Chicago Underground Film Fest offers a taste of 2018

The Dead Kennedy's Jello Biafra in “Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records”

The Dead Kennedy’s Jello Biafra in “Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records”

Opening night
Julia Nash’s Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records
Chicago premiere

Closing night
Lori Felker’s Future Language: The Dimensions of VON LMO
Chicago premiere

[Editor Note: The “Industrial Accident” screening sold out shortly after this story was published, but CUFF organizers are working to schedule another. Stay tuned to Reel Chicago for updates.]

(Chicago — 18 April 2018) The Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF) returns to the Logan Theatre at 2646 N. Milwaukee Ave. on June 6, 2018 for the 25th year and features an international slate of innovative and provocative films and videos.

The event opens with the U.S. Premiere of Julia Nash’s documentary Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records, an inside look at the rise and fall of her father’s revolutionary record label Wax Trax! Records, a Chicago institution during the 1980s and early 90s.

The 25th Chicago Underground Film Festival poster (art: Amy Davis: design: Dan Streeting)
The 25th Chicago Underground Film Festival poster (art: Amy Davis: design: Dan Streeting)

“Julia’s film beautifully captures the urgent and powerful spirit of underground culture in Chicago and around the country,” said festival programmer and artistic director Bryan Wendorf. “Not only is it the ideal film to launch the 25th installment of CUFF, but it also gives context to the underground movements across our current political and cultural landscape.”

Returning for its sixth year at the lovingly restored Logan Theatre, CUFF, which is presented by IFP Chicago, has established itself as a premier venue for emerging independent filmmakers.

From high camp to formal experimentation, CUFF films defy genre expectations and exhibit a ferocious commitment to the power of cinema. Named the “coolest underground/experimental film festival in the world” by Moviemaker Magazine, the 2018 festival is yet another extraordinary reminder of film’s explosive political, creative, and expressive potential.

Featuring over 100 films, this year’s festival, which will be attended by filmmakers and other special guests, will present a diverse slate of experimental, documentary and narrative features and shorts, carefully selected and curated into 25 unique programs, drawn from over 2,200 submissions from around the globe.

Opening Night — Chicago premiere
Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records
From humble beginnings in Denver, Colorado, Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher built one of the most influential American independent record labels on the planet. In 1978, they opened Wax Trax! Records in Chicago, Illinois, which would evolve into a record store and music label like no other—Wax Trax! became the nexus of the new wave, punk rock and industrial music scenes, and America’s preeminent industrial label of the 1980s and ’90s. Director Julia Nash and writer/producer Mark Skillicorn and other special guests will be in attendance.


Closing Night — Chicago premiere
Future Language: The Dimensions of VON LMO
Future Language is a distorted portrait of an artist who explores storytelling, ego, delusion, conviction, and memory. VON LMO is a musician/artist and self-proclaimed alien-hybrid who was a part of the late 70s New York No Wave music scene. Between trips to his home planet of Strazar, VON LMO spends time on Earth’s streets as well as in its prisons as he takes on the challenge of translating his future language for audiences across the galaxy. Ultimately, “Future Language” is the story of a filmmaker who is sucked into the orbit of her charismatic subject.


Complete festival lineup will be announced soon. Tickets for the opening and closing night films go on sale at 10am on Friday, April 20th. Festival passes, which grant admission to all screenings and events, are available here.

Now in its twenty-fifth year, the Chicago Underground Film Festival, presented by IFP Chicago, is dedicated to the work of film and video makers with defiantly independent visions. Widely recognized as a world-class event, the festival showcases the best in new American and international cinema and providing the movie-loving public with access to some of the most critically acclaimed filmmakers and emerging talent from around the world. Our mission is to promote films and videos that dissent radically in form, technique, or content from the “indie” mainstream and to present adventurous works that challenge and transcend commercial and audience expectations. To learn more about the festival visit, on Facebook at ChicagoUndergroundFilmFestival and Twitter @CUFF_Chicago.

IFP Chicago empowers Midwest filmmakers at all stages of their careers to create bold, original content that reaches audiences and impacts culture by providing mentorship, community, and connection to industry and each other. We provide community, education and professional development opportunities for independent filmmakers, industry professionals and independent film enthusiasts. We encourage quality and diversity in independent production and assist filmmakers at all levels of experience in realizing their unique vision. This program is funded in part by the Illinois Arts Council. Visit

Kristi Kucera is the CUFF Communications Director. Contact her at