Damian Kerlin was introduced to podcasting through his show Memories From The Dancefloor, a product of the Acast Amplifier scheme. Now it seems he has the taste for it, and he’s the voice of a new film podcast from the organisers of Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival.
Iris is talking about all things queer film this Pride month, championing the incredible creatives both on and off-screen. Over the series, Damian catches up and speaks with filmmakers covering aspects such as authentic casting and representation on screen, the portrayal of queer youth and the dramatising of true queer stories.
We asked Damian some questions about his latest podcast project…
Congratulations on your new hosting role! Is it fair to say you have the podcasting bug now?
Yes, absolutely. Podcasts allow for much deeper conversations, which other traditional forms of journalism don’t. In Iris’s case it was a real opportunity to hear from those working behind the scenes in film and the work that goes into it.
What drew you to this project?
I love film and a big part of my work is amplifying the voices of the LGBTQ+ community and celebrating our culture, so it was a no brainer really! I also found it really interesting that the focus was those working behind the scenes. Often when we think of film we think of those on screen, the actors. This delves deeper and looks at the purpose and motive behind the film and the process which lead to it being developed. It was also an opportunity to discuss and hear from different perspectives of the LGBTQ+ community. For instance, in Episode 1 we discuss the old age question ‘should queer characters be played by queer actors?’ and often when we see this in the press it is told through a straight lens and blown up out of proportion. We set the record straight!
Why do you think this podcast is a good companion to the Iris Prize Festival?
The Iris Prize is the world’s largest short film prize and the October festival in Cardiff (this will be the 17th) continues to be one of Europe’s friendliest gatherings of people who love watching movies. The Iris Prize Podcast, now in its 3rd year, is a great way for the festival to tap into the filmmakers, who we consider family, to share ideas and support the next generation of filmmakers. It’s insightful hearing from the different perspectives of those working in the film industry making queer film, but it’s also really educational. The work that goes into making these films is no mean feat.
You cover a different topic each episode – was there one topic that you were particularly surprised by what you found out?
I am documentary obsessed, so Episode 2 was a biggie for me. We chatted to two documentary makers and the young audiences commissioner from S4C, and really honed in on the process and whether documentaries should have fair representation or can they have a skewed bias. This was particularly topical as we recorded the episode just as Channel 4 announced their documentary Gender Wars with Kathleen Stock.
Episode 4 also focuses on Queer Youth and guess what listeners, we actually spoke to queer young people to find out how they felt about how they are represented on screen. Not adults, telling us how they should be portrayed but actual young people. It’s a good ‘un.
This Pride month, can you recommend a podcast aside from your own that we should all listen to?
OMG where do I even start, there are so many good ones, can I say two? There is Gender Reveal, which is so insightful and Queer Roots and Routes, which is made by collective We Are Queer, and is queer storytelling at its best!