Cork City recently played host to the 5th annual UnderGround Film Festival. The film fiesta – which took place across various locations in the Citycity between August 22nd and August 29th – screened over 120 short and feature films in diverse categories like: Made in Cork, National, International, Spanish, Drama, Comedy, Documentary, Animation, Experimental, Horror/Sci-Fi, and Music Videos.

Underground Film Festival

This year’s programme was the largest to date, with submissions from 35 countries, seeing several international film-makers make the journey to Cork to see their work on the silver screen. The most exciting element, however, still remains the wide selection of locally made short films, according to Festival Director, Darren O’Mahony.

“This year has seen a huge surge in submission numbers,” said Darren. “We took in almost three times as many entries as last year and those films have come from all across the globe. Shorts made in Cork, though, will always take pride of place with us, with the quality of work on par with any other. The talent is here and we are delighted to encourage it as much as we can.”

2015 also saw the introduction of the festival’s Inspire Awards, which aims to honour Irish film industry veterans who have successfully carved out careers within a notoriously difficult profession. Being honoured this year were actress Victoria Smurfit (Ballykissangel, The Beach, Once Upon a Time) and writer/director Terry McMahon, whose highly successful film Patrick’s Day recently won big at the Irish Film and Television Awards. Lord Mayor Chris O’Leary was on hand to present the Inspire Awards at the Clarion Hotel on August 29th.

Overall, the festival exceeded all expectations, and plans are already underway for the 2016 iteration.

Images: Alice O’Connor

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