 Iris Prize Festival,” said Scrum’s director Poppy Stockell.
“Wales is known throughout the world as a rugby loving nation and I just can’t wait to see what they think of the film. Gareth Thomas has already made a huge contribution as the first openly gay rugby union player. Coupled with the pioneering work of out gay ref Nigel Owen, you get the impression Wales is a progressive country,” she added.
“If this was not enough we also have the added thrill of screening during the Rugby World Cup – I’m obsessed with hearing the Welsh crowds sing and hoping to get a chance to see some games, especially the Ireland v France match on the closing night of the Iris Festival,” she concluded.
Festival Director and feature film programmer, Berwyn Rowlands says, “As the eyes of the world focus on the 2015 Rugby World Cup, I’m delighted to open the 2015 festival with this powerful documentary which is about more than just rugby. This is the first time for a doc to open Iris and it confirms Poppy’s talents as a film maker who can tell a story.”
The full feature programme includes 14 amazing feature films, representing the very best of LGBT film making, including: Award winning Fourth Man Out, (US) director Andrew Nackman will be attending the screening; lesbian comedy Floating (Germany) director Julia Kaiser is also scheduled to be in Cardiff for the festival and Darker Than Midnight (Italy) whose director Sebastiano Riso is also visiting Iris to introduce his film.
“I honestly believe we have this year the best of the best. Many of the films in this year’s programme arrive in Cardiff with awards for best film, best performance from festivals all over the world. One of them will leave Cardiff with the Iris Prize Best Feature Award and two awards for performances in a feature will also be distributed. I think the juries have a difficult task ahead of them,” said Berwyn Rowlands.