Iris Prize Documentary Film Finance Fund

Written by on 21st February 2024

On Tuesday (13 February, 2024), the organisers of the Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival announced that the third round of the Iris Prize Documentary Film Finance Fund had opened. The fund is sponsored by OUTtv and Aberystwyth University.

The Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival established the fund (up to £20,000) to finance documentary films (running time: 22/25 minutes or 40 minutes) produced by emerging UK- based LGBTQ+ filmmakers.

The application process is now open and will be run by the Iris Prize team headed by Berwyn Rowlands (Festival Director) and Angela Clarke (BAFTA-nominated documentary filmmaker).

Individuals living in the UK can apply, and the fund is interested in supporting filmmakers who identify as part of communities that are underrepresented in the film industry, including, but not limited to, black, Asian, and minority ethnic people, and women.

The first Documentary Film Finance Fund award was made in 2022 to Bristol-based Somina Fombo. Some Girls Hate Dresses, which had its global streaming premiere on OUTtv Media Global in January 2024, took a nostalgic look into the black British tomboys from the 1990s.

The second award was made to London-based Ira Putilova. Their film will tell the story of four members of a queer Muay Thai club in London, focusing on confronting rising hate crime by teaching martial arts to queer, trans and non-binary people and running self-defence classes for their community.

Angela Clarke, Iris Prize said:

“We are delighted to announce that our third round of Documentary Film Finance Funding is open, and we look forward to receiving applications from across the UK.  This is a fantastic opportunity for UK-based documentary filmmakers with LGBTQ+ stories to share. For those filmmakers who wish to know more about the fund, and how it works, please join us on Zoom on 29 February at 5pm, where we can answer your questions.”

Philip Webb, Chief Operating Officer of OUTtv Media Global, said:

“The Iris Prize Documentary Film Finance Fund is a vital platform that gives gifted LGBTQ+ documentary makers in the UK the support needed to be able to tell their stories authentically and bring their ideas to life.  Every year we are blown away by the incredible filmmaking coming from its recipients and we are proud to continue to support an initiative that nurtures emerging talent in our community. We look forward to introducing new creators and projects to our audiences following the competition.”

Key dates:

Tuesday 13 February, 2024
Open the call for applications.

Thursday 29 February, 2024
Zoom call with Angela Clarke and Grant Vidgen for interested filmmakers

Sunday 31 March, 2024
Last date for the receipt of applications.

April 2024
Shortlisting process.

Thursday 2 May, 2024
Shortlist announced. Between three and six projects maximum.

June/July 2024
Summer School in Aberystwyth (TBC) with support of the Theatre Film and Television Department at Aberystwyth University.

August/September 2024
Announce the selected project commission.

Further details about the fund can be found here: Documentary Film Financing Fund – Iris Prize


Iris Prize will return this year: Tuesday 8 October – Sunday 13 October 2024.

The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation; Creative Wales, a Welsh Government agency that supports the creative sectors in Wales; the BFI awarding funds from The National Lottery; Ffilm Cymru Wales; Film4; University of South Wales; Cardiff University; Co-op Respect; Bad Wolf; S4C; Gorilla Group; Peccadillo Pictures; Pinewood Studios; Attitude Magazine; Diva Magazine; The Ministry Venues; Transport for Wales; Stadium Plaza; FROOT and Aberystwyth University. The festival also works in partnership with BAFTA Cymru, Pride Cymru and Stonewall Cymru.

Current track