The 15th 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 August 31st to September 1st. Over the two days of the festival we will screen over 100 independently produced films from all over the world. 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 four 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 bringing back the Mini Comic Con to the Festival. The Con will take place on the final day of the festival on Sunday September 1th.

*Important Note
All films that have been selected to be screened at this years festival will be programmed for an online screening. 100 of the submissions 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
Best Online Film

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
Best Online Film - This category is for features and shorts. There are no time constraints for this category

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

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

8. Closing date of for submissions July 28h. Selected film entries will be notified by August 25th. 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
  • Declan Curran

    Been very fortunate to attend this festival on various occasions to screen many of my short films. Highly recommend, fantastic location and team led by Dave. Always look forward to coming back!

    January 2024
  • Joseph Archer

    Wonderful festival with unique and creative programming! It was an honour to be part of it!

    October 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thanks for the very kind words Joseph. Im really glad you enjoyed it

  • Matt Mckisson

    Thank you for selecting & screening my film, "She Doesn't Like Pizza" to your festival! I hope your audiences enjoyed it!

    September 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Matt, we had a great house for the screening and everyone really enjoyed it. Well done

  • Ciaran Hanley

    Thank you for the selection. Always great to watch your film in a festival amongst other filmmakers. First time in Dun Laoghaire. The sun was shining and everything was beautiful.

    September 2023
    Response from festival:

    Delighted you enjoyed the festival Ciaran. We even arranged the weather for you as well. Thanks again.

  • Sean O Deadaigh

    After Indie Cork our favourite festival. Real film heads festival and lovely venue. We will be back !!!!

    September 2023
    Response from festival:

    Great to see you with us again Sean. Thanks for joining us over the weekend. Hope you got back to Cork OK