Joel Schulz March 5, 2014 0

by Shannon Buckley – Managing Editor

Once again, like clockwork, the film festival circuit in Calgary begins with a big bang.

The Calgary Underground Film Festival (CUFF), now in it’s 11th year, runs this year from Monday April 7th to Sunday April 13th at the Globe Cinema in downtown Calgary. Organized by Festival/Programming Director and Co-Founder Brenda Lieberman, it is sure to present us with an exciting array of films with the lineup being announced on March 13th, 2014.

While they aim to showcase all genres, from horror to comedy, and all categories, from features to animation, CUFF films are less conservative than those you might find at the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF).

Hence the title “Underground.” But this is a good thing, as much of our film culture has become so saturated with the conventional Hollywood formula.

Last year, Alberta buzz asked Ms. Lieberman why Calgary needed another film festival, as there was already CIFF, the Fairy Tales film festival, and many more. She responded quickly that “Calgary needed a vehicle for cutting edge independent film that is more fun than what we view in theatres, download, or see at the Calgary International Film Festival.”*

And she’s right. Don’t get me wrong; the films shown at CIFF are amazing and rightfully so. And while it’s not fair to compare them, some can be a little formulaic, though still great.

CUFF is just a little more unconventional, and brings a different perspective and voice to the film world than those at CIFF. They want to showcase the films that rarely, if ever, make it to the big screen in North America and the people behind them.

If you anyone is looking to get involved with this festival, or the film industry in Calgary, there are two great ways to do it.

The 48-Hour Film Challenge is the first. This challenge tests not only your determination, but also your prowess in all aspects of film production.

Hosted by CUFF and now in its 8th year, the 48-Hour Film Challenge is open to anyone over 18 years of age, and will be run from March 21 at 7pm to March 23 at 7pm. Once registered, you and your team of filmmakers will be given a film genre, a film prop, and a line of dialogue that must be used in your film. You then have from Friday evening to Sunday evening – 48 hours – to write, film, edit, and submit your film.

But if you’re looking for another reason to partake in this, there are always the prizes!

For more information about the 48-Hour Film Challenge, please visit:

Another great way to get involved is to volunteer with the festival. They are always looking for people to help out. There are many great positions, and as an added bonus, you get to see all the films for free!

For more information on volunteering, visit:

With awards and galas, CUFF is a great way to explore the vibrant film culture that Calgary has to offer. But don’t forget, ladies and gentlemen, leave the kids at home this time as you must be 18 years and older to attend.

For more information about CUFF, please visit:


*Taken from Alberta Buzz article “Calgary Underground Film Festival – Ten Years and Going Strong.” Written on April 15/13 by Joel Schulz.

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