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Cardiff-based film festival founder up for award

Cardiff-based film and TV producer, Berwyn Rowlands, who founded the biggest international LGBT+ short film prize in the world, is in line for recognition after being nominated for a 2021 National Lottery Award.  

Berwyn, originally from Anglesey but who lives in Cardiff,  has been shortlisted in the Arts category of this year’ National Lottery Awards for his outstanding work over 15 years as the founder and festival director of the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival.

He is one of only five people from across the UK nominated in the Arts category.  

The National Lottery Awards are the annual search for the UK’s favourite National Lottery-funded people and projects, and they celebrate the inspirational individuals and groups who do extraordinary things in their community, especially during these challenging times. 

Established by Berwyn in 2006, the Iris Prize takes place in Cardiff annually and has developed into the biggest international LGBT+ short film prize in the world.

It has become a leading voice in championing LGBT+ short film and Iris also runs LGBT+ education and community outreach projects in Wales and the UK throughout the year.

“It’s an absolute honour to be shortlisted as a finalist in the Arts category for the 2021 National Lottery Awards,” he said. “During the pandemic, film has provided escapism and comfort for so many at a time when it’s needed most, and this is why the Iris Prize continued last year in an online capacity.

“I would like to thank The National Lottery’ players for supporting myself and the Iris Prize and for helping us to run an unique festival which is dedicated to celebrating amazing LGBT+ film and bringing films from this diverse community to the attention of wider audiences around the world.”  

Winners will be revealed in the autumn and will receive a £3,000 cash prize for their organisation and a coveted National Lottery Awards trophy.    

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