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BERWYN ROWLANDS

A film fan from an early age Berwyn was producing “movies” using his 8mm camera and projecting films for friends in his parent’s front room from the age of 9. Berwyn has produced films for cinema and TV content in Welsh and English which has been broadcast on BBC, ITV and S4C including Llety Piod (UK) a 90 min TV Movie starring Bill Nighy. He organized his first public film festival in Aberystwyth, Wales in 1989 which became known as the Welsh International Film Festival and included a weekend celebration of LGBT film.

In 1997 aged 31 Berwyn was appointed as the first Chief Executive of Sgrîn: The Media Agency for Wales. In this role, Berwyn led the establishment of Wales’ National Film and Sound Archive and secured the co-operation of all 22 local authorities to see a unified all-Wales location service - The Wales Screen Commission - established in 2002.

In 2006 he established the Iris Prize - the world’s largest LGBT short film prize at £30,000. 11 short films have been produced to date with the Iris Prize including 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. The Cardiff based event has featured in the top 50 film festivals in the world by Movie Maker Magazine for four years. The Iris Prize was recognized by The Queen at a reception for the British Film Industry in 2013.

He is regularly asked to talk about LGBT issues on TV and radio. In 1990 he was one of the founders of CYLCH – the first Welsh national gay and lesbian organization. The organization published the bi-lingual magazine Y Ddraig Binc and exhibited at the National Eisteddfod in Aberystwyth in 1992 when an anti-gay protestor left some shit on their stand!

He has also served on film award juries and speaks on both programming and event production at conferences. He has contributed to the European Short Film Symposium, Cork, the International Film Festival Summit New York and participated on the following film juries: OUTFEST, LA; Mezipatra, Prague; Kashish, Mumbai; INSIDEOUT, Toronto and Gaze, Dublin.