The Iris Prize Festival, an international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender short film festival based out of the United Kingdom, has released a film montage of the 30 short films up for consideration at this year's competition.
Established in 2007 by The Festivals Company, the Iris Prize is judged annually by an international panel of artists and filmmakers with an awareness and investment in LGBT issues.
The unique aspect of the Iris Prize is that it encourages the winner to keep creating. That is, it is the only award for a short film in the world the enables the recipient to make another film. According to the festival's website, "Iris is more than just a trophy that gathers dust or a certificate that yellows on the wall. Iris is what film makers need -- funding, support and guidance."
This year's Iris Prize will take place Oct. 9-13 in Cardif, the capitol of Wales. For tickets and scheduling information visit the festival's website.
Also, check out the montage of this year's nominated films above, as well as the trailer for last year's winner below, titled "The Wilding" by Australia's Grant Scicluna.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/SteveDenver"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://i.huffpost.com/profiles/324124-tiny.png?20110821233759" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/SteveDenver">SteveDenver</a>:<br />This film was hailed as a "mainstream gay romance" for its joyously real depiction of two men who meet, converse, connect and couple for a weekend. One of them is leaving for school and it's clear there is no future to the relationship, but that doesn't stop an intense weekend bonding. Favorite line: "When I came out to my parents, I told them 'nurture' OR 'nature,' it's your fault I'm gay."
'Paris Is Burning'
Shot in the mid-to-late 1980s, this <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100332" target="_hplink">1990 documentary chronicles</a> the "Golden Age" of ball culture of New York City, and the black, Latino, gay and transgender communities involved in it.
'The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert'
This <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109045" target="_hplink">1994 comedy-drama</a> follows two drag queens and a trans woman as they travel across the Australian Outback in a tour bus that they have dubbed "Priscilla." <em>Correction: An earlier version of this slideshow misidentified the characters in the film. This has been corrected.</em>
Jonathan Lisecki's indie movie about what happens a girl and her gay best friend decide to have a baby together, while still trying to find love in New York. One of the best gay-themed films to come out in years
Set against the tumultuous 1970s, this <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1013753" target="_hplink">2008 American biographical film</a> follows the story of Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) and his struggles as a gay American activist who became California's first openly gay elected official. Required watching for anyone celebrating Pride this year.
A secret romance that develops between Zach--an art student who has returned home to tend to his family--and his friend's older brother forces Zach to get his priorities in order in <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0942384" target="_hplink">this 2007 drama</a>.
Part of a wave of LGBT-themed films that appeared in the mid-1990s, this <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109913" target="_hplink">1994 American lesbian-themed</a> independent drama tells the story of an intimate group of lesbian friends in Chicago.
'Ma Vie En Rose'
This <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119590" target="_hplink">1997 Belgian film</a> tells the story of Ludovic, a child who, though born male, believes she is a girl on the inside, and acts as such. The family initially humors her identity, believing it's a phase, but increasingly struggles with Lodovic's gender-nonconformity in an unaccepting society.
'The Wizard Of Oz'
If you're traveling over the rainbow and attending Pride events, you'll likely encounter a few witches, hordes of people breaking into song and lions who recently got the courage to don a rainbow flag. Prepare with <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032138" target="_hplink">the gorgeous 1939 classic</a>, and be glad that you're no longer in Kansas.
'Imagine Me And You'
"Rachel and Heck, long time friends and lovers, finally tie the knot, and during the celebration, Rachel starts a friendship with their florist, Luce. And while Rachel originally intended to match her new friend, Luce, up with her husband's friend, Cooper, she soon finds out that Luce is a lesbian. During the course of their friendship, Rachel starts to question her own sexuality. And though she comes to realize she may have feelings for her new friend, Rachel must decide who she will ultimately find the most happiness with."
In a British a suburb of London, Jamie's introversion makes him the target of his peers, while Ste, his neighbor, is the target of an abusive father. One night, Ste sleeps over to avoid his father and the two boys develop an intimate relationship that they both eventually come to accept in this <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115640" target="_hplink">1996 British drama</a>.
'The Celluloid Closet'
This <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112651" target="_hplink">1995 documentary</a> is an insightful examination of the history of the portrayal of LGBT characters in Hollywood films.
The age old tale of Mormon boy falls for party boy in this modern gay classic.
