Australian film The Wilding came out on top at this year’s Iris Prize, Cardiff’s international gay and lesbian short film festival.
The story of two inmates falling in love in a juvenile detention center beat over 30 entries from countries including Israel, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Norway, Australia and the United States for the £25,000 ($40,255) prize amid a torrent of praise from critics.
Jury chair, Lisa Power, called it ‘wonderfully self-assured’ and ‘a special film which demanded attention’.
‘Every which way we counted the votes and considered our options The Wilding came out on top,’ she added.
David Llewellyn, a member of the prize jury, described writer and director Grant Scicluna’s piece as ‘powerful…moving, romantic, uncompromising and blisteringly violent’.
In a statement, the Iris Prize stated that the award ‘will allow the filmmaker a chance to make a new short film in the UK’, adding it ‘is the only short film prize in the world which allows the winner to make a new film’.
The sold-out festival also honored A Stable for Disabled Horses with the Best UK Short Film award, inviting director Fabio Youniss to be a member of the 2013 jury.
‘This was the runaway UK winner for script, performance and cinematography. We look forward to seeing what film he will direct next,’ said Power.
Xavier Villaverde’s The Sex of the Angels, a story of a bisexual love triangle, picked up the £1,000 prize for Best Feature. It was one of eight of the latest gay and lesbian full feature films premiering for the first time in the UK.
Festival guests included West End star Daniel Boys and Israeli actor Oz Zehavi.
For a full list of winners, visit here.