Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival 2020

Life Cycles: Best British 3

Expired October 31, 2020 11:45 PM
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5 films in package
The Passing.
Yasmine is a talented mortician, she is renowned for her work and making the deceased look their best for their departure into the afterlife. But today Yasmine’s world will be turned upside down as she encounters the most difficult job of her career, becoming very much part of the 'process' she is brought face to face with the small and life-defining moments that she has let pass by.
Tam gets on the first tube home alone. He plugs in his earphones and begins reliving his Halloween night out via his phone.
The Scene.
David doesn’t want to go out. He wants to stick to his sofa, play PlayStation and watch the neighbours through the blinds. But when his ex husband Troy arrives with a fresh outfit for him, David feels he might just be able to face the scene again.
Better is set in the near future. A private medical facility called Refine offers a “personality enhancing” service. The procedure is administered through a painless injection and can reduce or eradicate what people may perceive as a negative character trait, such as nervousness, anger or impatience. Jamie, a 26 year old mother, raised her 10 year old son Max as a single parent, whilst working as a care nurse at her local hospital. Being both young and in full time employment, Jamie has always felt insecure about her adequacy as a mother and thus tries to make up for it by being as close to Max as possible. Jamie and Max essentially grew up together – they are the best of friends. Jamie’s mother, who often cares for Max when Jamie works night shifts, is concerned about Max being an effeminate young boy. Jamie wonders if it is her close bond with him and a lack of a male presence that influences how Max behaves. Whether that is the case or not Jamie has no issue with Max’s interest in feminine things and doesn’t share her mother’s concerns over him being “different”. The other school kids however, start noticing Max’s effeminate behaviour and begin picking on Max for wearing a girl’s coat, having his hair long and being softly spoken and timid. Max makes it clear to Jamie that he doesn’t enjoy going to school because of these mean boys but Jamie doesn’t yet know the extent of the bullying he faces. One morning, taking Max to school, Jamie bumps in to her over familiar neighbour, Tanya and her daughter, Leanna. Leanna who is usually a terror, seems docile and sweet today. She politely asks Max if he would like to play later, which she has never done before. Jamie gives Tanya a questioning look to which Tanya replies - I’ll explain later. As Jamie goes to pick up Max from school, she witnesses him being bullied by the other boys and immediately jumps to his aid. Jamie has to drop Max off at her mother’s before going to work and her mother asks how Max is getting on at school. Jamie is clearly overwhelmed by what she has just witnessed and gets frustrated when her mother suggests they move schools to protect him, as she knows the issue is not the school. The next evening, Tanya is at Jamie’s and they are talking about Leanna’s change in behaviour. Tanya explains that she took Leanna to Refine, this new private medical facility, to get “treated”. Jamie is shocked to hear children can undergo this procedure, but Tanya quickly explains it works better on younger people because they adapt more easily. Tanya lowers her tone and asks after Max, mentioning a video she’s seen of him. Jamie is unaware of any video and Tanya states she will share it with her later. That night Jamie receives the horrific video from Tanya showing Max being physically abused and antagonised by the other boys at school. Jamie is distraught, she knows she must do something to put an end to this pain. Jamie makes an appointment at Refine, willing to try anything at this point. The doctors at Refine reassure her the procedure is safe and painless and that they can easily address Max’s femininity with one singular treatment. Jamie is lured in by the prospect of such an easy end to her son’s suffering. She tells her mother of her plan but her mother is worried about it potentially going wrong as well as what financial strain it will put Jamie under. Jamie does not want to listen to her concerns at this point, she sees a way out for her son and is desperate for this to be the solution. Just as Jamie is about to take Max to Refine he expresses that he doesn’t want to go. Jamie reassures Max that the doctors at Refine are going to help him get on with the other boys better and thus end the bullying. However we can see that Jamie is still battling this notion within herself. She would do anything to protect her son, but what if he loses who he is? Does protecting him ultimately mean changing him? Jamie is torn between this seemingly shining light at the end of the tunn
A job is just a job, but as with anything, time flies when you’re doing it with your best friend. And today’s no different. We follow Ty & Malcolm as they go about their daily routine. Just another day for two really good friends.
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Explore modern LGBT+ life in all its diverse, mixed up, messy glory in this selection of British shorts which features life, death and everything in between.

A mortician has a difficult day at work.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    15 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    Nichola Wong
  • Screenwriter
    Nichola Wong
  • Producer
    Kate Phibbs | Nichola Wong