The 9th Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF)                                                 back to main FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: AUGUST 8th, 2002


For More Information Contact: Bryan Wendorf, Festival Director

The 9th Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival will unspool eleven features, nine feature-length documentaries, and more than 100 shorts on two screens at The Landmark Century Centre Cinemas from August 22 to August 28, 2002. Over 1,200 submissions were whittled down to make up this year’s lineup, which includes five world premiere features: Dave Thomas’ “MC5 * A True Testimonial”, Jon Moritsugu’s lo-tech “Scumrock”, Todd Verow’s latest DV feature “Take Away”, Dietmar Post’s documentary “Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping” and Chicago filmmaker Usama Alshaibi’s Southeast Asian tinged feature debut “Soak”. The festival will also honor NYC-based painter and filmmaker Alfred Leslie with its annual Jack Smith Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to its cinematic lineup, the week long festival will include a series of music events at The Abbey Pub, The Hideout and The Prodigal Son curated by filmmaker Jeff Economy.

CUFF Kicks Out The Jams on Opening Night!

Opening Night CUFF presents the World Premiere of Chicago filmmakers Dave Thomas and Laurel Legler’s documentary MC5 * A True Testimonial, an in-depth look at the last great untold story of the 1960s, the story of the legendary Detroit proto-punkers The MC5. “The MC5 film was tailor made to open CUFF” says Festival Director Bryan Wendorf, “it has everything you could want, sex, drugs, radical politics and of course, music that will kick your ass.”

Moritsugu Closes Fest

On Closing Night, San Francisco underground legend Jon Moritsugu presents the world premiere of his latest work, the lo-fi comedy Scumrock, His first shot on video feature, Scumrock is Moritsugu’s “fuck you” to the digital video revolution, saying “Digital is just another way for The Man to keep the brothers and sisters down.” Made with his trademark irreverent aesthetic, Moritsugu exploits video for what it is: an electronic signal rather than a photographic image.

Beat Filmmaker & Painter Alfred Leslie to be honored

CUFF’s annual Jack Smith Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to NYC based painter and filmmaker Alfred Leslie who has produced a small but incredibly significant body of work which includes his beat-era collaboration with Robert Frank “Pull My Daisy” considered by many to be the first “underground” film and “The Last Clean Shirt” his Avant-Garde film which anticipated the structural movement which dominated experimental filmmaking in the Seventies. Leslie’s newest work, “The Cedar Bar”, an experimental video feature concerning the early days of New York’s Action painters will have its Midwest Premiere at the festival.

Other Programming Highlights

Among the other diverse programs to be featured will be the US Premiere of “Audiovisions 2”, a program of new experimental music videos from Austria, Robert Taicher’s “Shut Yer Dirty Little Mouth” a dark comedy based on the infamous “Shut Up Little Man” tapes of conversations between two angry San Francisco alcoholics, “GDR Underground” a special program of underground cinema produced in East Germany in the year’s just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, “Standing By Yourself” Josh Koury’s intimate and devastating DV doc about his teenage brother and their friends, “Monday Night at the Rock n’ Bowl” a portrait of Chicago’s popular Northside hangout the Diversey Rock n’ Bowl, and “Christabel” the latest work by local upstart Jim Fotopoulos.

Free panels with Chris Gore

This year the Chicago Underground Film Festival in cooperation with IFP/Chicago will present a series of free panel discussions hosted by Chris Gore, the outspoken and opinionated publisher of and author of the Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide. Topics will include “Extreme Filmmaking: Using No Budget To Your Advantage”, “Getting Real: The Truth About Documentary Filmmaking” and “How To Shoot Nude Scenes”.

Provocative Shorts

As usual, the fest will also showcase some of the most politically, socially, and aesthetically provocative short films and videos around, including new works by Bobby Abate, Martha Colburn, David Gatten, Jennifer Reeves, Matt McCormick, Stephanie Barber, Joost Rekveld, Miranda July, Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby, Nick Zedd, Reynold Reynolds and Patrick Jolley Stom Sogo, Peter Tscherkassky and Deco Dawson as well as local filmmakers Kyle Harris, Sarah Brenia, Zack Stiglitz, Christopher Bravo, Deborah Stratman, Fred Hickler, Sterling Ruby, Arthur Jones, Jim Finn, Shawn Durr, Ben Russell, Art Jones, Alicia Scherson, Gym Jones, D.B. Griffith, D. Scott McNally, Mark Hejnar, Catherine Crouch and more!

Live Sounds of the Underground

In conjunction with the festival, local filmmaker Jeff Economy has curated an expanded showcase of music events focusing on Chicago¹s diverse music scene, including an opening night concert with The Eternals and X27. Other music events include Orso, Bric-a-Brac and Bosco and Jorge at the Hideout and Cobra Verde, Kasper Hauser and Reagan National Crash Diet at the Abbey Pubon closing night. Other musical acts to be announced.

Landmark Theatre Provides State of the Art Screening Venue

This year the Chicago Underground Film Festival is pleased to move to the Landmark Century Centre Cinemas, the first all-stadium seating theatre showcasing independent and foreign language films in the Chicagoland area. Featuring convenient validated parking, unobstructed sightlines, Dolby Digital sound and gourmet as well as traditional concessions; Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema is one of the city’s most innovative and exciting new theatre locations. Nestled into the fourth, fifth and sixth levels of the newly renovated Century Shopping Centre, it is surrounded by award-winning restaurants and shopping opportunities on Chicago’s bustling near-north side.

National and Local Support for nearly decade old upstart

Sponsors Newcity, Sanyo, Kodak, Virgin Megastore, Jim Beam, Integramedia, Slab Magazine,,, and The Day¹s Inn Lincoln Park North generously support the 9th Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival. In addition, a number of local businesses and organizations have donated in-kind services to support the popular event, including I-Cubed, Punk Planet, Early2bed, Eightball Films, IFP/Chicago and Quimby¹s Books.

Screening tickets are $9.00 per program, and can be purchased day of show at the Festival box office, located at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinemas, open at 12:30 pm daily during the Festival or in advance through

For press accreditation and complete schedule info contact Festival Director Bryan Wendorf at or Programming Director Amy Beste at

Feature Films selected for CUFF 2002:

A Chronicle of Corpses, Andrew Repasky McElhinney Christabel, James Fotopoulos Dildo Heaven, Doris Wishman In Our Garden, Guisseppe Andrews NitWit, Xan Price Operation Midnight Climax, Will Keenan and Gadi Harel Scumrock, Jon Moritsugu Shut Yer Dirty Little Mouth, Robert Taicher Soak, Usama Alshaibi Take Away, Todd Verow Teenage Hooker Became Killing Machine In DaeHakRoh, Nam Ki-Woong

Documentary Features

A Skin Too Few: The Days of Nick Drake, Jeroen Berkvens Beautiful Frenzy, Christina Hallstrom & Mandra Waback Breath Control: The History of the Human Beatbox, Joey Garfield Cul de Sac: A Suburban War Story, Garrett Scott Horns and Halos, Michael Galinsky & Suki Hawley MC5 * A True Testimonial, Dave Thomas Monday Night at the Rock Œn Bowl, Genevieve Coleman Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping, Dietmar Post Standing By Yourself, Josh Koury

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