Best of Iris Prize 2012 Short Films – Final Round-up




Ostia: La Finale Notte: Delving into the events leading up to the savage killing of activist and director Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ostia: La Finale Notte grips you from the very first scene. A young man, Pino, is on the telephone, scared and clearly desperate. We are unsure of his role, but sense ill intent. As he meets and leads Paolo on, what Pino has in store for the artist is slowly unveiled.

Ostia plays well on the distinct styling of Pasolini’s own films: every shot is deliberate, and aesthetically stunning. The post-modern narrative and elegant pacing lets you soak up the intrigue and digest the developing plot. There is a looming doom and darkness as the action unfolds. Despite knowing how this story ends, it still manages to sneak up and bludgeon you from out of nowhere. Something so beautiful turns out to be quite deadly, in story and in style.

Each character has intriguing motives, well calculated by the cast and executed gracefully.
Boreham’s integration of a strong, feisty female character, along with a lost, nervous but determined younger man takes you back to Pasolini’s Mamma Roma. Couple this with the delicious film-noir elements, and you have a film that oozes class.

Pino, played by Miles Szanto, successfully drives the emotion of the audience. We pity him, then loathe him; sympathise, then reject him. The best characters in film are never truly sympathetic, and never black and white. We see a man forced to do something terrible, then a man who seems to do terrible things with ease. Up until the final cut you never really know where Pino actually stands in all this, and that makes him fascinating.

At times it does feel as though a prerequisite knowledge of Pasolini is required to get the fullest experience from Ostia. In the film itself he feels a bit bland, and little is revealed about his character to make him engage with an unknowing audience member. Yet pristine execution and masterful storytelling made the film a strong contender at the Iris Prize Festival 2012. Graphic and sexy, Ostia: La Finale Notte is stunning.

Overall Opinion:†Natural filmmaking is difficult in this style, yet Craig Boreham has made something that feels elegant and timeless. Evocative, gritty, gorgeous and refreshing. Ostia is a fitting homage to Pasolini.

Rating:†8 out of 10

Australia and US film-makers dominate 2012 Iris Prize line-up

The 31 films to compete for the prize, the world’s largest international gay and lesbian short film prize, have been announced by festival organisers in Cardiff, UK. The winner will be offered a chance to make a new short film with the prize valued at £25,000.

The films will screen during this year’s†Iris Prize†Festival which takes place from October 10th - 14th in Cardiff.

Iris Prize web

“Once again the shortlist for the 2012†Iris Prize†represents the best of the best. Half of the short-listed films have been nominated by our partner festivals – film festivals from around the world that have their fingers on the pulse of upcoming gay and lesbian filmmaking talent. I’m confident that amongst this year’s shortlist we have yet another winner deserving of the Iris Prize,” said Berwyn Rowlands, Iris Prize founder.

“Iris is recognised for supporting talented film makers from all over the world. Three shorts, made with the prize, have been produced since we launched in 2007 and a fourth is just about to start production. 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,” added Berwyn.

“It’s great to see films from all over the world represented in the shortlist with entries from Canada, Germany, Brazil, Israel, France, Norway, Austria, Ireland, India, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland all making it through to the final. The US has got the largest number of films in competition with an impressive 10 out of the final 31,” said Berwyn.

Find out more†here.

Films selected from 14 countries for the world’s largest gay and lesbian short film prize

  • 10 US filmmakers make the final closely followed by 6 from Australia and 5 from the UK.
  • Venezuela make the final for the first time joining, Canada, Germany, Brazil, Israel, France, Norway, Austria, Ireland, India, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, US and UK.
  • Australian filmmakers Craig Boreham and Jarrah Gurrie, and Evan Roberts and Marc Saltarelli from the US make it to the final for the second time!†
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