FREAKSCENE: THE STORY OF DINOSAUR JR (April 24)
FREAKSCENE: THE STORY OF DINOSAUR JR (April 24)

CUFF 2022: Picks of the Fest

Your guide to the dynamic, daring, and otherwise hard-to-find on-screen offerings.

by Christine Leonard

Calgary Underground Film Festival starts on Thursday, April 21. Narrowing down the field of outstanding titles being rolled out online and in-cinema, we’ve curated a list of unforgettable, unbelievable and undeniable underground films that are guaranteed to provide the eye-gouging-candy your ocular nerves have been craving. Strap in and set course for a matinee hero’s journey into the flip-side of the silver screen. 

BEYOND THE WASTELAND

AUSTRALIA, 2021 : CANADIAN PREMIERE

Return to the desert wasteland of George Miller’s Mad Max with this crew of dyed-in-the-leather fans who have turned the post-apocalyptic Australian films into a hobby, a passion, and in some cases a lifestyle! Outback filmmaker Eddie Beyrouthy drives his documentary-making machine straight into the arid heart of Beyond the Wasteland, a tale of triumph and the power of community that burns like the midday sun. Shot in the rust-and-dust of Japan, Germany, France, Italy, the USA and, of course, Australia this diesel-fuelled romp through a surreal cinematic landscape is bound to become a cult classic in its own right.

Stream on Demand: Apr. 29-May 1
In Cinema: Saturday, Apr. 23

FREAKSCENE: THE STORY OF DINOSAUR JR

UNITED STATES, GERMANY, 2021 : ALBERTA PREMIERE

Director Philipp Reichenheim’s homegrown homage to the de facto gods of shoegaze, provides a glimpse inside the tour van of Dinosaur Jr. and the world they inhabit. Weaving archival footage featuring interviews with the likes of Henry Rollins, Frank Black and Thurston Moore together with compelling live concert clips, Freakscene delivers a headnoding double-dose of ‘90s nostalgia. Grab yourself a bag of Dino-Sours and witness the reluctant supergroup’s bittersweet ascent from Massachusetts high school weirdos to bonafide rock royalty without missing a fuzzy beat.

In Cinema Only: Sunday, April 24

SLASH/BACK

CANADA, 2022 : ALBERTA PREMIERE

From the hand of innovative filmmaker and Marvel Comics creator Nyla Innuksuk comes this goosebump-raising tale of a group of Inuit youth who are forced to fend off an invasive presence that threatens their remote Arctic hamlet. All this while attempting to battle the fear of missing out on the coolest party in Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Pinned against the imposing backdrop of the Arctic Ocean ringed Baffin Island mountains, and channelling the otherworldly effects of 24-hour sunlight, Slash/Back spins the horror/sci-fi bottle with empowering and entertaining results.

Stream on Demand: Apr. 29-May 1
In Cinema: Wednesday, Apr. 27

RHYMES FOR YOUNG GHOULS

CANADA, 2013

What better way to get lit on 4/20 than by watching the indie breakout that introduced alt-film and cannabis aficionados around the world to the legendary formaldehyde dipped reefer? Join the coast-to-coast celebration of National Canadian Film Day by attending CUFF’s one-time-only screening of writer-director Jeff Barnaby’s mind blowing, Indigenous-focused 2013 feature film. A very digable take on the underworld that rules the fictional Red Crow Mi’gMaq reservation, Rhymes For Young Ghouls will drag you kicking and screaming into the Kingdom of the Crows.

In Cinema Only Special Location: Canyon Meadows Cinema
(National Canadian Film Day — Free screening)

SALOUM

SENEGAL, FRANCE, 2021 : ALBERTA PREMIERE

A sleeper hit that’s destined to keep you up all night, Congolese director Jean Luc Herbulot’s supernatural thriller pits the Bangui’s Hyenas, a trio of elite mercenaries, against dark forces more malevolent than the drug lords that pursue them. Wrapped in African-Caribbean folklore and plated in stolen gold, this flight or fight cataclysm ushers in a living hell that puts a bounty on the heads of anyone who dares to tangle with the sinister mangrove swamps of Sine-Saloum. It’s no coincidence that this revolutionary take on the 2003 coup in Guinea-Bissau sits at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes!

In Cinema Only: Monday, Apr. 25

For more information, visit calgaryundergroundfilm.org

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