News: CUFF 25 Features a Global and Diverse Lineup of Original Voices - Full festival Lineup

After selling out the initial opening night screening in less than an hour, the 25th annual Chicago Underground Film Festival has added a special encore presentation of INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT: The Story of Wax Trax! Records, an intimate account of the rise and fall of the iconic Chicago label Wax Trax! Records. Featuring underground films from around the world, INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT kicks off a feverish five days of provocative and exhilarating cinema at Chicago’s Logan Theatre.

“The enormous appetite for underground media amazes me year after year. It’s a powerful reminder that the mainstream is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what people are interested in and what can be done with film,” said festival co-founder and artistic director Bryan Wendorf.

Presented by IFP Chicago, this year’s festival features a mix of powerful new voices as well as festival alumni. Among those who have presented work at past festivals is Michael Galinsky who, with Suki Hawley and David Beilinson, is back with the political documentary Working in Protest, an examination of thirty years of protest in the United States. The Filipino poet and filmmaker Khavn also returns, this time with Alipato: The Very Brief Life on an Ember, a dystopic vision of Manilla in the near future. Making her CUFF premiere is Samira Elagoz, whose feature documentary Craigslist Allstars follows what happens when the filmmaker places an ad on Craigslist inviting men to meet with her and her camera.

“We have a little of everything this year,” continues Wendorf. “The lineup runs the gamut from the overtly political to the purely whimsical. What’s consistent is the quality of each film and the unique vision of each filmmaker.” In addition to screenings, CUFF also features filmmaker conversations, after hours parties each night, and the recognition of special guests. Screening tickets are now available at: with tickets to the special encore screening of INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT on sale at 10am on Friday, April 27th.


INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT: The Story of Wax Trax! Records Directed by Julia Nash is the tale of two gay men who created an unlikely family of punks, queers, and artists on a breakneck ride through the 80s underground, accidentally changing music forever. Opening Night: Wednesday, June 6: 8:00 pm.

Craigslist Allstars directed by Samira Elagaz. Through Craigslist, an internationally active internet network, Elagoz arranges one-on-one first encounters with a wide variety of men in three cities and explores how the camera influences intimacy between two strangers: The documentarian and the subject. Thursday, June 7: 8:45 pm.

GOOD LUCK directed by Ben Russell. Ben Russell spent months with Serbian miners to understand how people persevere. He filmed between light and dark, heat and cold, north and south thereby linking two disparate groups of labourers with more in common than they know. “Good Luck is an attentive, earthy film about bodies, rock and sweat, about being lucky and freedom of choice as well as the sense of community that invariably develops under harsh conditions. This is the basis of our capital and Russell puts a human face to it.” - Rotterdam Film Festival Friday, June 6: 8:45 pm.

ALIPATO: The Very Brief Life Of An Ember directed by Khavn. In 2025, a gang of kids – aged between five and fifteen – terrorize the slums of Manila. They have nicknames like Pork Chop, Bull Dog, Snowman, McAbnormal and J. Blo. When this notorious thieving and murdering Kotka gang decides to rob a bank, things go wrong and the leader ends up in jail. When he is released in 2053, the big question is where the booty is. After which this unconventional crime film turns into an equally unconventional whodunnit: Who is the serial killer systematically killing all the gang members Saturday, June 9: 6:30 pm.

Tomorrow Never Knows directed by Adam Sekuler is A sensitive documentary looking at the life and death of Shar Jones, a transgender person living with early onset Alzheimer's Disease, and the difficult choice he and his wife Cynthia Vitale faced as the couple struggled to figure out how to proceed amidst his chaotic decline. Tomorrow Never Knows highlights the couple's journey as they set a course to Shar's final days. This tragic love story offers profound implications for increasing awareness about choice in living and in dying. Saturday, June 9: 8:45 pm.

Savage Youth directed by Michael Curtis Johnson. Horrorcore hip-hop, drugs, and broken hearts mix with a decaying, racially divided, rural town to deliver a tragically compelling film about the powder keg between adolescence and adulthood. An aimless rapper falls for an aspiring graphic artist, while a frustrated high school senior convinces his friend to start slinging drugs. Saturday, June 9: 9:15 pm.

Working In Protest directed by Michael Galinsky, Suki Hawley & David Beilinson. Made over 30 years, but all too timely, this immersive film covers the recent history of protest and activism in America. Told from the perspective of an observer rather than as a journalist or activist. From rallies celebrating the Confederate Flag to the Occupy Wall Street movement to Drumpf rallies, the weird, wide world is all there. Sunday, June 10: 4:45pm.

THE WHITE WORLD OF DALIBOREK Industrial painter Dalibor K. is approaching 40 but he still lives with his mother Věra. He makes amateur horror movies and writes angry songs; he likes PlayStation and Facebook. And he admires Adolf Hitler. His search for a full-fledged relationship with a woman hasn’t yet panned out, but at least Jana, a new acquaintance from the neighborhood, brings him a little joy. Czech documentarist Vit Klusak has come out with a stylized portrait of a gentle neo-Nazi from Prostějov, Czechia. And despite the fact that he’s yet to attack anyone, he can’t stand many things: his job, Jews, Roma, refugees, homosexuals, Angela Merkel, spiders, and dentists The upshot is that Dalibor hates his life, but he doesn’t know what to change. Sunday, June 4: 8:30 pm.

PARALLEL PLANES directed by Nicole Wegner pays homage to the American DIY spirit and the diversity of the US musical landscape outside the commercial music industry. While many other music films never make it beyond hero worship, director Nicole Wegner consistently maintains eye level with her twelve interview partners, who include Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi), Michael Gira (Swans) and Valentine Falcon (Get Hustle). What they all have in common is that they couldn’t care less about marketing strategies and target group orientation as they gleefully hack the music industry and play by their own rules. Friday, June 8: 8:45 pm.

FUTURE LANGUAGE: The Dimensions of VON LMO directed by Lori Felker is a distorted portrait of an artist that explores storytelling, ego, delusion, conviction and memory. VON LMO is a musician/artist and self-proclaimed alien-hybrid who was a part of the late 70s New York No Wave music scene. Between trips to his home planet of Strazar and multi-dimensional travel, VON has also spent some very real time in prison and on the streets of Earth. Challenged with translating his Future Language for audiences across the galaxy, Lori, our filmmaker and VON LMO fan, gets sucked into VON's orbit and finds herself lost in his story. Sunday, June 10, 8:45 pm

2018 Shorts Programs Blending experimental, documentary and traditional, and nontraditional narratives, the festival’s acclaimed shorts programming features an impressive lineup featuring nearly 100 films from over 25 different countries. The programs include subject matter ranging from ghost towns, to truck stops to Harvey Weinstein and everything in between. This year features some CUFF rookies including Jennifer Boles, Mohsen Khodabakhshi and Sarah Meyohas along with some new work from festival favorites including Jennifer Reeder, Usama Alshaibi,Siegfried Fruhauf and Jesse McLean.

Tickets are $15.00 for opening night or $25.00 which includes admission to after party at Elastic Arts. All other screenings are $10.00 per program. Festival passes are also available for $100.00 which grants admission to all screenings and events. Tickets and more information about the festival are available here.