'Noah's Arc: Jumping The Broom'
Based on the LOGO television series 'Noah's Arc,' <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1640484" target="_hplink">this 2011 Canadian-American romantic comedy-drama</a> traces the trials and tribulations Noah and Wade face before their wedding, as they work through last-minute anxieties.
This <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0162710" target="_hplink">1999 comedy,</a> which features an appearance by Tori Spelling, follows two young gay men as they try to find a place for a one-night stand in New York City.
'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'
The eccentric <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073629/" target="_hplink">1975 rock musical</a> stars Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the self-proclaimed "Sweet Transvestite" from Transsexual, Transylvania. "Rocky Horror" is the longest-running theatrical release in film history, so, if you haven't seen it, you must prepare to do the Time Warp. If you have seen it, prepare to do the Time Warp again.
'In & Out'
Kevin Kline plays a high school teacher who is accidentally outed by a former student, and sends a small town into a media frenzy.
'To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar'
Starring Wesley Snypes, Patrick Swayze, and John Leguizamo as three New York drag queens stranded in a small conservative town, <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114682" target="_hplink">this campy 1995 comedy</a> is a lesson in how to spread fabulousness.
This <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401085" target="_hplink">French-language film</a> tells the story of Zac, tracing his life in the angsty closet from adolescence through adulthood, in 1960s and 1970s Quebec. Although the need for subtitles might be off-putting for some, it's worth it -- the film has a <a href="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/crazy/" target="_hplink">100% on Rotten Tomatoes</a>.
'But I'm A Cheerleader!'
In <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0179116" target="_hplink">this 1999 comedy</a>, Natasha Lyonne stars as Megan Bloomfield, an average high school cheerleader. However, her friends and family think that she is a lesbian and send her to a reparative therapy camp to cure her gayness. There, Megan soon realizes that she is indeed a lesbian and, despite the therapy, gradually comes to embrace her sexual orientation. The film satirizes the ridiculous practice of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/31/11-conversion-therapy-methods-curing-homosexuality_n_1068103.html" target="_hplink">gay conversion therapy,</a> and acts as a (often hilarious) reminder to the ignorance that Pride events work to challenge.
No list of Pride movies would be complete without an entry from transgressive cult director, John Waters. The 1972 theatrical trailer for <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069089" target="_hplink">'Pink Flamingos,'</a> perhaps his best-known film, didn't feature any content from the actual film -- with the wide range of perverse acts performed in explicit detail, the theater-friendly footage wouldn't capture Flamingo's raunchy charm. The film features <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_(actor)" target="_hplink">Divine</a>, who became an LGBT icon after its original release. <em>People</em> magazine described her as the "Drag Queen of the Century," and her eccentricity is a force to be reckoned with, even for the most outlandish Pride celebrators.
A transgender woman (played by Felicity Huffman) takes her long-lost son on a road-trip across America in this portrayal of a personal journey toward self-acceptance.
'I Love You, Phillip Morris'
This <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1045772" target="_hplink">2009 romantic comedy-drama</a> film is based on the life story of a con artist, Steven Jay Russell, as played by Jim Carrey. While incarcerated, Russell falls in love with his fellow inmate, Phillip Morris, and uses his deceptive cunning to make sure that nothing--not even prison nor the police--can tear apart their relationship.
This <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0384504" target="_hplink">2004 American romantic comedy-drama</a> explores the concept of 'face,' meaning pride/dignity, in a New York Chinese-American community. The film focuses on Wilhelmina, a young surgeon, her unwed, pregnant mother and her dancer girlfriend.
'Hedwig And the Angry Inch'
This <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0248845" target="_hplink">2001 American musical comedy-drama</a> film paints a portrait of a transgender punk rock girl from East Berlin who tours the U.S. with her rock band as she tells her life story.
'Were The World Mine'
This <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0476991" target="_hplink">2008 film</a> tells the story of a small conservative town that's turned on its head when a Shakespearian love potion makes citizens fall for their same-sex friends, bosses, and co-workers.
In <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0330602" target="_hplink">this 2003 dramedy</a>, Angelo Barberini, the son of Italian immigrants, surprises his family when he reveals that he's gay. Sadly, his boyfriend, policeman Nino Paventi, isn't as ready to come out of the closet -- especially not to his Sicilian mother, Lina.
'The Kids Are All Right'
The Oscar-nominated film featured Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a lesbian couple whose children want to have a relationship with their biological father (Mark Ruffalo).
