Held in late March every year, the Boston Underground Film Festival will be coming back to the area from March 23rd through March 27th with shoes taking place at Brattle Theatre, Harvard Square and Cambridge.
The History of the Boston Underground Film Festival
Started in 1998 by David Kleiler, the Boston Underground Film Festival served as an extension of an all-night film marathon produced by Kleiler along with Dima Ballin. The first festival took place in February 1999 in the Revolving Museum in South Boston. The festival continued to take place in February through the 2002 event, but was then moved to May in 2004. During the 2004 festival, screenings took place in a variety of different theatres throughout the area.
In 2005, the Boston Underground Film Festival fell under new management. While Kleiler stayed on board as the Executive Director, Anna Feder and Kevin Monahan took over as co-managing directors while also bringing Bryan McKay on board as graphic designer. The new leadership centralized the screenings, with all of them taking place at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square. The following year, they made Harvard Square home to the festival with Brattle Theatre serving as the primary venue. The Brattle continued to serve as the host of the festival for the next two years. After some back and forth action, the festival this year will host screenings in Brattle Theatre, Harvard Square and Cambridge.
The Boston Underground Film Festival Experience
Throughout its history, the Boston Underground Film Festival has maintained an informal feel combined with quirkiness. Known for its unusual and bizarre films, the festival bills itself as a celebration of the insane with uncompromising, unflinching films and videos. In keeping with this theme, the festival is known for giving out its demonic bunny trophy to top films in the festival. Rather than giving our cash prizes, films are rewarded with a trophy shaped like a bunny with red eyes. The bunny, which vibrates when held, is handed out at the end of the festival at the Closing Night Ceremony. Award categories include:
- Audience Award: Best Feature
- Audience Award: Best Short
- Audience Award: Best New England Film
- Most Effective Offensive
- Director’s Choice Award: Best Feature
- Director’s Choice Award: Best Short
In short, the festival deliberately pushes the envelope with its provocative and experimental independent films. Films include a mixture of experimental feature films, animations, music videos, shorts and documentaries celebrating the confrontational, controversial, political and alternative visions of their makers. The festival has also been visited by a number of notable guests, including George A. Romero, Larry Kent and Jason Eisner.
Tickets to individual screenings at the Boston Underground Film Festival are just $11 each, while an all-access pass is $110. The all-access pass gives you entry to all 20 of the festival’s screenings as well as entry to the private party on Friday night. Tickets can be purchased in advance online or they can be purchased at the Brattle box office on the day of the screening.