CUFF 2021 First Wave Lineup Announcement

Earlier this month, the 2021 Calgary Underground Film Festival (CUFF) announced its launch date and new online and drive-in format. This morning the 18th annual CUFF delivered more exciting news, dropping the first wave of titles and live events happening next month.

Today’s announcement includes a pair of local features, music documentaries, and popular annual events, which festivalgoers may stream during the online portion of the festival.

Festival Director and Lead Programmer Brenda Lieberman:

We always love showcasing local films and our talented crews. I’m excited for the Alberta films we’re screening this year.

We also look forward to our classics, that are newly curated each festival, and well-loved events -– such as our Saturday Morning Cartoons, and the Found Footage Festival. CUFF wouldn’t be the same without either of those.

The festival also launched a new podcast called CUFFcast which “takes listeners on a wild ride through the world of weird, underground & fantastic films with the Calgary Underground Film Festival.” The show is hosted by CUFF Lead Programmer Cameron Macgowan and features “candid interviews with the twisted brains behind cutting-edge genre cinema.” Episode one features interviews with Cinema Sewer’s Robin Bougie and Psycho Goreman director Steven Kostanski.


CUFF 2021 First Wave Announcement


Alberta Features
BLOODTHIRSTY Directed by Amelia Moses (Local Producers Michael Peterson and Wendy Hill-Tout): An indie singer struggling to write her sophomore album heads to the secluded cabin of a mysterious producer and begins a deep transformation of both body and mind in this Alberta werewolf thriller.

RANGE ROADS Directed, Written & Produced by Kyle Thomas (Local Producers Alexander Carson and Sara Corry): Television actor Frankie King struggles to confront the past when she returns to her hometown in rural Alberta after her parents are killed in a tragic car accident.

Music Documentaries
HEARTWORN HIGHWAYS (1976) – RE-RELEASE Directed by James Szalapski: A newly-restored documentary of the cult classic about the radical country artists that changed the course of country music history. Presented by Sled Island.

VINYL NATION Directed by Christopher Boone And Kevin Smokler: A deep dig into the crates of the vinyl record resurgence to discover what an old technology says about our relationship to music and each other in a divided time in America.


Annual Live Events
FOUND FOOTAGE FESTIVAL: TAPE TRADING CLASSICS – Live on Thursday, April 29 at 7pm: Hosts Joe Pickett (The Onion) and Nick Prueher (Late Show) take you back in time to the pre-internet 90s to resurrect the best “tape traded” videos passed from weirdo to weirdo on VHS.

SATURDAY MORNING ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT-CEREAL (AT HOME) CARTOON PARTY! – Live on Saturday, May 1 at 9am: The cartoon lineup is always a mystery, but in this all-new program, you’ll see both faves and obscurities spanning the ’60s through the ’90s, all punctuated with vintage commercials, PSAs and station IDs! To complement this 3-hour trip into the weird and wonderful world of yesteryear’s animated antics, we encourage you to stay in your jammies and pick-up your favourite sugary cereals.

LIVE SCRIPT READING: HURT THEM – Live on Saturday, May 1 at 2pm: The interactive live event includes a script reading of the upcoming production HURT THEM directed by Calgary filmmaker Michael Peterson. The violent revenge thriller tells the story of an elderly man in a nursing home that’s drawn into bloody games, which he thought that he left behind 50 years ago.

The 18th annual CUFF festival takes place online from April 23 – May 2, with a weekend of drive-in screenings happening June 3-5. Head over to for more details.