Flashback: 2nd Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival: Award Winners
The second annual Chicago Underground Film Festival was held in 1995, at multiple locations in the city, from Thursday, July 20 to Sunday, July 23.
The festival opened on July 20th at the International Cinema Museum with the film What About Me?, directed by Rachel Amodeo. Other highlights included a retrospective of the work of Kenneth Anger, who attended the fest and screened Fireworks (1947), Scorpio Rising (1963) and KKK (Kustom Kar Kommandos) (1965) at the Congress Hotel, 520 S. Michigan, on Friday, July 21. Winnipeg filmmaker Guy Maddin also attended and screened films on July 23; while the Reverend Ivan Stang of the Church of Subgenius screened films on July 22.
Also, Charles Pinion screened the world premiere of his feature film Red Spirit Lake, which was preceded by the short film The Operation, directed by Jacob Pander and Marne Lucas. Other short films that screened were Desktop and a preview of Monday 9:02 am, both directed by Tyler Hubby.
We know of two films that won awards at the 1995 festival:
The Four Corners of Nowhere, directed by Stephen Chbosky, won the Best Narrative Feature Award. This was an ensemble film about eccentric characters visiting and living in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
So Wrong They’re Right, directed by Russ Forster, won the Best Feature Length Documentary Award. Forster, the publisher of the zine 8-track Mind, traveled the U.S. and profiled several 8-track cassette collectors.
It’s not clear if The Four Corners of Nowhere ever had a traditional theatrical or video release, but on October 8, 1997, the film screened at the Cleveland Museum of Art as part of the museum’s “Wednesdaypendents” screening series. A trailer for the film indicates that it was intended for a Summer 1994 release that most likely didn’t happen. Despite the lack of screenings, director Chbosky would go on to a successful writing and directing career. He wrote the popular novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower; then wrote and directed the novel’s film adaptation. Chbosky also created the cult CBS TV series Jericho; and co-wrote the live-action version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
So Wrong They’re Right was initially released on DVD by Other Cinema, but is currently out of print. However, the film is currently streaming on Amazon and Fandor.
(Above information comes from a 1995 article in the Chicago Reader; an Illinois Arts Council residency program booklet; Kim Adelman’s Making It Big In Shorts; a Cleveland Museum of Art press release; and Facebook comments by Charles Pinion and Tyler Hubby.)
Watch the trailer for The Four Corners of Nowhere: