17th Chicago Underground Film Festival Now Accepting Entries

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 1, 2010 7:20PM

2010_2_2cuff.jpg One of our city's most vital but perennially overlooked movie events, the Chicago Underground Film Festival deserves more attention. Including from us. Yes, we're guilty of neglect too. It's all too easy for us to focus on the European Union Film Festival and, of course, CIFF.

But CUFF, as it's affectionately known, highlights movies those other festivals wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. It's a yearly reminder that even in our jaded era films can still be edgy, challenging, and downright offensive. We need to be reminded of that more often.

This year's festival will be held at the Gene Siskel Film Center in the summer (June 24 - July 1) instead of the fall. The new dates sound great to us. It means CUFF can serve as a nice lead-in to the summer music festival season, and won't be eclipsed by other fall film festivals such as CIFF and Reeling. Early Deadline for entries is March 1; Final Deadline, March 15.

What kinds of movies are they looking for? "Our mission is to promote films and videos that dissent radically in form, technique, or content from the 'indie' mainstream and to present adventurous works that challenge and transcend commercial and audience expectations...if you suspect your film is 'underground,' it probably is." That cute cat video you made: probably not. That cute cat video you made chopped up with footage of Wal-Mart commercials: perhaps.