Being an up-and-coming film festival in London is a distinct challenge. The festival has to form a strong identity and yet be inclusive enough to attract people who don’t immediately associate with that identity, whilst also competing against a few dozen other London-based festivals and that week’s latest releases.
UnderWire Festival, now in its third year, distinguishes itself by being the U.K’s only short film festival for women filmmakers. As so many shorts are made by filmmakers in the early part of their career, the festival serves as a way to support female practitioners as they develop their craft. Based at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton and run by a team of volunteers, UnderWire Festival features a mix of short film screenings, industry workshops and awards for emerging female filmmakers.
Photo: Still from Dream Drafters, screening on November 23rd as part of the festival.
The proportion of women in the film industry is woefully small, not just in writing and directing but also technical areas like cinematography, editing and sound, so a festival like UnderWire Festival provides a valuable platform for their work, as well as opportunities to network and see the work of peers. Bolstered by a strong, varied programme, there’s not a single night that wouldn’t be worth attending.
UnderWire Festival 2012 begins today and runs until Saturday 24th November at the Ritzy Cinema, Brixton.