Underground Film Journal

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2011 Calls For Entry: FLEX Fest And Boston Underground Film Festival

By Mike Everleth ⋅ August 4, 2010

It might still be summer, but it’s not too early to start thinking sending your films in for next year’s underground film festivals. Two major fests being held in the early part of 2011 are already looking for films: Florida’s FLEX Fest and the Boston Underground Film Festival. Deadlines, entry info and more is below.

FLEX stands for Florida Experimental Film/Video Festival, which alternates years between a competitive and a curated festival. 2011 will be their fourth competitive festival to be held in Gainsville, FL. So, what is FLEX looking for? They don’t know — and that’s a good thing! As they say on their website:

FLEX doesn’t want to know in advance what experimental means. We’re interested in work that challenges generic designations (including the traditional “avant garde” or “underground”ones). Work may also draw on documentary, narrative, animation or any other tradition –- or no tradition at all. So, what is experimental? We’re hoping to be surprised by your answer.

That’s a statement that, as a film reviewer myself, I can totally get behind. I love it when a filmmaker sends me a film and I totally don’t know what to expect. Plus, sometimes the best films are the ones that are near impossible to describe. However, while that’s all well and good, at the same time it doesn’t hurt to do a little research to see what FLEX has accepted in the past.

For example, check out the last competitive FLEX Fest’s lineup in 2009, which did screen work by many of the experimental “regulars” featured on the Underground Film Journal such as Deborah Stratman, Jim Finn, Don Hertzfeldt, Sylvia Schedelbauer, Clint Enns, Naomi Uman, et. al.

If you accept the challenge gauntlet thrown down by FLEX Fest, visit their website for more info and an entry form. Plus, their final deadline is coming up quick:

FLEX Fest Final Deadline
Sept. 1, 2010

On the other hand, the Boston Underground Film Festival has a slightly more focused definition of what they’re looking for:

The festival seeks the alternative, the confrontational, the political and the controversial. BUFF seeks films that celebrate alternative visions and sounds, offering a platform that encourages new ideas and work and pushes the envelope in style and content.

BUFF is one of the premiere film festivals devoted to the transgressive and challenging end of the underground spectrum. For example, last year they screened aggressive films such as Life and Death of a Porno Gang, Red White & Blue, Subconscious Cruelty and more. But, at the same time, they also screened documentaries like American Grindhouse (streaming online), Playing Columbine and experimental features like Impolex. So, they have a fairly eclectic sense, too. Plus, BUFF screens tons of short films in addition to features.

The early deadline for BUFF has already passed — sorry about that — but there are two more deadlines coming up, the final one of which isn’t until November:

2011 Boston Underground Film Festival deadlines:

Regular Deadline:
Sept. 24, 2010

Late Deadline:
Nov. 26, 2010

There are, of course, different fees associated with the deadlines, so for more info on the fest, you can visit their official website. Or, to submit, just go to their Withoutabox page.