The 13th Underground Cinema Film Festival is an IFTA (Irish Film & Television Academy) Affiliated International Film Festival located in Dublin in Ireland.

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 September 16th to the 18th. Over the three 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. Like previous years, the festival will be a Hybrid event with a mixture of live and online screenings.

The Hybrid element to the festival has worked very well for us over the past two years. It has meant that we are able to include more films to our program and it also means that we can host more Q&A sessions online with directors from all over the world.

We are also delighted to be brinigng back the Mini Comic Con to the Festival. The Con will take place on the final day of the festival on Sunday September 18th.

*Important Note
All films that have been selected to be be screened at this years festival will be programmed for an online screening. 100 of the subsmissions sent through to us will be selected for a live screening as well in our venue. Please do NOT submit a film to us if you do not want an online screening.

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

Dave Byrne
Festival Director

Best Independent Feature Film
Best Independent Short Irish Film
Best Independent Short International Film
Best Student Short Film
Best Documentary
Best One Minute Short Film
Audience Award for Best Short Film (online vote)

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

Best Independent Feature Film – Feature with a budget less then €200K
Best Independent Short Film – Short film under 25 minutes
Best International Short Film – Short film made outside of Ireland under 25 mins
Best Student Film – Short/Feature film completed by full time students
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

2. We will accept entries via Vimeo download on the application form below. We will also accept We Transfer or Dropbox files. Please email 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
€25 entry fee for feature films
€20 entry fee for short films
€5 entry fee for one minute shorts

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,

7. Non English language produced films must have English subtitles or be dubbed in English.

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

9. Closing date of for submissions August 13th. Selected film entries will be notified by September 2nd. Winners will be announced on the Closing Night of the Festival.

10. Selected films will either be screened online, live or both. 100 films will be selected for a live screening.

Overall Rating
  • Our entire team wants to shout out the Underground Cinema Film Festival group for providing a quality film festival debut for our feature, THE LAST FRANKENSTEIN. They were very responsive in their communication, and their support for our project was a great boost to all of us.

    November 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much David so much David for the positive review. We were delighted to have been able to screen your film online this year. We look forward to seeing what work you have in store next year

  • Great Festival! Thanks so much for the honorable mention for our film: 'Covid Love'!

    September 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you very much for your kind words Rene. We really enjoyed Covid Love. Keep up the great work

  • George Adegboyega

    Proud for this festival to be my first ever one, really nice people and true film lovers.

    September 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thanks George. We're glad you enjoyed the experience at your first festival. Keep on filming!!!

  • John Worrall

    Highly recommend. UCFF is great festival and a great place for independent Cinema, both Irish and International. Big thanks to Dave and the team for letting our film 'On the Iron Shelf' screen there!

    September 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the very kind words John, they're very much appreciated

  • Rickie O'Neill

    Really great festival. Thrilled to have my short film 'Sunny Afternoon' be part of it. Hats off to the organisers for having some kind of physical event/screening for all the films this year. It was a breath of fresh air & a positive step in the right direction.

    September 2021
    Response from festival:

    Your film was a breathe of fresh air Rickie. We really enjoyed the film and all the performances. Such a well made film.