Photo from the stage at the Calgary Underground Film Festival
Calgary Underground Film Festival returns with eclectic lineup for milestone year | Photo: Mike Tan

Calgary Underground Film Festival

Western Canada’s top genre festival celebrates 15 years

Amy Jo Espetveidt

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For the past 15 years, the Calgary Underground Film Festival has been programming genre-busting features and killer shorts. Now, presenting its boldest and most eclectic lineup yet, the seven-day internationally-recognized festival is ready to share 55 films with nearly 7,000 attendees.

“I remember the day we started this festival and our vision was to grow within our means, screen provocative, boundary-pushing independent film, build a solid community, and to really make sure we were creating a festival as fans, for fans,” says CUFF Co-Founder and Festival Director Brenda Lieberman, in a statement. “I’m excited we’ve reached 15 years, continually growing, and achieving what we set out to do! I love this festival, and what we’ve become so far.”

From its start of fold-out chairs at The Venue to its now home of the Globe Cinema, this little festival that could keeps on impressing with a solid lineup of unexpected films.

So, what’s on our must-see list? Here are our picks for this year’s festival:

An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn

April 16, 2018, 6:45pm
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)
$13 – $15

Opening the festival, this Canadian premiere stars Aubrey Plaza, Jemaine Clement, Emile Hirsch, and Craig Robinson. After getting fired by her scheming husband, dissatisfied Lulu Danger is stunned when a TV commercial for An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn For One Magical Night Only reveals a mysterious man from her past. Director Jim Hosking and actor Sky Elobar will be there, and an after party is set to take over The Derrick (620 8th Ave. SW).

Blood & Donuts

April 18, 2018, 9:45pm
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)

A special National Canadian Film Day screening, don’t miss this hilariously morbid debut feature film from accomplished Canadian director Holly Dale. Boya, a sexy Gothic vampire rises after 25 years of hibernation in 1990s Toronto. Overwhelmed by his new surroundings, Boya takes refuge in an all-night diner where he forms a relationship with a charming waitress and an offbeat cabbie.

Saturday Morning All-You-Can-Eat-Cereal Cartoon Party

April 21, 2018, 10:00am
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)
$6 – $12

Always a great bet, here’s your chance to relive the exciting Saturday morning ritual of non-stop retro cartoons and binge on the multi-coloured sugary cereals not usually available in Canada. Jammies are totally recommended.

A child in Superman pajamas pours cereal

Don’t miss the Saturday Morning All-You-Can-Eat-Cereal Cartoon Party | Photo: Mike Tan

Found Footage Festival: Volume 8

April 21, 2018, 9:15pm
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)
$13 – $15

The return of the Found Footage Festival, this one-of-a-kind CUFF-favourite showcases footage from videos that were found in garage sales, thrift stores, warehouses, and dumpsters across the country. Curators Nick and Joe return to the festival for the first time in four years to lead this guided tour of their latest and greatest finds.

Freaks & Geeks: The Documentary

April 22, 2018, 6:30pm
Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW)
$8 – $10

Don’t miss the international premiere of this documentary from Alberta filmmaker Brent Hodge just days after it premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival. A touching documentary that shows the ultimate success of the monumental television show was not without struggle, long phone calls, childhood trauma, and finally, heartbreak, the film features intimate interviews with the cast and crew of Freaks & Geeks.

All screenings at CUFF are licensed, with the festival bar serving beer, wine, and mixed drinks, and before all screenings DJs are set up in the theatre, performing music inspired by the theme of the film.

The Calgary Underground Film Festival runs April 16 to 22, 2018 at the Globe Cinema (617 8th Ave. SW). Head to for the full schedule.