and films with a cutting edge
For over twenty-one years, the Boston Underground Film Festival has been bringing the finest in vanguard filmmaking from all over the world to New England cinephiles.
BUFF celebrates unconventional stories, idiosyncratic voices, fever dreams, nightmarish visions, and all manner of cinematic forms, in service of an audience ravenous for an annual sensory bacchanalia from beyond the mainstream.
The Boston Underground Film Festival began its life as an all-night film marathon run by founder David Kleiler and longtime festival pal Dima Ballin. This informal event quickly grew into the first annual Boston Underground Film Festival held at the Revolving Museum in South Boston. Programmer Bernard Broginart described this first annual gathering as “a wonderful hoax of a film festival.” We’d like to think that things have come a long way since then.
BUFF had a rocky adolescence. Though bolstered by a wonderful staff and enthusiastic supporters, the festival had a tough time putting down roots. But BUFF soldiered on through all the icky and strange stages of development with a strong lineup of bizarre and insane little films, eager to spring them on an unwitting public.
Scampering mischievously from venue to venue — screening films in places as diverse as the Milky Way Lounge and Lanes in Jamaica Plain to the now-defunct Allston Cinema Underground — the festival picked up momentum. After years of being buried under the toxic waste of popular culture, BUFF had mutated into a twisted underground force to be reckoned with.
Under the direction of the current staff, BUFF found its way home to the historic Brattle Theatre, where it has resided since 2012. From 2016 through 2019, BUFF’s secondary venue was the Harvard Film Archive.
Viva la révolution underground!
Director of Programming
Adam Van Voorhis
Kaila Sarah Hier
Bacchus Award Design