We attended the first ever ‘Iris Fellowship Award’ ceremony, which was hosted at the prestigious private members club, the ‘Ministry’ in central London. The ceremony was to highly commend an individual, who has worked tirelessly campaigning for LGBT+ rights along with really making a difference in the gay community with their work.


The winner of this extremely honourable award was ‘Tom Abell’ who is managing director and owner of ‘Peccadillo Pictures’.

For nearly half a century ‘Tom Abell’ has showcased his LGBT+ short films here in the UK and internationally. Abell actually launched the first ever UK-based LGBT film production company, called ‘Dangerous To Know’ in the early 1990s and inspired many people with his VHS film collection. Abell’s titles included ‘Two Of Us’ (which was originally made for the BBC’S education unit), along with the 1971 erotic fantasy ‘Pink Narcissus’.


Abell’ then launched ‘Peccadillo Pictures’ in 2000, which engaged in sharing world cinema in conjunction with LGBT titles. Peccadillo Pictures then released ‘Weekend’ in 2011, which after initial apprehension from UK cinemas, went on to take over £220,000 at UK cinema box office’s and had wonderful success.


Weekend actor ‘Chris New’ was in attendance and paid huge tribute to Abell’s work, along with thanking him for bringing the world ‘Peccadillo Pictures’ along with perosnally thanking him for being choosen to play the part ‘Glen’ in ‘Weekend’.


The ‘Stud Life’ director Campbell X also payed huge homage to ‘Abell’ and said he is extremely proud of how ‘Peccadillo Pictures, are at the forefront for distributing LGBT+ films.

Lord Glendonbrook visiting the campus


Presenting ‘Tom Abell’ with this prestigious award, was the honourable ‘Lord Glendonbrook CBE, who highly commended ‘Abell’ on all his work and was the founder of ‘The Michael Bishop Foundation, who are huge supporters of the ‘Iris Prize Festival.


Daily Mail consultant editor ‘Andrew Pierce’, who is also the chair person of ‘Iris Prize’ and a huge LGBT+ rights activist here in the UK and internationally, stated that he was delighted to be involved in such a momentous occasion and highly commended ‘Abell’ on his incredible contributions to the LGBT+ film community.


London-based freelance Production Designer & Art Director specialising in Commercials, Film and TV. ‘Harriott’ was involved with producing the Art, for Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated hit 2014 film ‘Pride’

He Stated that he was extremely proud of Abell’s accomplishments and was honoured to have been involved with Abell’s work and privileged call him a friend.



Nicky Gallani has worked in the film industry for many years in roles spanning distribution, exhibition and production including stints at the ICA Cinema, LFF/BFI and as a freelance consultant to Italian Cinema London and Peccadillo Pictures. ‘Gallini also highly commended ‘Abell’ for his work and thanked him for such imortant awareness work.


Iris’ founding member and festival director made this comment…..

“There are moments in life when you come across a person and think, he’s a really nice man. Tom Abell is one of those people! But he is much more than just a nice man. Britain would be a very different place today without his commitment to sharing LGBT+ films. His commitment over four decades at the helm of companies like Dangerous to Know, Millivres Multimedia and Peccadillo Picture, who will shortly be celebrating their 19th birthday, is almost impossible to measure. He has influenced generations of movie-goers by distributing and sometimes financing LGBT+ films.

I’m confident there must be thousands of LGBT+ people across the UK who have been emotionally nourished with his films. The back catalogue of titles holds a mirror to our lives, confirming we are alive and exist in many complex ways, in communities across the world, celebrating happy and sad times.”


The event was hosted by festival support ‘Tom Selway’, who did a superb job of presenting the evening and is truly a fantastic support to the ‘Iris Prize Festival’.


In his acceptance speech ‘Abell’ stated that it was an incredible honour to receive this award and he thanked the ‘Iris Prize Festival’ for organising such a superb event. ‘Abell’ also spoke of his sheer gratitude to the late ‘Mark Finch’, (BFI Programme Advisor) for allowing him access to all his ‘BFI’ LGBT files. He also spoke of his huge passion for his very own ‘Peccadillo Pictures’ and thanked everyone involved in building this hugely important platform. ‘Abell’ also highly commended ‘Iris’ founding member and festival director ‘Berwyn Rowlands’, for such an important film festival, in the LGBT+ community and highly commended ‘Lord Glendonbrook for all his sensational support, for the LGBT+ community and the ‘Iris Prize Festival’.

Published by VALLEY TIMES

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