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June 2000, Week 4


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Chicago Underground Film Festival <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 22 Jun 2000 01:43:43 -0500
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 "I feel very strongly that in applying for a grant from CUFF, this is one
of the very few applications where I can actually be sincere-that my vision
for this film and the ideas and politics behind CUFF are enough in sync that
I can lay my cards on the table." -2000 Chicago Underground Film Fund
recipient, Sam Green

The Chicago Underground Film Festival is pleased to announce the recipients
of its second annual Chicago Underground Film Fund: seven projects selected
from over 100 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 the completion of his or her project.

Established in 1998, the Film Fund intends to aid underground and
independent filmmakers who wish to abandon the studio-minded mainstream of
independent film for personal, avant-garde work. "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." 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. After Ben Berkowits, director of the
1999 grant winner, Straightman, received his grant he announced, "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."

Chicago Underground Film Fund 2000 Recipients:

Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music (Vivek Bald): There's a new British
Invasion, it's helmed by artists like the Asian Dub Foundation, Fun Da
Mental, Cornershop, and Talvin Singh. Mixing politics with the dance floor
filmmaker and DJ Bald chronicles the way these children of immigrants from
India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, these artists combine the influences of
their parents' cultures with techno, punk, and hip-hop, to create a unique
and powerful new sound.

The Monks-The Transatlantic Feedback (Dietmar Post): Five American GIs
stationed in Cold War Germany billed themselves as the anti-Beatles, wrote
songs mocking the military, sported strange haircuts, played with feedback
and the electric banjo--and basically invented punk rock. German filmmaker
Post takes on the legacy of the Monks.

The Escapades of Madame X (Kerry Laitala and Isabel Reichert): Experimental
filmmakers Laitala and Reichert embark on a dreamy, mysterious examination
of women's role in early Hollywood.

Fucked in the Face (Shawn Durr): The first feature by CUFF'99's Best of
Chicago winner (Meat Fucker) tracks one man's obsession with a serial killer
and the overly-sensitive, acutely-insecure, compulsive clean-freak he ends
up with instead.

A Cold-Blooded Look at Your Last 60,000,000 Years (Rodney Ascher): A
'film-strip' revealing the secret cosmology of the Church of Scientology
usually restricted to upper level initiates by the fanatically-obsessed
maker of Somebody Goofed.

The Weather Underground (Sam Green): The director of The Rainbow Man/John
3:16 takes on another controversial subject with his latest project on the
rise and fall of the Weather Underground - a group of several hundred young
men and women tried to smash American capitalism with widespread bombings in
the late 60s and '70s while evading one of the largest FBI manhunts in

Hellalujah (Martha Colburn): The scabrous animator collaborates with Anton
Lavey's daughter to bring her virulent vision back to the screen with an
orgiastic mix of flickering skeletons,1-800 Sex ads, dancing girls, and
extreme evangelism.

In 1999 CUFF awarded grants to six projects: Ecstasy in Entropy by Nick
Zedd, I'd Rather Be Dead Than Mellow - The Life Ant Art of Robert Williams
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. With the exception of Swinger's Serenade, which premiered
at CUFF '99 and the to-be-completed I'd Rather Be Dead Than Mellow, each of
these films will play at CUFF 2000.

The 7th Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival will be located at the Fine
Arts Theatre, 410 S. Michigan Ave. The Festival Schedule will be posted on
CUFF's website August 8.  For more information about the grant or this
year's Festival, visit CUFF's website or contact Amy Beste at
[log in to unmask] or 773-327-3456.

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