CUFF Is Hiring! Join the crew and make underground film history!


The Chicago Underground Film Festival, the longest running underground film festival in the world, is gearing up for its 25th year. We're looking for an enthusiastic collaborator and organizational genius to be the festival coordinator. The coordinator is a key member of the event production team. 

Please email to apply. Application deadline is January 20, 2018

Festival Coordinator

The CUFF Festival Coordinator (FC) is responsible for the coordinating, executing and wrapping operations and venue, screening, financial and personnel logistics of the festival and oversees all departments. The FC is responsible for tracking all information in the Google drive and disseminating logistical information to CUFF and IFP Chicago staff and volunteers. The FC is the main contact in regards to CUFF’s operations so this position requires the utmost professionalism as well as supreme organization, communication and time management.

The FC is a seasonal, but full-time position during the festival, scheduled to begin February 1, 2018 and end June 30, 2018. The FC reports to CUFF’s Artistic Director and Executive Director.
The FC will prepare a festival wrap report and will coordinate a post-festival exit interview with CUFF’s Artistic Director and Executive Director.
Responsibilities include:

Planning and administration
● Support CUFF’s Artistic Director and Executive Director in planning, management and execution
of all festival logistics
● Plan and execute pre-festival events, screenings and fundraisers, including gallery shows, CUFF satellite screenings and the kick-off fundraiser.
● Recruit, train, and coordinate staff, volunteers and interns
● Lead planning and training meetings with festival staff and volunteers.
● Work with festival staff to secure venues, coordinate event logistics, including transportation,
food, providing event materials and supplies, securing equipment as needed.
● Ship prints, drives, awards, and any other materials after the festival.


Department management

● Work with the Hospitality Manager to coordinate travel & accommodations for
filmmakers/jurors/special guests
● Work with Volunteer Manager, along with other key staff positions, to determine how many volunteers are needed for each day and event, and to ensure they are properly trained and scheduled. Update and distribute Volunteer Handbook.
● Collect volunteer forms/contracts, W9s and other necessary paperwork.
● Work with Sponsorship Manager to manage festival advertising & sponsorships execution
● Compile data to create sponsorship deck.
● Work with the Parties/Special Events Manager to coordinate pre-production of special events and on-site management including liquor deliveries, sponsor needs and venue requirement.
● Coordinate with Tech Director on necessary personnel and equipment requirements.
● Put together spreadsheets for tech and the theater, listing exhibition format, duration, theater #, and other pertinent information needed by tech staff and the theater’s staff.

Financial management
● Coordinate with bookkeeper to set-up clients and vendors in QuickBooks, create invoices for sponsors and advertisers.
● Collect invoices from all individuals, venues and organizations/businesses that we need to pay, and work with ED and Treasurer to make sure payments are made according to our agreement with the individuals, venues and organizations/businesses.
● Keep details of all merchandise sold, and reconcile merch reports with cash and card sales for each day and event.
● Count money at end of day or next morning with box office manager and deposit into the bank. Provide details on what is ticket sales vs. filmmaker merch vs. CUFF merch sold.
● Work with festival staff on getting reports following the festival on attendance, tickets sold vs. comp tickets given away, party attendance and ticket/drink sales, and any other information that needs to be collected.
Marketing, communication and outreach
● Assist in gathering materials and copy for program book and other marketing items.
● Oversee preparation of festival program book and content
● Assist with promotional outreach, including distribution of marketing materials and coordinating community outreach
● Work with Artistic Director to plan screenings and informational class visits to local universities, reaching out to colleges and universities to visit classrooms to show work from past years, talk about what CUFF does, and ways for students to get involved.
● Work with artist to get various designs for t-shirts, web use, buttons and other things as necessary.
● Work with festival photographers to ensure they are taking photos required for sponsors and promotion of the festival.
● Assist in all other festival areas as necessary


Judges include Producers Amy Hobby, Steve Pink, and Brett Hudson plus Aijah Keith of IFC Films

Winning Pitch Receives Award Of In-kind Services Valued At Over $20,000

IFP Chicago partners with the 51st Chicago International Film Festival for “The Pitch” at Industry Days from 10 am to 2 pm on Sunday, October 25 at the JW Marriot Chicago located at 151 W. Adams. A curated selection of six filmmaking teams with new narrative projects will take part in a competitive pitch session to be judged by a panel of industry experts including Claudia Landsberger (moderator), Amy Hobby (producer), Aijah Keith (IFC Films), Steve Pink (producer) and Brett Hudson (producer). The winning pitch will receive an award of in-kind services worth over $20,000 from such companies as Magnanimous Media, AVID, Hewlett-Packard and Stage 18, as well as mentoring and support from IFP Chicago.

“The Pitch” takes place before a live audience. Attendees can watch and learn about what makes a good pitch and what industry decision makers are looking for from independent filmmakers. Accredited Industry Days badge holders only.


As With Knives and Skin - Sophomore year of high school turns less typical when a series of unexpected traumas accelerates the coming-of-age process. This Southern gothic drama presents girlhood as a revolution. 

