The Portland Underground Film Festival was founded in 2004, and for nine years was THE place in the Pacific Northwest to find films and videos by artists with limited means and big imaginations. Clinton Street Theater was PUFF's primary home during this time, with other screenings at secondary locations; and for three days each year, we celebrated filmmakers of all genres who were bent upon realizing a personal and independent cinematic vision. After theater ownership changed hands in 2012 and the remaining founder moved to Sacramento, California in 2014, PUFF took a two-year hiatus.

With the loss of the Experimental Film Festival of Portland in 2015, few opportunities exist in Portland to see film arts that are alternatives to mainstream entertainment, and PUFF once again seeks to fill that void.