The Chicago Underground Film Fund was established five years ago 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 completion of 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.

In 2002 Funds were awarded to The Eulipion Chronicles (Julian Goldberger), Fundamentals of the Stoma (Carl Weideman), Riding Ray’s Rollercoaster (Doug Wolens), Take Away (Todd Verow), Threads of Belonging (Jennifer Montgomery) and Tongues of Stone (Jason Blalock).


The fund is open to all independent film and video directors, producers and non-profit corporations. 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. Projects should be in the final stages of production and have not screened publicly at the time funds are received. Projects in development, pre-production or production will not be considered.

For the purposes of this application, “completion” means post-production, as well as subtitling and video-to-film transfer. We will not fund script development, research, pre-production or production. Applicants should provide a plan, with identified funding, for the completion of the project.

Awards will be based on a clear demonstration of the following: 1. Financial need. 2. Assurance that the project will be completed. 3. The grant makes a critical contribution to the completion of the project.

4. The project is in keeping with the festival’s goal to support films and videos that are innovative 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.

1. Completed Chicago Underground Film Fund Application Form. 2. Short written description of the project (no more than 2 pages) 3. Budget: An itemized budget must include the amount already expended, all projected costs, other sources of financing and the amount you are requesting from CUFF. 4. Funding Request: Indicate the amount you are requesting from CUFF and detail how the amount will be used. 5. Distribution and exhibition: Indicate projected completion date and include a brief description of plans for distribution and exhibition. 6. Personnel: Include a one paragraph biography of all principals.

7. Work-in-progress cassette. Must be VHS (NTSC or PAL format). Proposals must include work-in-progress cassette for consideration. SUBMISSION VIDEOS WILL NOT BE RETURNED. DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS.

8. $15.00 processing fee (check or money order made out to Chicago Underground Film Festival). Processing fees are not refundable.

Pay online today!

Click the PayPal button below and process your application payment online. Once you have received your PayPal confirmation number, please make sure to print the Application Form and include it on the form. Failure to provide any of the above items will result in the proposal being disqualified.


Send complete proposal package to: Chicago Underground Film Fund 3109 N. Western Ave.

Chicago, IL 60618


Proposals for 2002 Film Fund grants must be received by February 5, 2003.
Deadline extended to March 1st!


All applicants will receive notification by May 5, 2003. Public announcement of grant recipients will be made in late May 2003.


For information regarding the Chicago Underground Film Fund email

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