'My Beautiful Laundrette'
Set in Margaret Thatcher's London, this <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091578" target="_hplink">1985 British comedy-drama</a> focuses on Omar (Gordon Warnecke), a young Pakistani man living in London, and his romance with a punk named Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis). The two take control of a laundromat originally owned by Omar's parents. The film examines many controversial issues, such as homosexuality, racism, during 1980s Britain.
This <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367027" target="_hplink">2006 American comedy-drama</a> revolves around a sexually diverse cast of characters trying to form relationships in New York City. The characters meet-up in a weekly Brooklyn salon, inspired by under-the-radar NYC gatherings that took place in the early 2000s.
This <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115685" target="_hplink">1996 comedy</a> features Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as a gay couple who agree to pretend to be straight so that their son can introduce them to his fiancé's conservative parents.
From out gay writer-director Thomas Bezucha (The Family Stone) comes this funny, heart-warming romantic drama that picked up audience awards at nearly a dozen gay film festival! Big Eden tells a truly original tale of a thirty-something gay guy, Henry Hart (Arye Gross, Ellen, Six Feet Under) who returns to his childhood Montana home to confront his unrequited passion for his high school best friend. Favorite Stars you'll enjoy seeing include: Arye Gross (Ellen, Citizen Baines), Louise Fletcher (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), Eric Schweig (Skins). Dir. Thomas Bezucha 2001 117 min. USA Now Available for Purchase from Frameline (public performance rights included): cart.frameline.org
'Aimée and Jaguar'
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/SteveDenver"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://i.huffpost.com/profiles/324124-tiny.png?20110821233759" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/SteveDenver">SteveDenver</a>:<br />A gorgeously mounted and masterfully told story of two women in love during WWII... one of them a Nazi officer's wife. This film had as much draw for gay men because of its superior aesthetics and storytelling, as for lesbians because of its well crafted tale and stunning performances.
"It is 1950s Nevada, and Professor Vivian Bell arrives to get a divorce. She's unsatisfied with her marriage, and feels out of place at the ranch she stays on, she finds herself increasingly drawn to Cay Rivers, an open and self-assured lesbian, and the ranchowner's daughter. The emotions released by their developing intimacy, and Vivian's insecurities about her feelings towards Cay, are played out against a backdrop of rocky landscapes and country and western songs." -Neil Lewis
'Sum of Us'
A beautifully made and acted Australian film starring Russell Crowe and Jack Thompson.
'The Wedding Banquet'
Ang Lee's film about a son pretending to be straight for his visiting parents who want him to marry.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman stars as a drag queen and Robert De Niro as the tough cop in this 90s critically acclaimed film.
'A Single Man'
Set in Los Angeles in 1962, A Single Man is the story of George Falconer, a British college professor (Colin Firth) who is struggling to find meaning in his life after the death of his long-time partner, Jim (Matthew Goode). We follow George through a single day, where a series of encounters, ultimately leads him to decide if there is a meaning to life after Jim. George is consoled by his closest friend, Charley (Julianne Moore), a 48-year-old beauty, and is stalked by one of his students, Kenny (Nicholas Hoult). Directed by Tom Ford.
'You Should Meet My Son'
Great low budget screw ball comedy that tackles tough issues with great writing and acting.
This gay comedy/romance/drama traces the relationship of aspiring journalist and Young Republican Alan (Larry Sullivan) and radical gay activist Tommy (Steve Braun) from their initial meeting in 1973 through 1984. The film is cute, touching, funny, sad, and heartbreaking with some wonderful performances by the two leads; and a hysterically funny performance by Jill St. John as Alan’s mother. Definitely worth seeing.
'The Broken Hearts Club'
This 2000 romantic comedy about a team of gays in West Hollywood starred familiar faces such as Dean Cain, Zach Braff, and Timothy Olyphant all trying to survive the LA gay dating world.
The 1998 British film about a boy who has a secret relationship with the star athlete of his high school.
"All Over the Guy"
Dan Bucatinsky's fun 2001 comedy showing that opposites do attract. Also starring Richard Ruccolo, Sasha Alexander, Adam Goldberg, Doris Roberts, Andrea Martin, Joanna Kerns, Lisa Kudrow, and Christina Ricci.
Just a Question of Love
An absolute gem of a film - one of my top faves! Have shown it to 54 of my friends and EVERYONE has loved it! It's French with English subtitles - made for French TV in 1999-2000. Seems to have flown under everyone's radar but it's fantastic. Amazing production quality. I can't recommend it enough!
BearCity 2: The Proposal
Marriage is more than just the freedom to say "I do"