Saturday, June 29, 8:30 p.m. | From alienation and anthropogenic imprints to personal histories and psychogeography, this thought-provoking program pushes the boundaries of cinema through seven groundbreaking films, six of which won jury awards at the 2023 Chicago Underground Film Festival. In VERMIN OF THE VORTEX (dir. George Kuchar, 22 min, 1996, USA), partially shot at the 1996 edition of the festival, alienation in academia is explored beneath the chandeliered opulence of a political correctional facility. SIT WHERE THE LIGHT CORRUPTS YOUR FACE (dir. Gillian Waldo, 8 min, 2023, USA) weaves together a psychogeography of two historic buildings that shared the same space in the twentieth century. The lost Warhol film starring dancer Fred Herko is poetically reimagined in GODDESS OF SPEED (dir. Frederic Moffett, 8 min, 2023, USA). STILLNESS OF LABOR (dir. Chris Larson, 9 min, 2023, USA) replicates 12 full-scale rooms using objects from an abandoned garment factory, studying the anthropogenic imprint humans leave behind. In REALLY GOOD FRIENDS (dir. Adam Sekuler, 10 min, 2022, USA), a woman in her 60s shares a surprising and provocative story of longing and unlikely connection. THE MöBIUS TRIP (dir. Simone Smith, 17 min, 2023, UK) is a darkly intimate and surreal portrayal of a dysfunctional family confined in their car during a claustrophobic road trip. In NEIGHBOUR ABDI (dir. Douwe Dijkstra, 29 min, 2022, Netherlands), a Somali-born furniture designer reenacts his life, marked by war and criminality, through playful reconstructions.

CUFFThe Chicago Underground nonprofit exhibits the most genre-defying, groundbreaking, and unique films emerging from underground scenes via their yearly festival: the Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF). CUFF welcomes independent artists sidelined by the more typical, market-driven fests and champions their unconventional approach to form and subject matter - all while growing a diverse audience committed to supporting and embracing their work. As the longest-running underground film festival in the world, CUFF continues to be one of the most innovative and accessible platforms for those interested in making, experiencing, and discussing underground art. In addition to our screenings, we facilitate this through panel discussions, workshops, filmmaker Q&A’s, and nightly after-parties. The 31st CUFF will take place September 11-15. Learn more at

Gene Siskel Film Center Festival Showcase: The Gene Siskel Film Center is the proud home or partner venue of nearly a dozen vibrant Chicago film festivals. The Gene Siskel Film Center Festival Showcase celebrates this vibrant programming and critical partnerships with this weekend spotlight. We invite frequent patrons of the Film Center and these festivals, as well as audience members curious to learn more to join us for a veritable film festival buffet!

The Film Center is ADA accessible. This presentation will be projected without open captions. The theater is hearing-loop equipped. For accessibility requests, please email