›› The 2010 IRIS Prize Short Film Festival - Programme 2 of 6. ‹‹
›› on this page: Remember Me in Red | The Queen | Disarm | The Armoire | Tools 4 Fools
the IRIS International Gay and Lesbian Short Film Prize
Born out of the desire to create an annual international short film prize that would recognise, celebrate and promote the gay, lesbian and transgendered moving image, one that would also promote tolerance, acceptance and further understanding of the art of filmmaking itself, the IRIS Prize is now recognised as one of the leading LGBT cinematic events of the year, held right in the heart of Wales.
The 4th edition of the IRIS International Film Festival took place in Cardiff, between the 6th – 9th October, 2010. In an unprecedented move, Peccadillo Pictures thereafter made almost all of the thirty short film nominees available to view online for one month via their Video on Demand service, thereby creating the first ever LGBT short film festival streaming viewing experience.
During this period, UK and Ireland viewers were able to vote for their favourite short film, resulting with Peccadillo Pictures' very own Public Short Film Prize awarded to the best gay and lesbian work with the most votes, together with the offer of a major distribution deal.
The competition as ever featured a mix of styles and narratives, with many a traditional theme no-where to be found. Instead on offer were shorts with a twist in their tale, a poignant political message to be found or stories in which few, if any words were spoken, leaving a moving score to emotionally convey the unspoken feelings of its players.
The following are summary reviews to each of the thirty works aired, listed in the order of the six programmes in which they were VOD presented, with promotional footage featured at the bottom of the page. Enjoy.
›› see also IRIS [ Programme 1 ]  [ Programme 3 ]  [ Programme 4 ]  [ Programme 5 ]  [ Programme 6 ]

 ›› Remember Me in Red ±

 a short film by Hector Ceballos
 2010 | 15 mins | US
 the raw emotions of grief and loss, transgender style.
Remember Me in Red by Hector Ceballos This poignant piece tells the story of transgendered Fidelia; a big girl with a big heart who shocked by the sudden death of her best friend Alma Flora, wishes to do the decent thing and bury her, in her favourite red dress. What Fidelia didn’t anticipate however, was the unexpected arrival of Alma Flora’s disapproving parents, who having disowned their son Alejandro years ago, now wish to do the right thing and oversee the funeral arrangements of their child. Only what’s right in burying a transgendered girl, as a man? Based in the latino communities of Los Angeles, this beautifully rendered work packs an emotional punch by tapping into the raw emotions of grief and loss. In doing so, writer and director Hector Ceballos raises Alma Flora from the dead, surreal style, so as to have her ghostly presence converse with her soul sister Fidelia. The result is a work that speaks volumes about friendship, love and of saying a tearful farewell to a loved one, in the sexuality of their choosing.
 starring: Mariana Marroquin / Fidelia, Maria Roman / Alma Flora, Angel Zermen / Flaco,
 Tina D'Marco / Mrs Ramos, Mario Z Alvarez / Mr Ramos, Kenya Sandoval / Linda,
 Alex Castillo / Eduardo Serra and with Executive Producer
 Moises Zamora as the Priest.
 official site: remembermeinred.com
Celluloid Sexuality - transgender. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

 ›› The Queen ±

 a short film by Christina Choe
 2009 | 7 mins | US
 a sweet and tender prom night for the boys.
The Queen by Christina Choe This bilingual piece tells the story of Korean-American loner Bobby; a reclusive high school student who works part-time in the family run dry cleaners. Clearly bored by the business, his attempts to shut shop early for the day are disrupted by a Prom Queen’s desperate plead to have her dress serviced in time for the big night. Only who’s the real prom queen here? Told deliciously tongue-in-cheek fashion and complete with the young girls’ cute boyfriend on hand to add to the gay fantasy element of the piece, here writer and director Christina Choe delights in presenting a mirror ball styled prom night for the boys. Sweet and tender as they come, kind of goes without saying.
 starring: Sean Tarjyoto / Bobby, Erika Helen Smith / Prom Queen, Tamir Kapelian /
 The Boyfriend and with Kay Choe as Bobby's Mother.
 ›› check out the promo video.
Celluloid Sexuality - gay. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 