Director: Jennifer Reeder

Producer: Steven Hudosh

Pitched by: Jennifer Reeder


Oriole Park - Chicago, 1978. The shadow of a serial killer looms over the tightly knit community of Oriole Park as a string of disappearances lead neighbors to suspect one of their own.

Director: Kevin Slack

Writers & Producers: Amelia Dellos & Eric Anderson

Pitched by: Amelia Dellos & Eric Anderson


TILL - The compelling story of the brutal lynching of 14-year old Emmett Till and the courageous actions of his mother that galvanized the historic civil rights movement in America. 

Producers: Brett Hays, Luke Boyce & Chris Benson

Executive Producer: Chaz Ebert, Nate Kohn & Jennifer Shelby

Written by: Chris Benson

Pitched by: Brett Hays, Jennifer Shelby


Ghostaphobia - Suffering from severe anxiety, a man decides to never leave his home again even though the ghosts haunting his house want him out.  

Director: Collin Schiffli

Producer: Ben Atkinson

Writer/Producer: Brandon Schiffli 

Pitched by: Brandon Schiffli, Collin Schiffli


Signature Move - A 30-something lesbian flounders in life, love and wrestling, trying to reconcile who she is with the values of her religious, TV-obsessed mother. 

Director: Fawzia Mirza

Producers: Brian Hieggelke & Eugene Park

Pitched by: Fawzia Mirza, Brian Hieggelke, Eugene Park


Carney Kill  - With its surreal carnival setting and deliriously crooked cast of spielers, luck-boys, and dancing girls with indecent hips and sub-zero hearts, Carny Kill is classic film noir at its most devious and pungent. Based on the classic pulp noir novel by Robert Edmond Alter.  

Director: John McNaughton

Producer: Steven Jones 

Pitched by: John McNaughton, Steven A. Jones

Chicago International Film Festival Programmer Anthony Kaufman said, “The Festival has always had a very strong international focus and roster of global guests. With Industry Days, we look forward to bringing foreign filmmakers together with Chicago’s local filmmaking community and industry professionals from the coasts and seeing what synergies develop.”

"The Pitch at Industry Days is designed to show the breadth of talented filmmakers working in Chicago, and to give these filmmakers an opportunity to hear how their projects will fare in the independent film marketplace,” said IFP Chicago Board President Nicole Bernardi-Reis. “Each project was chosen because they are filmmakers with a distinct viewpoint and a compelling story.” 

“The Pitch also gives the local filmmaking community an excellent opportunity to learn from our expert judges,” said IFP Programming Chair Jonah Zieger. “The ability to pitch a project in Chicago to this level of decision-maker is rare. Our goal is to connect these filmmakers to resources that will help move their films into production and reach a larger audience.”

Industry Days runs October 22-25 and is presented by leading financial services provider TIAA-CREF with additional support from Program Partners Tribune Media Company, Columbia College Chicago, and OtterBox. 

“The Pitch” at Industry Days is the final program of Industry Days. Industry Days serves as the central hub for filmmakers and industry professionals at the 51st Chicago International Film Festival, examining current and future trends in the film and entertainment business. Featured panelists include writer/director Steve Pink (Gross Pointe Blank, Hot Tub Time Machine, New Girl); actor-producer-director Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm, I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With); Kickstarter co-founder Charles Adler; Chicago directors Stephen Cone & Kris Swanberg; Richard Lorber, distributor of films by such acclaimed directors as Steven Soderbergh, Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, and John Woo; and Amy Hobby, producer of such films as Secretary, What Happened, Miss Simone? and co-founder of female-driven production company Tangerine Entertainment. 

Speakers from the following companies are also confirmed to participate: IFC Films, Magnolia Pictures, The Orchard, Sundance Institute, MPI Media Group, Zeitgeist Films, Music Box Films, Kino/Lorber, The Film Collaborative, Film Buff, The Film Sales Company, Preferred Content, ITVS, Kartemquin Films, and the Chicago Media Project.

For more information, including a complete list of confirmed speakers and Industry Days registration, visit


IFP Chicago is a non-profit organization committed to the idea that independent film is an important art form and powerful voice in our society. We provide information, community, education and professional development opportunities for independent filmmakers, industry professionals and independent film enthusiasts. We encourage quality and diversity in independent production and assist filmmakers at all levels of experience in realizing their unique vision. Find IFP Chicago on Facebook and Twitter.


Cinema/Chicago is a not-for-profit arts and education organization dedicated to encouraging better understanding between cultures and to making a positive contribution to the art form of the moving image. The Chicago International Film Festival is one of the year-round programs presented by Cinema/Chicago, which also include the Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards, CineYouth Festival, INTERCOM Competition, International Screenings Program, and Education Outreach Program. Celebrating its 51st anniversary this year, the Chicago International Film Festival is North America's longest-running competitive film festival. Learn more at (


TIAA-CREF is a national financial services organization with $869 billion in assets under management (as of 6/30/2015) and is the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.