Chicago Underground Film Festival 2018 lineup

Dave Grohl in "INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT: The Story of Wax Trax! Records"

Dave Grohl in “INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT: The Story of Wax Trax! Records”

CUFF adds second screening of “Industrial Accident,” the opening night film about Wax Trax! Records that sold out hours after going on sale

After selling out the initioal opening night screening in less than an hour, the 25th annual Chicago Underground Film Festival has added a special encore presentation of INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT: The Story of Wax Trax! Records.

An intimate account of the rise and fall of the iconic Chicago label Wax Trax! Records INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT kicks off a feverish five days of provocative and exhilarating program featuring underground films from around the world at Chicago’s Logan Theatre.

“The enormous appetite for underground media amazes me year after year. It’s a powerful reminder that the mainstream is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what people are interested in and what can be done with film,” said festival co-founder and artistic director Bryan Wendorf.

Tickets to the special encore screening of INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 27th. Stay tuned to the CUFF website for more details.

Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records


Presented by IFP Chicago, this year’s festival features a mix of powerful new voices as well as festival alumni.

Among those who have presented work at past festivals is Michael Galinsky who, with Suki Hawley and David Beilinson, is back with the political documentary Working in Protest, an examination of thirty years of protest in the United States.

The Filipino poet and filmmaker Khavn also returns, this time with Alipato: The Very Brief Life on an Ember, a dystopic vision of Manilla in the near future.

Making her CUFF premiere is Samira Elagoz, whose feature documentary Craigslist Allstars follows what happens when the filmmaker places an ad on Craigslist inviting men to meet with her and her camera.

“We have a little of everything this year,” continues Wendorf. “The lineup runs the gamut from the overtly political to the purely whimsical. What’s consistent is the quality of each film and the unique vision of each filmmaker.”

In addition to screenings, CUFF also features filmmaker conversations, after hours parties each night, and the recognition of special guests. To purchase tickets, click here.


INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT: The Story of Wax Trax! Records
Directed by Julia Nash is the tale of two gay men who created an unlikely family of punks, queers, and artists on a breakneck ride through the 80s underground, accidentally changing music forever. Opening Night: Wednesday, June 6: 8:00 pm.

Craigslist Allstars directed by Samira Elagaz.
Through Craigslist, an internationally active internet network, Elagoz arranges one-on-one first encounters with a wide variety of men in three cities and explores how the camera influences intimacy between two strangers: The documentarian and the subject. Thursday, June 7: 8:45 pm.

Good Luck directed by Ben Russell.
Ben Russell spent months with Serbian miners to understand how people persevere. He filmed between light and dark, heat and cold, north and south thereby linking two disparate groups of labourers with more in common than they know. “Good Luck is an attentive, earthy film about bodies, rock and sweat, about being lucky and freedom of choice as well as the sense of community that invariably develops under harsh conditions. This is the basis of our capital and Russell puts a human face to it.” – Rotterdam Film Festival Friday, June 6: 8:45 pm.

Alipato: The Very Brief Life Of An Ember directed by Khavn.
In 2025, a gang of kids – aged between five and fifteen – terrorize the slums of Manila. They have nicknames like Pork Chop, Bull Dog, Snowman, McAbnormal and J. Blo. When this notorious thieving and murdering Kotka gang decides to rob a bank, things go wrong and the leader ends up in jail. When he is released in 2053, the big question is where the booty is. After which this unconventional crime film turns into an equally unconventional whodunnit: Who is the serial killer systematically killing all the gang members Saturday, June 9: 6:30 pm.

Tomorrow Never Knows directed by Adam Sekuler
A sensitive documentary looking at the life and death of Shar Jones, a transgender person living with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease, and the difficult choice he and his wife Cynthia Vitale faced as the couple struggled to figure out how to proceed amidst his chaotic decline. Tomorrow Never Knows highlights the couple’s journey as they set a course to Shar’s final days. This tragic love story offers profound implications for increasing awareness about choice in living and in dying. Saturday, June 9: 8:45 pm.

Savage Youth directed by Michael Curtis Johnson.
Horrorcore hip-hop, drugs, and broken hearts mix with a decaying, racially divided, rural town to deliver a tragically compelling film about the powder keg between adolescence and adulthood. An aimless rapper falls for an aspiring graphic artist, while a frustrated high school senior convinces his friend to start slinging drugs. Saturday, June 9: 9:15 pm.

Working In Protest directed by Michael Galinsky, Suki Hawley & David Beilinson.
Made over 30 years, but all too timely, this immersive film covers the recent history of protest and activism in America. Told from the perspective of an observer rather than as a journalist or activist. From rallies celebrating the Confederate Flag to the Occupy Wall Street movement to Drumpf rallies, the weird, wide world is all there. Sunday, June 10: 4:45pm.

The White World According to Daliborek
“Industrial painter Dalibor K. is approaching 40 but he still lives with his mother Věra. He makes amateur horror movies and writes angry songs; he likes PlayStation and Facebook. And he admires Adolf Hitler. His search for a full-fledged relationship with a woman hasn’t yet panned out, but at least Jana, a new acquaintance from the neighborhood, brings him a little joy.

Czech documentarist Vit Klusak has come out with a stylized portrait of a gentle neo-Nazi from Prostějov, Czechia. And despite the fact that he’s yet to attack anyone, he can’t stand many things: his job, Jews, Roma, refugees, homosexuals, Angela Merkel, spiders, and dentists The upshot is that Dalibor hates his life, but he doesn’t know what to change. Sunday, June 4: 8:30 pm.

Parallel Planes directed by Nicole Wegner
The film pays homage to the American DIY spirit and the diversity of the US musical landscape outside the commercial music industry. While many other music films never make it beyond hero worship, director Nicole Wegner consistently maintains eye level with her twelve interview partners, who include Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi), Michael Gira (Swans) and Valentine Falcon (Get Hustle). What they all have in common is that they couldn’t care less about marketing strategies and target group orientation as they gleefully hack the music industry and play by their own rules. Friday, June 8: 8:45 pm.

Future Language: The Dimensions of VON LMO directed by Lori Felker
A distorted portrait of an artist that 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 and multi-dimensional travel, VON has also spent some very real time in prison and on the streets of Earth. Challenged with translating his Future Language for audiences across the galaxy, Lori, our filmmaker and VON LMO fan, gets sucked into VON’s orbit and finds herself lost in his story. Sunday, June 10, 8:45 pm

2018 Shorts Programs
Blending experimental, documentary and traditional, and nontraditional narratives, the festival’s acclaimed shorts programming features an impressive lineup featuring nearly 100 films from over 25 different countries. The programs include subject matter ranging from ghost towns, to truck stops to Harvey Weinstein and everything in between. This year features some CUFF rookies including Jennifer Boles, Mohsen Khodabakhshi and Sarah Meyohas along with some new work from festival favorites including Jennifer Reeder, Usama Alshaibi,Siegfried Fruhauf and Jesse McLean.

Tickets are $15.00 for opening night or $25.00 which includes admission to after party at Elastic Arts. All other screenings are $10.00 per program. Festival passes are also available for $100.00 which grants admission to all screenings and events. Tickets and more information about the festival are available here. The complete festival schedule is available here.

Tickets for the encore screening (Also Wednesday, June 6, 8:00 PM) of INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT: The Story of Wax Tracks! Records are $15.00-$25.00 and go on sale Friday, April 27.

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