The Denver Underground Film Festival premiered on November 21, 22 & 23, 1997 as a showcase for independent filmmakers from Colorado and beyond.

Inspired by the Sunday film parlors organized by Colorado's own Avant Garde filmmaker and film educator Stan Brakhage, DUFF aims to preserve Colorado's legacy of experimental filmmaking by engaging audiences with classic Avant Garde cinemaand new independent short and features.

The Denver Underground Film Festival premiered on November 21, 22 & 23, 1997 as a showcase for independent filmmakers from Colorado and beyond.

Inspired by the Sunday film parlors organized by Colorado's own Avant-Garde filmmaker and film educator Stan Brakhage, DUFF aims to preserve Colorado's legacy of experimental filmmaking by engaging new audiences with classic Avant-Garde cinema and new independent shorts and features.

As a registered Public Benefit Corporation in Colorado, DUFF is dedicated to promoting the spirit of social entrepreneurship by rewarding filmmakers through its box office payout program. By combining the art gallery model (40/60 split) and live music venue model (the more friends, family and crew you bring, the more you and all filmmakers make) every filmmaker receives a cash price for the performance of their film at the end of the fest.

DUFF is the only film festival in the world that pays all filmmakers. The revolution has already begun.

In addition to the first place in each category, awards will include Best of Fest and Honorable Mentions.

60% of the box office of the fest is divided equally and payed out to each participating filmmaker. Please see entry guidelines for more information.

DUFF is open to filmmakers from Colorado and all over the world with films in the following categories via web download, external drive, DVD and 16mm formats:

Short films.
- up to 15 minutes running time.
- Comedy
- Drama
- Science Fiction
- Horror
Documentaries (up to 30 minutes)
Experimental Shorts (up to 30 minutes)
Music Video (up to 10 minutes)

Festival Rules and Guidelines
Please ensure you read our Rules and Regulation prior to submitting.

Festival Rules & Regulations.

1) Only films completed on or after 1st January 2018 are eligible for entry into the 2018 Festival competitions. Films completed prior to this date may be considered on a case by case basis. Please email at duffcinemadenver@gmail.com with any inquiries.
2) Films previously entered and screened are not eligible for re-entry in subsequent years.
3) Each submission must be accompanied by a submission fee and a completed online entry form. All entry fees are not refundable. All films must be in English or have English subtitles at the time submitted.
4) Films must be submitted as an online streaming video via a participating submission platform, a password-protected streaming URL, or on DVD with NTSC or PAL formatting (please test before sending) or sent by regular mail in a flash drive. For 16mm films you may provide an online screener, a flash drive via regular mail or provide your 16mm film with a prepaid return mailer.
5) DUFF screens films ONLY as digital files, DVD or 16mm film during the Festival. DUFF does not screen films in Bluray format.
6) Films currently available online, that have previously participated in festivals,
or have US or world distribution are allowed to participate and are eligible for competition.
7) DUFF reserves the right to use any portion or still of the film for promotional or advertisement purposes on print, video, online, for the official program or other media.
8) You are responsible for securing all permissions and releases for music, viual media and actors' performances included in your film.
8) DUFF reserves the right to reject any submission without entry fee refund that we may deem inappropriate, contains hate speech, is libelous or detrimental to an individual or group, is deemed to have plagiarized a known body of work or at DUFF's
9) Our box office split offers 60% of the total box office of the fest divided equally among the participating filmmakers..
DUFF encourages participating filmmakers to promote the festival and invite friends, family and crew as much as possible through social media and word of mouth. A higher box total increases each filmmakers part of the split.
Filmmakers may submit up to three short films in one category with one entry fee, however for screening and box split purposes multiple films submitted in one entry will be counted as one filmmaker/one entry, whether one or all three are accepted. More films per submission or higher total running time per participant does not guarantee a higher percentage of the split. For narrative feature films only one submission
per filmmaker is accepted.
As specific box office totals are not guaranteed, DUFF is not obligated to reimburse any specific amount to participating filmmakers.
Monies from the box office will be forwarded via Paypal at DUFF's discretion. Payments will not be provided in cash. Subscription to Paypal is required to receive your part of the box office split. Unclaimed amounts will be reclaimed back 30 days after delivery.

Overall Rating
  • I couldn't attend, but their communication was excellent and I appreciated getting a percentage of the screening income. It makes you feel rewarded for your work.

    July 2019
  • Matt Sparks

    Had an amazing time at the Denver Underground Film Festival and can’t wait to submit again!

    April 2019
  • I had a really great experience at Denver Underground. It's a no-frills festival, so no parties are networking events, but I got to speak to some of the other filmmakers in the lobby of the theater before and after the screening. The quality of the films they curated was excellent and the audiences were super engaged. Our film The Automaton won best narrative short and they made us feel like family.

    April 2019
  • Matthew Hickney

    Great festival with good people who are interested in bringing the filmmaking community in colorado together! a very cool venue and awesome policy of sharing 60% of the box office with the filmmakers.

    April 2019
  • David Parrella

    Excited when I received my Film Freeway notification that we had been selected, but this was never followed up by correspondence from the festival. The only reason I gave two stars for communication instead of one was because they did reach out to me, but only after I emailed them asking for details on the festival (a WEEK before it was to start), and how I should get my film to them. After my follow-up where I sent them a copy of my film, they never responded to me again. I asked for laurels so that I could share that we had been accepted, and we never received any further correspondence. Hope the screening and everything went well I guess, but we have no idea. Of the dozens of festivals I've had the opportunity to be selected for, DUFF has clearly had the poorest communication with their selectee's and I do feel robbed of my submission fee since we were kept in the dark about nearly everything.

    April 2019