Iris Prize 2021 – Resilient

Baba

Written and directed by Sam Arbor and lead actor Adam Ali, living in the tunnels beneath Tripoli a queer Libyan teenager, Britannia, dreams of escape to a better life, but an unexpected discovery forces him to question whether to stay or flee from his homeland and his friends. Also starring: Colette Dalal Tchantcho, Elysia Kozinos, Usaim Younnis and Ali Gadema.

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Iris Prize 2021 – Beyond Carol

Lesbian.

Directed by Rosemary Baker and based on the poem by Lisa Luxx, Lesbian. is a poem about the word itself and the decades of toxic connotations it’s acquired, featuring a cast of real queer women (Luxx, Victoria Brown, Leilah-Jane King, Saima Razzaq, April Welsh), this is a fierce call to arms to reclaim it.

Short film is a perfect vehicle for bringing to life poetry, to give such well-written words a platform to connect on an even deeper level. What already began as a powerful poem, gets further enhanced with Rosemary Baker’s graceful, textured and colourful visual. The presence which Baker’s direction builds is impressive but it’s even more so when paired with the voice of Lisa Luxx.

Luxx gives a commanding performance, it walks the line of both being refined and perfectly down to earth. Similarly it balances being even toned and expressing the appropriate anger in response to the common homophobia all queer people have experienced at one point or another, whether directly or indirectly. Lesbian. creates a mix of poetry, performance and art piece, it has a compelling patter and pace, gripping throughout and leaves you still thinking of its meaningful message after the credits have rolled.

Verdict: ✯✯✯✯✯| 10/10


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