Underwire festival returns to Southbank to celebrate women filmmakers

The UK’s only film festival celebrating female filmmakers returns this evening with sold out opening at London’s BFI Southbank.

Underwire 2018 puts women centre stage with a programme of short films exploring themes from motherhood to masculinity, British identity and trauma, and genres like comedy and horror.

The BAFTA-recognised festival was founded in 2010 by Gabriella Apicella and Gemma Mitchell to address gender imbalance in film and provide a platform for women in film.

The core programme will be a screening 152 short films, each with a woman in a head of department position that is nominated in at least one category at the Underwire Awards.

Female talent is recognised across ten skills-based categories including Directing, Producing, Screenwriting, Editing, Cinematography, Sound Design, Composing, Production Design and Animation.


Winners are rewarded with practical awards that provide professional development opportunities and support.

Shortlisted films often go on to be recognised at leading festivals and garner multiple awards.

Operator went on to win the 2016 BAFTA for Best Short Film after screening at the festival and winning Best Sound Design for Lisa-Marie McStay at Underwire 2015.

More than 50 filmmakers have been awarded training and mentoring opportunities over the lifetime of the festival.

The 10-day festival works with independent cinemas across London, including Barbican, BFI Southbank, Prince Charles Cinema, The Castle Cinema and Curzon Cinemas.

The exhibition welcomes around 500 short film submissions each year, from which between 50-70 short films are selected for competition.

Film lovers will be able to celebrate the talented women behind the films they have seen at the Underwire Festival party on Saturday 24th November.

Feature image credit: Sophers87 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

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