Welcome to the 8th Underground Cinema Film Festival

A champion of emerging filmmakers, Underground Cinema has the belief that no matter what the film’s budget or the director’s vision it’s the filmmakers passion that drives a film.

As technology allows greater access to short films as well as filmmaking tools, an increasing number of people are turning to short filmmaking as a form of expression and an opportunity to explore creative freedom. The fact that we received 300 more submissions in this category than last year speaks to that. Within them we saw a wave of truly original and outrageously distinctive films united by their uncompromised spirit. This year we will present a new generation of adventurous independent filmmaking, in which boundaries are explored, pushed and often broken. The creative means employed in these films will take audiences on a wild ride towards the future of cinematic storytelling.

Our festival takes place in the magnificent Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin in Ireland from August 31st to September 3rd. Over the four days of the festival we will screen over 100 independently produced films from all over the world and we will once again host a number of free filmmakers workshops from industry experts.

We look forward to welcoming everyone to what promises to be our best festival yet.

Dave Byrne
Festival Director

Awards & Prizes

Best Independent Feature Film
Best Independent Short Film
Best Student Short Film
Best International Short Film
Best Animated Short Film
Best Documentary
Best One Minute Short Film

Rules & Terms

1. The UCFF is open to Republic of Ireland and International filmmakers in the following categories:

Best Irish Feature Film – Feature film with a budget less then €2m
Best Independent Feature Film – Feature with a budget less then €200K
Best International Feature Film – Feature film regardless of budget
Best Independent Short Film – Short film under 25 minutes that has not received funding
Best International Short Film – Short film made outside of Ireland under 25 mins that may or may not of had funding
Best Student Film – Short/Feature film completed by full time students in the Republic of Ireland
Best One Minute Short Film - Your short film has to be under 60 seconds. This category is an international category
Best Documentary - This can either be a short or feature length documentary
Best Animated Short Film - Short animated films under 25 minutes that has not received funding

2. We will accept entries via Vimeo download on the application form below. We will also accept We Transfer or Dropbox files. Please email info@ucff.ie if you intend to send your files via either of the two options above.

3. All entries must include the following:

A completed entry form
$23 entry fee for feature films
$17 entry fee for short films

Underground Cinema will not consider your film until your submission fee is paid in full

4. Entry fees are non refundable

5. Films which have been broadcast on Television, Cable or have an international theatrical release prior to the UCFF are NOT eligible to enter competitively but may be screened out of competition.

6. For films submitted under the student category, a letter confirming your placement in college/school must be submitted prior to the film festival by email to the following address, info@ucff.ie
9. Non English language produced films must have English subtitles or be dubbed in English.

10. Winners agree to participate in the publicity for the Festival as well as other promotional events, including the Underground Cinema website.

11. Closing date of for submissions Thursday June 30th. Selected film entries will be notified by August 14th. Winners will be announced on the Closing Night of the Festival.

11 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    John Andrew O'Rourke

    Submitted my short film which was credited to a different person on their website. They still haven't changed it.

    May 2017
    Call for 632x428
    Response from festival:

    Hi John, we've checked through our correspondence with you back in 2016 and we have no email advising us that an incorrect name was accredited to your film. If we had of had an email we would have corrected this straight away. Although the festival has passed by a year ago I have corrected the error on our website and apologise for the Inconvenience

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    Stephen Gaffney

    Great indie festival, great comms and organization.

    December 2016
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    Fernando Otero

    Fantastic festival. Very friendly, professional and dedicated organizers. It was an absolute honor and pleasure being part of the festival. We totally recommend it.

    October 2016
    Call for 632x428
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much for your very kind comments Fernando. We hope to see more of your work in the near future

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    Greig Stevens

    A very enjoyable festival held in the beautiful Irish seaside town of Dun Laoghaire. Great for networking and run by a friendly and dedicated group of people. Many thanks from all the cast and crew of 'The Sweetest Thing'!

    September 2016
    Call for 632x428
    Response from festival:

    Thank you very much for your kind comments Greig. We really enjoyed your short and were delighted that you enjoyed the event. Hopefully we'll see you next year ;)

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    Liza Bolton

    Great for communicating with me as a film maker.

    September 2016
    Call for 632x428
    Response from festival:

    Hi Liza, thanks for the comments. Was great to see you and the team at the festival and we look forward to seeing you again soon