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In the Spotlight today is the 26th Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival(CUFF), the longest-running underground film festival in the world. The Festival’s cutting edge attitude is right at home at the festival’s host venue, Chicago’s historic Logan Theatre, situated in the hip and artistic Logan Square neighborhood. Shining a bright spotlight on avant-garde and cult cinema, CUFF draws enthusiastic film fans from all over the world to celebrate original filmmaking that is not afraid to take a risk. Roger Ebert attested, “What you get for your money is not just admission to the films but admission to a subculture.”

The festival offers a mix of films and videos of all lengths and genres, focusing on work that is experimental in form or content. Panels and workshops augment this diverse programming. Of course, we also present nightly parties (including our infamous “Take The Filmmakers Bowling” party) as well concerts featuring performances by groups such as Silver Abuse, Fire-Toolz, Pedestrian Deposit, Brett Nauke, Jeremiah Meece, The Ponys, Bobby Conn & The Glass Gypsies, Plastic Crimewave Sound, The Cheater Slicks, The Demolition Doll Rods, Califone, Frontier, Terre Thaemlitz, The Handsome Family, The Wesley Willis Fiasco, Maureen Tucker, The Gaza Strippers and the Waco Bros.

The Chicago Sun-Times lauded CUFF as “the city’s most eclectic [and] best curated fest,” and it’s not hard to see why. Recent programming highlights include the Chicago premieres of Industrial Accident:The Story of Wax Trax Recordsby Julia Nash,Craigslist Allstarsby Samara Elogoz,Tony Conrad: Completely In The Presentby Tyler Hubby,The Love Witchby Anna Biller,The Alchemist Cookbookby Joel Potrykus,Ruined Heartby Khavn,Blood Below The Skinby Jennifer Reeder,Evaporating Bordersby Iva Radivojevic,For The Plasmaby Bingham Bryant and Kyle Molzan,Sailing A Sinking Seaby Olivia Wyatt, and more.


CUFF’s mission is to select and screen film, video and related works presenting a diverse line up of moving image programming focusing on filmmakers working to reinvent and explore new approaches to established practices, to foster new forms of media art and to build an audience for such work. The Festival’s goal is to achieve these aims by presenting a fun, user-friendly and accessible event..if you suspect your film is “underground,” it probably is.

After more than two decades in operation, CUFF continues to be the premiere annual event for challenging, creative and artistic cinema. Programmers are dedicated to screen a wide variety of film and video work that shatters and reconstructs established notions of projected imagery and storytelling.

Features, shorts, documentary, music videos, animation, and experimental/avant garde are now being considered – qualify your project today!