Cutting-edge films—
and films with a cutting edge

For over twenty-three 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.

“weird, experimental, esoteric, and flat-out fun”
The Boston Globe


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. 

During the pandemic, BUFF made the pivot to virtual, joining Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, North Bend Film Festival, and the Overlook Film Festival in a collaborative online event, NIGHTSTREAM, in 2020 and 2021. As of 2022, BUFF returned to the realm of the physical, hosting its 22nd edition back at its rightful home, the Brattle Theatre.

Viva la révolution underground!


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    Artistic Director
    Kevin Monahan

    Director of Programming
    Nicole McControversy

    Media Director
    Bryan McKay

    Director of Operations
    Leandra Sharron

    Technical Directors
    Phil Healy
    Adam Van Voorhis

    Volunteer Coordinators
    George MacDonald Luke
    Zach Pidgeon

    Merchandise Manager
    Sean D. Coyle

    Kaila Sarah Hier / Exile PR

    Social Media
    Dede Crimmins

    Melinda Green

    Programming Team
    Chris Hallock
    Jozef Kluczkiewicz
    Kevin Monahan
    Rebekah Murphy
    Shannen Ortale
    George MacDonald Luke
    Melinda Green

    Programming Consultant
    Evrim Ersoy

    Bacchus Award Design
    Skinwalker Studios

    “an oasis of creativity, daring, and imagination”
    Bloody Disgusting

    If you made it this far, you may want to consider volunteering to help with the festival or submitting a film of your own.