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“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. It was founded in 2010 by Gabriella Apicella and Gemma Mitchell to address gender imbalance in film and change the industry from the inside out. The festival has awarded training and mentoring opportunities to over 50 filmmakers, and has screened over 300 films.

We welcome around 500 short film submissions each year, from which between 50-70 short films are selected for competition. Our films often go on to be recognising at leading festivals and garner multiple awards. Operator went on to win the 2016 BAFTA for Best Short Film after screening at Underwire and winning Best Sound Design for Lisa-Marie McStay at Underwire 2015.

“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

The festival recognises female talent in ten skills-based categories: Directing, Producing, Screenwriting, Editing, Cinematography, Sound Design, Composing, Production Design and Animation. Each category is sponsored by a leading industry organisation, including DirectorsUK, BFI Future Film, Euroscript, Greenkit, Sound Disposition, Musician’s Union and WFTV. Winners are rewarded with practical awards that provide professional development opportunities and support.

UW Awards 03.12.2016 HIGH RES-6

Alongside its film programme, Underwire hosts Wired Women, an annual industry programme, which hosts discussions, practical workshops and sessions aimed at new entrants into the film industry. 

Growing year on year, Underwire has become a BAFTA recognised festival and is working with some of the best independent cinemas in London, including Barbican, BFI Southbank, Prince Charles Cinema, The Castle Cinema and Curzon Cinemas.

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