The 9th Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF)                                                 back to main FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 23, 2002


For More Information Contact: Bryan Wendorf, Festival Director

“There are so many film festivals out there these days and it seems like most of them are in it for their own recognition or financial gain. Basically, they use the filmmaker for their own advantage. CUFF does it FOR the filmmaker, to support independent film, and for the community it serves. They program films that others dare not show and their film fund provides a means for independent filmmakers like myself to realize our dreams. Yes, the grant award is great and will help enable me to make my film. But really, it’s about support. Had I received the grant or not, it’s great to know that CUFF is out there making sure that independent films are made. “- Doug Wolens, director of RIDING RAY’S ROLLER COASTER

The Chicago Underground Film Festival is pleased to announce the recipients of its Fourth Annual Chicago Underground Film Fund, six projects selected from over 200 submissions in an effort to foster the underground of contemporary media. Each winner selected has received a cash award of between $500 and $2000 to go toward completion of his or her project.

Established in 1998, the Film Fund was created to provide financial aid assistance to underground and independent filmmakers for personal and avant-garde work. “The film fund is one of the most important aspects of CUFF’s mission,” says Festival Director Bryan Wendorf. “Through the fund we aim to give back to the independent film community and insure that smart, creative and daring work continues to be produced.”

By cultivating new artists and supporting established ones, the Fund provides more encouragement and support to the type of media CUFF already seeks to foster in its year-round programming and festival. Along with material support, the grant hopes to create a sense of artistic community among widely disparate but similarly adventurous filmmakers.


The Eulipion Chronicles Part One – A lyrical experimental film, shot on super8,illuminating the fabric of an all-American truck-stop. A series of subjective meditations on travel and memory from filmmaker Julian Goldberger (Trans).

Fundamentals Of The Stoma – A twenty-five minute experimental narrative from Chicago filmmaker Carl Weidemann presenting an array of characters who chain-smoke and simultaneously speak with great confidence and limited coherence.

Riding Ray’s Roller Coaster – Documentary maker Doug Wolens (Weed, Butterfly) observes a week in the never ending cycle of emotional and physical self-destruction of Ray, a San Francisco hipster and methamphetamine addict.

Take Away – Digital underground auteur Todd Verow’s latest feature starring the always captivating Philly (Once and Future Queen) as a NYC actress who makes plans to rendez vous with her lover in Copenhagen after shooting a film in Berlin, only to find her plans change as the film and her life fuse.

Threads of Belonging – A feature length fiction/documentary hybrid by Jennifer Montgomery (Art for Teachers of Children), Threads of Belonging recreates a therapeutic community using actual case histories written by patients during the anti-psychiatry movement. Using immersion and improvisation, Jennifer developed the characters in a house over a two-week period.

Tongues Of Stone – In his first feature length documentary Jason Blalock (High Rocks, Spangled) uses the amusing world of Argentine rock ‘n’ roll to offer an enlightening look at the effect of globalization on Third World cultures. By molding an imported musical style to fit there own purposes, the Argentines use rock music today as Americans did in the 1960s – as a tool for social change.

Since 1999 CUFF has awarded grants to twenty-five projects, including Ecstasy in Entropy by Nick Zedd, Straightman by Ben Berkowitz and Ben Redgrave, Live! Nude! Girls! UNITE! by Julia Query, Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator, Scumrock by Jon Moritsugu and The Weather Underground by Sam Green.

The 9th Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival will be held August 22-28, 2002 at the Landmark Century Centre Cinemas. The Festival Schedule will be posted on CUFF’s website on August 1st. For more information about the grant or this year’s Festival, visit CUFF’s website or contact Bryan Wendorf at

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