Creeps, Creatures, and Cartoons: Calgary Underground Film Festival Announces Its 2024 Lineup

The Calgary Underground Film Festival is Canada’s premiere fest for genre film fans, and this year’s 21st edition boasts a droolworthy array of fear fare, from slashers (In a Violent Place; The Last Video Store) to creature features (Kryptic; Infested) to the supernatural (Oddity; The Vourdalak) and beyond. Following is the official press announcement.

The Calgary Underground Film Festival has announced the full lineup of films playing the 21st Festival, from April 18-28, 2024 at Globe Cinema. On-scale with the expanded programming of last year’s 20th Anniversary Festival, the largest in the organization’s history, CUFF 2024 will show 41 feature films, 37 shorts, and host 8 special events over 11 days. 

From horror and sci-fi to indie comedies and music docs, the festival showcases diverse programming of films that defy convention. CUFF is Western Canada’s largest genre film festival, internationally recognized as a top horror film festival on the circuit, and one of the most anticipated events for local film fans. 

“Last year’s festival felt so special with audience and industry support, that our goal for this year was to put together the best lineup of films, bring as many guests as possible, and provide an incredible audience experience. We love how the program has come together, and we are looking forward to showcasing everything we’ve planned and celebrating the incredible work of cutting-edge filmmakers in a cinematic environment,” said CUFF Festival Director & Lead Programmer Brenda Lieberman.

Highlights of the CUFF 2024 program include: 

  • This year’s festival will open with I SAW THE TV GLOW (Thursday, April 18). The Canadian premiere of the Sundance-selected A24 release from visionary filmmaker Jane Schoenbrun (WE’RE ALL GOING TO THE WORLD’S FAIR) follows a lonely teenager whom a classmate introduces to a mysterious late-night TV show, and soon the world within the show begins to feel more real than real life. Following the film, there will be an After Party at The Derrick, featuring a live DJ set from CJSW Station Manager Adam Kamis.
Justice Smith and Brigette Lundy-Paine appear in I SAW THE TV GLOW by Jane Schoenbrun, an official selection of the World Dramatic Competition at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
  • Cult favourite John Waters will be in attendance for one night only on Wednesday, April 24, with his new live spoken word show DEVIL’S ADVOCATE followed by a 30th Anniversary screening of his film SERIAL MOM. 
  • 10 Alberta films and special events, including the episodic short-form series DEPARTMENT OF PARANORMAL AFFAIRS from Calgary director Michael Peterson; the Canadian horror-comedy MOTHER FATHER SISTER BROTHER FRANK from Caden Douglas, who grew up in Calgary; THE LAST VIDEO STORE, a love letter to the era of the video store from Albertan-born filmmakers Cody Kennedy and Tim Rutherford (aka House of Heathens); plus five Alberta shorts. 
  • This year’s Live Script Reading will feature the work of SAIT graduate Braden Brickner, and his upcoming sci-fi creature comedy LITTLE FRIGGERS. 
  • As always, we welcome the return of CUFF favourites: THE SATURDAY MORNING ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT-CEREAL CARTOON PARTY!, featuring three hours of retro cartoons plus an unlimited sugary cereal bar, (April 20); the 48-HOUR MOVIE MAKING CHALLENGE SHORT FILM SHOWCASE on (April 21), the second edition of INDIE GAME BASH (April 19) where participants compete in a tournament, playing new indie arcade games on the big screen with developers in attendance; and new CUFFcade games (custom arcade cabinets available to play for free throughout the festival). 
  • The annual retrospective will celebrate the work of Canadian filmmaker Vincenzo Natali, with the director and collaborator David Hewlett in attendance for screenings of 1997’s CUBE (April 20) and 2003’s NOTHING (April 21).
  • Music is a big focus of this year’s festival, with five music documentaries, including docs about feminist icon Peaches (TEACHES OF PEACHES), Ukrainian immigrant and punk legend Eugene Hütz (SCREAM OF MY BLOOD: A GOGOL BORDELLO STORY), and the seminal band Redd Kross. Following the screening of BORN INNOCENT: THE REDD KROSS STORY (April 20), there will be an afterparty at The Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club featuring Neon Taste Records DJs and live music including Witch Victim, Cat Piss, Uncle Monty & More. As always, CUFF will have live sets from CJSW DJs in the theatre before every film.
  • 50+ filmmakers, actors, creators, and industry will be in attendance, to represent their films, take part in free panels open to the public, jury films for CUFF’s awards, and network.
  • On Wednesday, April 17, the day before the festival officially starts, CUFF will host Calgary’s flagship National Canadian Film Day event, a free 35mm presentation of the 1981Alberta supernatural slasher Canuxploitation classic GHOSTKEEPER, with cast & crew in attendance for this special reunion screening.

The full program and schedule will be released online on Thursday, March 28 at 10 AM and tickets for all films will go on sale at this time. Single tickets cost $10 ($8 for members, students, and seniors), with $40 5-film packs, and $139 festival passes also available.

You can view the full program of films and events at www.calgaryundergroundfilm.org 

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.