Calgary Underground 2024: Curtain Raiser

Contributing Writer; Toronto, Canada (@triflic)


The Calgary Underground Film Festival (CUFF) opens its 21st edition today, and runs until April 28th. 
Western Canada's largest showcase of genre film, offbeat documentaries, and industry events is housed in the two-screen (stacked on top of one another) Globe Cinema in the heart of Calgary.

Filmmakers John Waters and Vincenzo Natali are in attendance to discuss their careers (accompanied by multiple retrospective screenings), as well as David Cronenberg's daughter Caitlin debuting her first feature, along with a number of guest filmmakers, industry, and panelists who will be converging on the festival.

CUFF's place on the calendar offers a role for the festival to act as a curated catchall of wild, experimental, and indie cinema: a sampler from international festivals, blended in with the work of local filmmakers, a smattering of off-beat documentaries, short films, and live music events. 

Scroll through the gallery below for a small slice of what happening at this years festival, and look back to these pages for various coverage over the next two weeks.

Mel Valentin, Dustin Chang, J Hurtado, Kyle Logan and Martin Kudlac contributed to this story.

The opening night film, I Saw the TV Glow, from writer-director Jane Schoenbrun (We're All Going to the World's Fair), is fresh off its Sundance bow. Our own Mel Valentin had this to say:

"Cult fandoms, the positives and perils inherent in nostalgia (tonic or toxin), and the boundless search for personal identity, come together in Voltron-like fashion into a disquieting, discomfiting blend of fantasy, horror, and drama.

"Riddled with existential discomfort, surreal digressions, and fractured, irreparable identities, I Saw the TV Glow confirms Schoenbrun’s status as a singularly talented, risk-embracing filmmaker more than worthy of the accolades and acclaim that have come their way."

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