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29th Chicago Underground Film Festival
The longest running underground film festival in the world teams up with Unstoppable Domains, OFTV, and The Visible Project to bring back five days of film and five nights of afterparties to Chicago’s historic Logan Theater July 27-31.
A ticket to CUFF doesn’t just get you access to more than 100 films and video artworks, it’s admission to a subculture. With a long history of pushing boundaries, this year the festival is announcing the formation of the CUFF Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), inviting community members and creatives to be active participants in the future of underground film. Additional programming includes four world premieres, three regional premieres, panel discussions examining crypto and DAO structures through a speculative lens, after-party performances from La Armada at The Burlington Bar and The Enigma at Chicago’s Insect Asylum among many more.
CUFF29 highlights include: OPENING NIGHT film PROVO (World Premiere) by Chicago filmmaker Emma Thatcher, a debut feature created by queer (mostly women) BIPOC, which tells the story of Liz, an ex-Mormon drug addict living in Chicago who finds out her estranged, abusive father is on his deathbed in Provo, Utah. CLOSING NIGHT film ENDLESS CONTENT FOREVER (World Premiere) by Chicago-based filmmaker Jacob Gregor. Jacob’s narrative debut is an experimental view of consuming endless amounts of content online. TRIPLE TROUBLE (World Premiere) by Homer Flynn is the first narrative feature film created by legendary and secretive experimental music and performance ensemble The Residents. CIRCUS OF THE SCARS – THE INSIDER ODYSSEY OF THE JIM ROSE CIRCUS SIDESHOW (World Premiere) by Chicory Wees tells the story of how a group of bizarre humans from the Pacific Northwest caused a sideshow sensation in the early 1990s grunge era. LARRY FLYNT FOR PRESIDENT directed by Nadia Szold (Midwest Premiere) is the untold story of one of America’s most notorious outcasts who in 1983 challenged Ronald Reagan for the presidency and set out to test the limits of parody and the nature of satire in a country that celebrates freedom of speech yet punishes those who dissent too loudly. THE LOST RECORD (Midwest Premiere), by Ian Svenonius and Alexandra Cabral and based on the LP by Svenonius (The Make-Up, Nation of Ulysses) and Carbal’s band Escape-ism, is a sci-fi rock ’n’ roll essay fantasy film about art, music, fetish, creation, love, & records. JONAS IN THE FIELDS (International Premiere) by German filmmaker Peter Sempel is a personal film collage made in memory and thankfulness to the late Jonas Mekas, the great inspirer for independent Film, Art, Poetry and People who was called the “father of American Avant Garde film.”
More festival highlights include: BLOCKCHAIN FAIRY TALES panel discussion in partnership with Columbia University’s School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab (Saturday, July 30, 4:30 PM), EXTREME ANIMALS headlining the opening night after-party at Elastic Arts (Wednesday, July 27, 10:00PM), LA ARMADA’s tour kick-off show at The Burlington Bar (Thursday, July 28, 10:00PM), EXPERIMENTAL KARAOKE with TribeHouse Chicago (Friday, July 29, 10:00PM), and The ENIGMA ALIVE!, ZAMORA! THE TORTURE KING!, and MATT “THE TUBE” CROWLEY at The Insect Asylum (Saturday, July 30, 10:00PM).
As stated by Taila Howe, CUFF’s Producer, “CUFF is embarking on one of the most underground thing’s the fest has done yet: transitioning to a Decentralized and Autonomous Organization (DAO) that will be governed by those who hold CUFF tokens; thus, inviting community members and creatives to be active participants in the future of the longest running underground film festival in the world.”
While the spotlight is usually on feature-length films, there are over 70 shorts films programmed including new pieces from CUFF alumni Ken Jacobs, Lynne Sachs, Molly Hewiit, Jim Vendiola, Ben Russell, and Shayna Connelly. The program’s subject matter ranges from abstract animation to DMT trips to penis dysmorphia and everything in between.