“I’m really delighted that a festival like Underwire exists. It is of crucial importance that among the proliferation of film festivals today women’s films, women’s contribution to cinema, and the way that women critique both every day life and images of women, is represented .” Laura Mulvey, patron

Underwire is the UK’s only film festival celebrating female filmmaking talent across the crafts. Founded in 2010 by Gabriella Apicella and Gemma Mitchell with the aim to change the face of the industry from the inside out, the festival has awarded training and mentoring opportunities to over 40 filmmakers, and has screened over 300 films.

The festival recognises talent across Directing, Producing, Screenwriting, Editing, Cinematography, Sound Design, and Composing, and any short film that has a woman in one of those roles is eligible. With women making up only 21.8%* of a typical feature film crew it is clear that these talents must be showcased early, to propel the women filmmakers of the future into their feature film careers.

With a clear objective to improve the statistics in front and behind camera, there are also awards for female crew members Under 25, actors, and for onscreen representation with the XX Award that is open to all films that foreground female characters and stories from filmmakers of any gender. We also focus on the representation of women on screen with Girls on Film, an annual day of discussions presented in partnership with Little White Lies.

“I’m supporting Underwire because it’s more important than ever to support women in all the areas of film creation. We need spaces to screen films, discuss, share and develop our work.  It’s about content, politics, aesthetics, professional relationships, friendships, original ideas, challenging debate and supporting the great women who put it all together just for the love of supporting film and women.” Joan Leese, patron

Now in its seventh year, Underwire has become a BAFTA recognised festival and is working with some of the best independent cinemas in London, including Genesis Cinema, BFI Southbank, ArtHouse Crouch End and Barbican. 

Underwire continues to promote collaboration and nurture new talent throughout the year, bringing its community of female filmmakers together at our Time of the Month networking events and Forum Dinners.

Thanks to our supporters – our advisory panel, our awards partners, our industry & media supporters -for helping us to champion female filmmaking talent.


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