Call For Submissions For The Second Annual Chicago Underground Film Fund

The Chicago Underground Film Festival is now accepting applications for the Second Annual Chicago Underground Film Fund. Established in 1998, the Fund is a completion grant program to aid underground and independent film and video makers who share the festival’s maverick spirit and defiant attitude CUFF will award cash grants in the range of $500 – $2000 to selected projects in the final stages of production that are in keeping with our mission to promote works that push boundaries, defy commercial expectations and transcend the mainstream of independent filmmaking. “As the independent film world becomes increasingly homogenized it has become difficult for truly cutting edge work to find funding”, says Festival Director Bryan Wendorf, “The Chicago Underground Film Fund exists to provide financial support for projects that aspire to be more than industry calling cards.”

In 1999 CUFF awarded grants to six projects: Ecstasy in Entropy by Nick Zedd, Swinger’s Serenade by Danny Plotnick, Straightman by Ben Berkowitz and Ben Redgrave, Superstarlet A.D. by John Michael McCarthy, I’d Rather Be Dead Than Mellow – The Life and Art of Robert Williams by Angi Glenn and Ana Wolovick and Live! Nude! Girls! UNITE! by Julia Query. After receiving his grant Ben Berkowitz, director of Straightman, said, “The CUFF grant was the first vote of confidence we got from anyone. The money helped us finish Straightman, but the recognition by our peers was equally as important to our film.”

The fund is open to all film and video directors and producers. We will consider proposals for any existing project, regardless of length, genre, or final exhibition format. Film projects in 35mm, 16mm, or super-8, and all video formats are eligible.

The submission deadline for the fund is February 1, 2000 and awards will be announced May 1, 2000. For grant applications or 2000 festival entry forms contact the festival at 773/327-FILM, or email

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