S4C to broadcast LGBT film as part of Iris Festival


S4C will premiere the short, captivating film Afiach this weekend as part of the Iris Prize Festival 2016 currently being held in Cardiff.

The iris Prize Festival 2016 provides a platform for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans films and is held between 13 and 17 October.

The film is broadcast on Saturday, 15 October at 10:30pm and will be available on catch up on or BBC iPlayer. and is a product of Straeon Iris (Iris Tales), a new movie scheme to encourage more LGBT stories for the screen in Welsh. The scheme is a partnership between the Iris Prize, S4C, Film and BFI NET.WORK Cymru Wales.

The Afiach story follows a young lesbian couple who are waiting on a railway platform for the arrival of a train as they reflect on mortality and face death head on.

The film was written by playwright Bethan Marlow. Among many other productions, Bethan came to prominence with the interactive drama Sgint, a collaboration between Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and Sherman Theatre. Bethan was mentored through a scripting scheme called The Laboratory, which is supported by S4C, Arts Council of Wales, Cymru Wales Film and BFI NET.WORK.

The director Carys Lewis is originally from Wales, but now lives in Toronto, Canada. She has extensive experience in producing, directing and acting in theatre and film.

Gwawr Martha Lloyd, S4C Commissioner, Drama said: "I very much look forward to seeing it on the big screen as part of the Iris Prize Festival, and hear a wider audience response when it is shown on S4C. The first year of the Straeon Iris project was an opportunity to collaborate with the writer, director and talented production team to create a completely original and moving film. The project encourages activity in writing in the Welsh language and the opportunity to see more original LGBT stories on our screens in Welsh."

Berwyn Rowlands, Iris Prize Director said: "I can’t think of a better way of marking the first 10 years of Iris Festival than having the opportunity to share with the world a new LGBT film in Welsh.

Berwyn continued: “Afiach is the first film from the Straeon Iris scheme, a joint project with S4C, BFI and Film NET.Work Cymru Wales, to develop LGBT content in Welsh. The author of the film, Bethan Marlow, has created a concise piece of work that puts the story of a Welsh lesbian couple on the screen. Seeing and hearing a Welsh-language film alongside work in German, French and of course English is something special."

Notes for Editors:

Iris Prize: Cardiff’s International LGBT Short Film Prize is supported by The Michael Bishop Foundation and continues to be the only LGBT short film prize in the world which allows the winner to make a new film. Iris is what film makers need – funding, support and guidance. The winner receives £30,000 to make their next short film in the UK.

The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation, Welsh Government, BFI, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Pinewood Studios Group, Cardiff University, Gorilla Group, Cineworld, Chapter, Gay Star News, Pride Cymru.

The previous winners are Dee Rees (US) – 2007, Till Kleinert (Germany) – 2008, Eldar Rapaport (Israel/US) – 2009, Magnus Mork (Norway) – 2010, Daniel Ribeiro (Brazil) – 2011, Grant Scicluna (Australia) – 2012, Tim Marshall (Australia) – 2013, Brendon McDonall (Australia) -2014, and Arkasha Stevenson (US) - 2015.

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