What’s an underground film, anyway? Most film scholars and critics agree that a film is "underground" when it is a personal statement by one person that dissents radically in form, or in technique, or in content, or perhaps in all three. How that dissension is expressed can vary widely from film to film.

The Portland Underground Film Festival, scheduled at the historic Clinton Street Theater May 18, 19 & 20, believes that underground films are borne out of love, not out of a desire for fame or to have an impact on popular culture. Our intent is to honor those films that excel in pushing the boundaries of the cinematic arts to create a new audio-visual language.

In keeping with PUFF tradition, we do not ask for submission fees, so there is no financial impediment to entry. The festival is not intended to make money. The primary goal is to nurture a worldwide underground filmmaking community and to generate a global interest in the films we make and exhibit. Submissions are accepted from the global filmmaking community, with special attention given to filmmakers from the Pacific Northwest.

The 2018 festival is comprised of ten blocks of shorts and four features. Shorts can be from under one minute to up to 30 minutes. Features will be considered any work over 45 minutes. The work of student and first time filmmakers are scattered throughout the shorts blocks.