The Underground Cinema Short Film Awards are now going in to their 11th year. From January 2020 through to September 2020 Underground Cinema will once again begin screening on a monthly basis a selection of some of the best independent short films and music videos from filmmakers from around the globe. These monthly screenings are held in the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire. For our international friends, that's in County Dublin in Ireland.

​The short film awards are the only awards ceremony in Ireland that recognise every aspect of the art of making short films.

​​As everyone knows due to the CoVid 19 crisis there is a temporary ban at the moment on most indoor and outdoor events events around the world. The ban in Ireland is expected to be lifted by August 10th which is more or less at the end of our 2020 season. We have invested heavily in our website so we can switch from live screenings to virtual screenings. Our screenings therefore will take place online from May 13th and we will continue screening online until mid August at two week intervals. Films that are submitted are continously being judged by our panel and nominees for the 11th Underground Cinema Awards will be announced by the end of August. The awards ceremony will be a live event which will be held in the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin in Ireland in early November. The short film awards are the only awards ceremony in Ireland that recognise every aspect of the art of making short films.

How it all works:

Once you have submitted your film to us it will be viewed by a member of our judging panel. If your film has been selected by our screening judge, he/she will then be in touch to advise you that your film has been selected and you will be given an online screening date. Links will be sent to you for you to access the film online and should you wish to join a Q&A session online with our online audience we will forward to you a Zoom link so you can join us.

With regard to the awards themselves, the awards will be presented at our annual award giving ceremony in the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire on November 7th 2020 which is a ticketed event. Tickets for the event go on sale as soon as the full list of nominees are announced. Tickets include a four course dinner, the awards ceremony and aftershow party. Nominees interested in attending must purchase their own tickets. if a nominee cannot attend and happens to win an award then we will ensure that the award gets to the winner shortly after the awards ceremony.

Best Film
Best International Film
Best Student Film
Best Director
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Screenplay
Best Cinematographer
Best Editor
Best Production Design
Best Sound
Best Score
Best Make Up
Best Costume
Best Documentary
Best Visual Effects
Best Music Video
Best International Music Video
Best Comedy
Best Horror Film
Rising Star Award

1. We are looking for story based films, which can be in the form of narrative (fiction), documentary (non fiction), or animation.
2. All foreign language films must include English subtitles
3. Films that have been previously screened at an Underground Cinema season of short film screenings cannot be re entered.
4. Films must be under 35 mins long.
5. By submitting your film you are agreeing for Underground Cinema to use clips from your film for promotional purposes
6. You must submit a promotional poster or still with your application
7. You must give the name of the director, writer and producer when submitting your film.
8. We do not accept films that are more then three years old.
9. We do not accept films with poor production standard (sound/video resolution less than 720p HD)

Overall Rating
  • Emmet Kelly

    Absoloutly fantastic film festival. Dave Byrne & Paul Ward really created a special event. The monthly screening bring together loads of film makers and gives a great chance to network. The awards night is just fantastic. Brilliantly ran. A proper awards show and gala that is warm and inclusive.

    December 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Emmet, and thanks for supporting us throughout the year. You keep on making the films and we'll keep on screening them.

  • Helen Reilly

    The crew and young cast of FIRST DISCO attended this year and had an amazing time. It was a really brilliant night and so great to celebrate films and meet other filmmakers.

    December 2019
    Response from festival:

    It was great to have you along Helen. Your young cast where superb in First Disco. We'll certainly be keeping an eye out for them in future short films to be screened at Underground Cinema

  • Teresa Lavina

    Lovely festival, great communication from the start and really well organised. I felt they really care about the filmmakers and respect their projects. I got lovely feedback from the beginning and they so fare. They view all the movies and the selection was great. I had a great time going to the screenings, I had the chance to network in a really friendly environment where I made a few contacts and made some friends. I will definitely submit again. I great experience guided by great professionals.

    December 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your very kind words Teresa. We really enjoyed screening your documentary last year and we cant wait to see what you have up your sleeve for 2020.

  • This was my first year to submit my documentary film '1 Billion' to this festival and I was delighted with the prompt, efficient and friendly communication from start to finish. I attended the screening and later the awards ceremony which were both run so well and were extremely enjoyable. I am definitely submitting all future work to this festival, it is so well run and great value for money. They really support independent filmmakers and do this out of a genuine love for film and great stories. If you are looking for a festival to submit your work to, then this is a must!

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thank you for your very kind words Dave. We're really looking forward to screening more of your work this year

  • Zeff Lawless

    I would like to thank you on behalf of the entire cast & crew for selecting our short film BINGO! as an Official Selection for the film festival, it will be fantastic to be screened alongside the great films that make the cut. Thanks a million.

    December 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you very much Zeff. We were really happy to be able to screen your film as part of our 10th season of short films