Culture award 2022 winner
Berwyn Rowlands is a Welsh TV and film producer from Anglesey and is the Festival Director of the Iris Prize - Cardiff's LGBT+ Film Festival which awards the world's largest short film prize.
A film fan from a young age, Berwyn has produced films for cinema and television in Welsh and English including Llety Piod (UK) a 90 min TV Movie starring Bill Nighy.
In 1997 Berwyn was appointed as the first Chief Executive of Sgrîn: The Media Agency for Wales. He led the establishment of Wales’ National Film and Sound Archive and secured an all-Wales location service – The Wales Screen Commission – which was established in 2002.
In 1989, he organized his first public film festival in Aberystwyth which became known as the Welsh International Film Festival and included a weekend celebration of LGBT film.
In 2006 he established the Iris Prize – the world’s largest LGBT short film prize at £30,000. Iris Prize films include Burger and Followers which screened at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2016 the festival celebrated its 10th anniversary and was recognized by Bafta as an “A” list festival. It has featured in the top 50 film festivals in the world by Movie Maker Magazine for 4 years. The Iris Prize was recognized by The Queen at a reception for the British Film Industry in 2013.
During the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Berwyn ensure that the festival continued and moved online for free, with over 84,000 people in the UK watching the festival’s films. Berwyn works with Iris to champion the cultural impact of Wales across the world and there are now 25 partner festivals in 25 countries around the world.