The 12th 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 supported by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council takes place in the magnificent Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin in Ireland from September 3rd to the 5th. 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. The years festival will be a Hybrid event. A mixture of live and online screenings.

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 Film
Best Student Short Film
Best Documentary
Best One Minute Short Film
Audience Award for Best Short Film (online vote)
Audience Award for Best Documentary (online vote)
Audience Award for Best Student 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 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 International 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 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 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,
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 July 31st. Selected film entries will be notified by August 9th. Winners will be announced on the Closing Night of the Festival.

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

    September 2021
  • George Adegboyega

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

    September 2021
  • 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
  • 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
  • Colette Cullen

    Absolutely loved having the world premiere of our film at the 12th Underground Cinema Film Festival. It was a terrific experience especially as it's located in my home town. Dave and all of the festival team were a dream to deal with. The screening was perfect and the ambience at the festival was very welcoming both for filmmakers and audiences alike. Can't wait to come back with our next film! Couldn't recommend the festival highly enough.

    September 2021