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24 Apr 2009

Call For Entries - 16th Chicago Underground Film Festival

© Andy Partak

16th Chicago Underground Film Festival


Deadline: May 15 2009
Final Deadline: June 15 2009

(773) 341-6727

Chicago Underground Film Festival
c/o IFP Chicago
1104 S. Wabash Suite 403
Chicago, IL 60605

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Chicago, Illinois - USA
September 10 - 13 2009
at the Gene Siskel Film Center

The 16th Annual CHICAGO UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL (CUFF), one of Chicago's leading film events, and a must-attend festival for cutting-edge filmmakers with defiantly independent visions.

Entry forms and guidelines available at

CUFF stands out on the festival circuit for having a unique programming niche, and garnering a following among hipsters, media, and industry alike. Each year, CUFF presents an accessible, savvy program of film and video exploring the many definitions and interpretations of the 'underground' concept. Selected films often ignore limitations of genre, and are made with passion and drive; alternative music films, political agitprop, formal experimentation, and high camp are not uncommon elements of the Festival program.

Past CUFF films, producers, and filmmakers have received honors and offers as a direct result of exposure gained and connections made at the Festival. Programming highlights from years past include premieres of NICE BOMBS, DANIELSON: A FAMILY MOVIE, Oscar-nominated documentary THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND, MONKS - THE TRANSATLANTIC FEEDBACK, and BLOOD CAR. Additionally, numerous CUFF films have gone on to receive theatrical distribution.


May 15 2009 - Regular Deadline
June 15 2009 – Final Deadline


CUFF is a great time for attendees, filmmakers, and industry. Daily screenings are followed by a great night of parties, events and concerts. In Roger Ebert's words, 'What you get for your money is not just admission to the films but admission to a subculture.'

Now in partnership with IFP/Chicago, CUFF will take place in tandem with the Midwest Filmmakers Summit, a gathering of the region's filmmaking community. The Summit will present networking opportunities, discussions, workshops and case studies of Festival films featuring various festival filmamkers and industry insiders. Past speakers have included Bob Berney, Richard Linklater, Neil LaBute, Rose Troche, Harold Ramis, Tod Lending, Bill Seigel, John McNaughton, Steve James, Anthony Kaufman, Ray Pride, Laurel Ward and many others.

What people are saying about the Chicago Underground Film Festival:

'The Chicago Underground Film Festival has spent 15 years earning a viable reputation as a mecca for avant-garde and anti-establishment feature filmmaking, as well as a Midwest platform for the year's festival circuit hits.' - Matt Dentler (former SXSW Film Fest producer)

'The Chicago Underground Film Festival is the city's most eclectic yet best curated fest. Director and co-founder Bryan Wendorf has a knack for uncovering work that startles, upsets and spellbinds.' - Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun-Times

'What you get for your money is not just admission to the films but admission to a subculture' - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

'I like the word 'underground' as in the Chicago Underground Film Festival. The word 'independent' carries a stigma of whininess. 'Underground' means a good time.' - John Waters

'Defiantly independent and deliberately scandalous' - Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

'If you care at all about the state of culture on the margins, this is probably the most important project in the country reflecting its evolution' - Lumpen Magazine

'The most refreshingly offbeat film event in Chicago' - Adam Langer, The Film Festival Guide

'A cultural mainstay on its home turf' - Ray Pride, Filmmaker Magazine

'Without CUFF my movie would not be coming out in America' - Peter Hall, Director of DELINQUENT

'I'd like to think the work Chris Gore and I did at Film Threat helped inspire the lunatics behind CUFF but now they're the ones inspiring me...not just a great 'underground' festival but a great film festival PERIOD.' - Dave Williams, former editor FILM THREAT

'What can be said about CUFF that hasn't already been written on every men's room wall in Chicago? The ultimate late summer party? A film fix for the celluloid junkies? Free food? Take your pick...' - Producer Jim Dwyer

'I had the best time of my life at this festival. Your lives are so much better than all those people who think they're having a good time in Hollywood' - Penelope Spheeris, Hollywood Filmmaker

'CUFF gave me hope for the future' - George Kuchar, Underground Filmmaker

'There are still a few out there for whom the indie flame burns bright. Right on!' - Peter Howell, Toronto Star