Audience members laughing in a theatre
The audience at last year’s Calgary Underground Film Festival | Photo: Elyse Bouvier

Calgary Underground Film Festival

Western Canada’s top genre festival brings the weird and wonderful online

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Location Various Venues 
  • Price Prices Vary
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Elevating Calgary’s cultural landscape with the best in international independent cinema, the 17th Calgary Underground Film Festival (CUFF) returns with an eclectic lineup you can enjoy from a safe distance.

Originally scheduled for April 20 to 26, 2020, this seven-day online event has been rescheduled and features independent and genre films streaming in Alberta for the first time, shorts packages, Q&As with filmmakers, programmer intros before all films, and interactive experiences.

And while CUFF might look different this year, it’s sure to be a fun, engaging, and unique experience for everyone!

With a mix of live events and the ability to stream films on-demand, special initiatives include four nights of sold out drive-in screenings at Big Rock Brewery, as well as collaborations with Sled Island and CJSW—who wouldn’t love to check out curated playlists for each film?

It all kicks off with a punk-rock opening night from the comfort of your own home. Tune in on June 22 to see the Sundance-hit Dinner in America and stick around after the film to participate in a live Q&A with the filmmaking team.

What else is on our must-see list? Here are our picks for this year’s festival:

Found Footage Festival: Quarantine Qlassics

June 23, 2020, 7:00pm
Stream online
$13 – $15

A one-of-a-kind CUFF-favourite that showcases footage from videos that were found in garage sales, thrift stores, warehouses, and dumpsters across the country, Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher beam live into your home with a whole bunch of VHS delights to get you through the quarantine. You can even participate in the show via live chat and take part in an interactive game show.

Five Bucks at The Door: The Story of Crocks N Rolls

June 24, 2020, 6:30pm
Stream online
$8 – $10

An indie-rock oasis in the boreal forest, this documentary shares the history of how a bar in the middle of nowhere put Canadian music on the map and you can catch the live world premiere featuring a Q&A with director Kirsten Kosloski. Can’t make it to the special event? Don’t worry, you can stream the film on-demand from June 25 to 28.

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

June 27, 2020, 10:00am
Stream online
$8 – $10

It’s the at-home edition of the wonderfully epic Saturday Morning All-You-Can-Eat Cereal Cartoon Party! Always a great bet, here’s your chance to relive the exciting Saturday morning ritual of non-stop retro cartoons. Jammies are totally recommended and you can curate your own cereal!

The Calgary Underground Film Festival runs June 22 to 28, 2020. Be sure to visit for the full schedule.