The Chicago Underground Film Fund has been established by the Chicago Underground Film Festival to aid underground and independent film and video makers who share the festival’s maverick spirit and defiant attitude. Cash grants of between $500 and $2,000 will be awarded to selected film or video makers for post-production on works-in-progress that are in keeping with the festival’s mission to promote works that push boundaries, defy commercial expectations and transcend the mainstream of independent filmmaking.

1999 grant recipients were Ecstasy in Entropy by Nick Zedd, I’d Rather Be Dead Than Mellow by Angi Glenn, Live! Nude! Girls! UNITE! by Julia Query, Straightman by Ben Berkowitz, Superstarlet A.D. by John Michael McCarthy and Swinger’s Serenade by Danny Plotnick.


The fund is open to all independent film and video directors and producers. Proposals for funding for any existing project will be considered, regardless of length, genre or final exhibition format. Film projects in 35mm, 16mm or super-8 will be considered as well as all video formats.

Grants are awarded based on a number of factors, with an emphasis on works that further the festival’s goal to support films and videos that innovate in form, technique or content.


All works submitted must follow the guidelines below. Failure to include any of the items requested will result in disqualification of the submission.

  • Completed Chicago Underground Film Fund application form.
  • Short written description of the project (1 or 2 pages). Including project synopsis, statement of intent and plans for distribution and exhibition.
  • Resumes of all principal cast & crew.
  • Work-in-progress cassette. Must be VHS (NTSC format). Proposals must include work-in-progress cassette for consideration. SUBMISSION VIDEOS WILL NOT BE RETURNED. DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS.
  • $15.00 processing fee (check or money order made out to CUFF). Processing fees are not refundable.


Send complete proposal package to:

Chicago Underground Film Fund 3109 N. Western Ave.

Chicago, IL 60618


Proposals for 2000 Film Fund grants must be received by February 1, 2000.


All applicants will receive notification by May 1, 2000. Public announcement of grant recipients will be made in early June, 2000.


For information regarding the Chicago Underground Film Fund contact Festival Director Bryan Wendorf at 773-327-FILM or email

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