It was almost a year ago when we made the decision to halt all momentum on the 22nd Boston Underground Film Festival due to the impending COVID-19 pandemic. Abandoning the intricate mischief we had planned and telling our hardworking, dedicated staff and volunteers to stand down was the most gut-wrenching decision we have had to make in our many years of running this festival even though it was absolutely necessary. Worse, we felt we had let down our audience, many of whom had the faith in our programming to prepay for a full-festival badge. It looked pretty bleak. Thankfully, much of our 2020 program was salvaged and re-packaged into last October’s NIGHTSTREAM and we were able to fulfill our obligation to the BUFF community, including our filmmakers, who were understandably devastated when it looked like they were not going to have their festival experience, at BUFF or anywhere else.
The genre film community was part and parcel to NIGHTSTREAM’s success. The unity of vision between us, Brooklyn Horror, The Overlook, Popcorn Frights, and North Bend Film Festival allowed the best of each fest to shine through and the enthusiasm of the audience, filmmakers, and other guests created something amazingly special in an online space. It felt like the real thing enough to make you forget that it was the next-best thing. BUFF was humbled and flattered by the understanding and patience of our fans and filmmakers who transitioned their purchases and screenings to NIGHTSTREAM. Through our combined efforts, we were able to donate $5,000 of our net proceeds to the Brattle Theatre, something we are enormously proud of.
Around this time of year, BUFF fans wait with bated breath for the launch of our annual Kickstarter campaign, signifying the oncoming spring festival season in Boston. However, like 2020, this is no ordinary year. The pandemic rages on and a return to physical events is still unthinkable. This leaves the obvious question of when, and in what form, our 22nd edition will take place: We wish we could answer this definitively, but we know that it will not be in 2021. While we are looking towards a potential March 2022 return, rest assured that whatever form BUFF takes, it will stay true to its anarchic roots and the essence of Bacchus will remain intact.
If you would like to donate to BUFF, you can make tax-deductible contributions through our fiscal sponsor, however, we would prefer any donations or general philanthropy to continue to be directed toward The Brattle Theatre. If you are interested in our awesome merchandise, much of which is personally designed by BUFF Media Director, Bryan McKay, you can peruse and purchase t-shirts, enamel pins, stickers, tote bags, and more at our Big Cartel shop; this is the best way to help us stay afloat this year and reclaim some of our lost 2020 revenue.
With the utmost sincerity, we would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the love and support you have shown to us over the years. We look forward to gathering in the dark with you in the future, reclaiming our title as your local arbiters of high-weirdness-and-the-horrific in film and video, and to once again serving as a forum for discussion between filmmakers, curators and audiences.
Viva la révolution underground!
Director of Programming