By Laura Chamberlain
Magnus Mork from Norway has scooped the prestigious 2010 Iris Prize, the Cardiff-based International Gay and Lesbian Short Film Prize, for his film The Samaritan.
The Iris Prize Festival was held over 6-9 October, with 30 shortlisted films for the Iris Prize being screened as well as seven of the latest gay and lesbian feature films, all of which enjoyed their UK premières at the festival.
Mork's The Samaritan focuses on the relationship between Knut, a middle-aged lonely man in desperate need of company, and Mirza - an illegal immigrant in need of any help he can get. The film touches upon the limits between taking care of and taking advantage of; being used or abused.
Rebecca Matthews, chair of the Iris Prize jury, commented: "The jury felt that The Samaritan demonstrated deft and nuanced filmmaking: it told such a big, urgent story of real relevance in a small film.
"It was so beautifully shot, and through the filmmaker's masterly technique took us as viewers on a journey through place, people and characters and allowed us to creep into inscrutable corners.
"It is a film about human fears, trust, betrayal and also about political and social machinations told through an intimate personal encounter. We want to see much, much more from this director."