Iris in the community partnership

In August 2018 UNA Exchange volunteers from Wales and around the world took part in a two-week residential project in Cardiff that sought to raise awareness of the challenges facing members of the LGBT+ community. As part of the UNESCO-affiliated Raising Peace Campaign our volunteers took part in the Iris Prize in the Community, creating a film to promote diversity.

Volunteers filming their short LGBT+ film
Who are Iris in the community?

The Iris Prize awards began in 2007 by The Festivals Company, which is an international LGBT film prize awards which is by/for to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersexual audience. It is also a BAFTA qualifying festival and has been recognised by ‘MovieMaker Magazine’ as one of the best fifty film festivals in the world. The winner of the Iris awards wins £30,000 and gets invited back to the UK to produce another short film.

Iris Mini Film Festival at Cardiff Museum
Iris Mini Film Festival at Cardiff Museum
The Iris in the community workshop day 1

The workshop ran for two weeks which involved creating an LGBT+ short film and various other activities in between, for example, the group had a Lost LGBT tour around Cardiff. In the work camp, there were thirteen volunteers, who came from various countries across Europe.

Day 1:
Volunteers writing their script

During the morning on the first session, the volunteers watched various LGBT+ films with Outreach Facilitator Mark Williams, afterwards the group had a discussion about their thoughts, dislikes/likes about the films.

Later on, Mark and the volunteers discussed their ideas on what type of movie that they would like to create. Members of the group split into small groups to discuss ideas, which were later presented to other members and to Mark. Once an idea was formed, Mark developed a role allocation list and a script writing team. Then in the afternoon, all members who were assorted to roles got together to plan ahead for the film.

Day 2:

On the second day, the volunteers filmed their short film. It was a very busy day, the filming started at 10 and ended at 6! Everyone took part in the filming and some volunteers were in charge of directing the film, such as lightning and camera.

Sara and the directors
Day 3:

The final session was at the Iris mini film festival located in Cardiff Museum. The volunteers saw various LGBT+ films and also watched the film that they had created called ‘The Birthday Party’. The evening was fantastic and the films raised the issues transgender people face daily. Everyone enjoyed the mini film festival and were looking forward to the rest of the weekend volunteering at Pride Cymru.

Volunteers at the Iris Mini Film Festival
We thank everyone who took part in the work camp, you all worked extremely hard and we hope you enjoyed your time volunteering and staying in Cardiff!

Next year in January, the film will be made public as it will be entered in the Iris Community Award Event, in Llandudno! Well done everyone!