 ›› Disarm ±

 a short film by Nathan Keene
 2009 | 17 mins | Australia
 just what is a real man meant to be?
Disarm by Nathan Keene Affectionately known as Room 109, this dialogue driven short tells of two online strangers who arrange to meet for a night of man sex. Only when a battle of who’s gonna be on top turns into a kick out styled standoff, raised voices result in two-way conversation of the like that neither of the men has engaged in for quite some time. In short, this is a work in which emotions, rather than bodies, are laid bare, that of a circular piece in which the only fu*kin’ going on, is courtesy of a porn video and the expletive laden narrative. Yet in between all the f’s and c’s lies a meaningful conversation, as talk of boyfriends, relationships and sex, gives rise to the issue of just what is a real man meant to be? That both men worked on perfecting their straight acting personas so as to mask their gay insecurities, one by learning how to fight and the other by hiding a lisp, speaks volumes on homophobia, society itself, if not the need felt by many to cover up anything that is not seen as being manly enough. A telling work from down under.
 starring: David Kinsman as The Younger Man and Taris Tyler as The Older Man.
 ›› check out the promo video.
Celluloid Sexuality - gay. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

 ›› The Armoire ±

 a short film by Jamie Travis
 2009 | 22 mins | Canada
 a tale of imaginary friends and psychological demons.
The Armoire by Jamie Travis In this surreal short, writer and director Jamie Travis concludes his trilogy of works on The Saddest Children in the World, in a piece that will have you guessing all the way to the end. And perhaps even after. For choirboys Aaron and Tony are close friends, with Tony’s overnight stays with Aaron often giving rise to a game of hide and seek. Only when Tony fails to reappear long after the count of ten, his parents’ concerns result in a full scale police and media search for their missing child. Yet the secret of Tony’s disappearance lies hidden away in Aaron’s head and a child psychologist who could hold the hypnotic key to unlocking his mind, if not the mysterious armoire in his room. Beautifully executed, this bewildering short has a lot going for it, not least of which is the remarkably natural performance from William Cuddy in the lead role. Yet with the sole gay visibility being Aaron’s liking for picturing his step-father and substitute teacher naked, his burgeoning sexuality is all but reduced to a homo subplot. For this is a tale of imaginary friends and psychological demons. It is one that Travis’ revels in, cranking up the eerie tension backward fashion, right through to its shocking conclusion. The result is a work that is as perplexing, as it is so lovingly rendered.
 starring: William Cuddy / Aaron, Ricardo Hoyos / Tony, Tammy Isbell / Gwen, David Keeley / Harry, Maggie Huculak / Dr Mendoza,
 Dennis James / Detective Lee, Penelope Corrin / Lea Martell, Lois McDonald / Mrs Day, Rebecca Auerbach / Ms Penner,
 Craig Brown / Deputy Smith, Catherine Fitch / Heather and Mathew Lyons as Rick.
 official site: thearmoire.ca
 ›› check out the promo video.
Celluloid Sexuality - gay, covert style. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

 ›› Tools 4 Fools ±

 a short film by Kate Brandt
 2009 | 8 mins | US
 the outrageous story of recycling gone mad.
Tools 4 Fools by Kate Brandt What’s a sexy chick supposed to do when your ex leaves you with a pile of used dildos in the cupboard? Throw them out, or trade them in for cash at Tools 4 Fools? For this is the outrageous story of recycling gone mad, that of an infomercial for refurbished goods of the pleasurable kind. Told deliciously tongue-in-cheek style, Julie Goldman shines as the star of the show; a girl into providing the tools of the trade at rock bottom prices, namely satisfaction guaranteed for those who are just "too broke to poke." Only how many dildo jokes can you cram into eight minutes? Well more than what you may think, in this ludicrously OTT lesbian short, one that marks the first Gay Celluloid review for the girls, all thanks to the 2010 IRIS Prize short films review service. How cool is that?
 starring: Julie Goldman as The Huckster, with Wyatt Gray / Baby Dyke, Frankie Palacios / Adorable Girlfriend, Bridgette Rouletgregg /
 Dildoland Cashier, Hyla Matthews / Wealthy Lesbian, Leslie Lange / Wealthy Lesbian, Wendy Halnes / Dyke Dumpee,
 Malle Flanagan / Dyke Dumper, Danny Hill / Crying Drag Queen, Willam Belli / Blonde Drag Queen
 and Alexandra LeMosle as Marie Antoinette, amongst a cast of many players.
Celluloid Sexuality - lesbian. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 
 And now over to the promotional footage...
   
The Queen   2010 IRIS Prize Short Film Montage   The Armoire
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