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2011 Calls For Entry: Migrating Forms, Portland, Sydney, Montreal Undergrounds

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Now that it’s officially 2011, the underground film festivals are really opening up for their calls for entry. Some deadlines are creeping up already, while a few are still a ways off. Plus, all the fests that I’m listing below are pretty different from each other. So, really study what they’re looking for and figure out if your own underground film fits into their mission.

Migrating Forms is one of the premiere experimental media festivals in the world, screening some of the best medium-pushing and unexpected films and videos being made today. This year, Migrating Forms is screening on May 20-29 at its regular home, the legendary Anthology Film Archives in NYC.

Migrating Forms is one of the more difficult festivals to describe exactly what they’re looking for as they present a really varied lineup every year. Plus, the work they tend to show is never anything that’s very easy describe, nor does it usually fall into a single genre or category. If you feel you have a really visionary, artistic, experimental, genre-bending film or video, then this is the festival to try to get into. Plus, checking out last year’s lineup is a good bit of research you should do, too.

Unfortunately, the Early Deadline fell before I got to write this, but the next two Deadlines are:

Regular Deadline
Jan 17
$40

Late Deadline
Feb. 15
$50

Submit to Migrating Forms at their official website.

The Portland Underground Film Festival is a more raucous affair, typically showing outrageous cult and exploitation type of films, but are also open to showing documentaries about cult-y subjects. For a good idea of what I’m talking about, you can read reviews of two films that screened at last year’s edition, The Taint and Every Other Day Is Halloween. Plus, last year’s full lineup is here.

There are no dates for this year’s fest yet, but it typically runs in June sometime. And there’s only one deadline and a pretty small entry fee:

Final Deadline
April 30
$10

Submit to the Portland Underground Film Festival at their official website.

On the other side of the world, there’s the Sydney Underground Film Festival, which was founded and run by filmmaker Stefan Popescu. This year’s edition will run on Sept. 8-10.

SUFF runs the gamut from running cult-ish and exploitation films, along with political-oriented documentaries. For example, they also screened The Taint, as well as Oliver Stone’s South of the Border. Yeah, pretty eclectic. The SUFF website also has a brief manifesto:

The festival will only program unique, quality independent films that transgress the status quo and challenge the conservative conventions of filmmaking. The festival is devoted to renewing local interest in independent and experimental film as part of an international underground film culture and aims to change an ingrained culture of cinematic complacency and revitalize an enthusiasm for cinema.

There are several SUFF deadlines coming up with different fee structures. Plus, if you submit your film with a rejection letter from another festival, you can take 5 bucks off the fee, which accounts for the two prices listed for each deadline:

Earlybird Deadline
March 4
FEATURES $40/ $35
SHORTS $30 /$25
STUDENT $25 /$20

Regular Deadline
April 29
FEATURES $45 /$40
SHORTS $35/ $30
STUDENT $30 /$25

Late Deadline
May 27
FEATURES $55 /$50
SHORTS $45 /$40
STUDENT $35 /$30

Extended Deadline
June 24
FEATURES $65/ $60
SHORTS $55/ $50
STUDENT $45 /$40

Submit to the Sydney Underground Festival at their official website.

Last, but not least, and back in the Northern Hemisphere, the Montreal Underground Film Festival is a shorts-only festival, meaning, of course, they only screen short films. So, make sure you have one of those before submitting.

MUFF short film screenings are typically arranged by genre or type. They traffic in genre films, like horror and sci-fi, but also screen more experimental type films. Last year’s events had names such as “Sex, Drugs & Teabagging,” “Scary Monsters & Super Freaks,” “Politiloco” and more.

Alas, I also missed the early deadline for MUFF, which had a free entry. But there’s still a late deadline that’s over a month away with a small fee:

Late Deadline:
Feb. 15
$15

Submit to the Montreal Underground Film Festival at their official website.


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