The Kansas City Underground Film Festival is dedicated to bringing the work of independent filmmakers with unique and underappreciated visions to the people of Kansas City.

The Kansas City Underground Film Festival accepts films in every genre, on any topic, from every country worldwide. Our programming emphasizes low-budget (or no-budget) features and short films across all genres. All films are eligible regardless of completion date or premiere status.

The Kansas City Underground Film Festival is broken up into two sections; "in competition" and "for your consideration".

The films selected for the "in competition" section will be screened in pairings over a 6 day period (taking place on back-to-back weekends) with audience and jury awards announced on the final day. These films will include feature-length films (60+ minutes) and a shorts program (less than 60 minutes). The number of films selected will depend on scheduling and the number of qualifying submissions.

The films selected in the "for your consideration" section will be screened outside of the 5 day competition period and will not be eligible for awards. This program will include feature-length films (60+ minutes) and shorts (less than 60 minutes) that our programming committee has deemed unique or thought-provoking, but are unlikely to stand out in a festival environment. The purpose of this section is to highlight distinctive voices that are pushing boundaries and innovating the art form. "For your consideration" screenings are year-round. Scheduling is dependant on filmmakers and venue availability.

Event dates are subject to change. All submissions will be notified if changes are necessary.

Jury Award for Best Feature
Jury Award for Best Short
Audience Award for Best Feature
Audience Award for Best Short
Five Outstanding Acting Awards
Best in Filmmaking Achievement

By entering the Kansas City Underground Film Festival, you agree to follow its rules and guidelines.

• We consider films regardless of premiere status. Even if your film has premiered at another festival, it’s still eligible.
• We consider work in progress films.
• We accept films in any language, but only speak English. If your film is not in English, make sure it has English subtitles available.
• Accepted filmmakers must own rights to their film and all its components by the time of the festival.
• If accepted, all entrants are responsible for delivering the final copy of their film and other materials, such as: trailer, press stills, and press-kit, by the deadline.
• If accepted, filmmakers are encouraged to attend the festival. Unfortunately, at this time, The Kansas City Underground Film Festival does not provide room, board or travel for filmmakers.
• All accepted filmmakers will be given the opportunity to engage in an audience Q&A either digitally or in person.
• The Kansas City Underground Film Festival will be granted the right to use still images and short video clips (less than 30 seconds) of all accepted films in any festival promotional materials.

Overall Rating
  • Mason Love

    5 Stars All Around:

    The Local Film Showcase at KCUFF this year was fantastic as both a filmmaker and an attendee. Willy took extra measures to reach out and ensure that our film cast/crew was well accommodated prior to the festival. The festival crowd was very welcoming, and it contributed to the already warm environment. There were plenty of built-in opportunities to network with other filmmakers during/after the event which was both a nice and helpful experience. Overall, this festival was great and definitely deserves more attention from the community as it continues. Looking forward to submitting again.

    November 2022
  • Willy and the team were great with communication and planning the event. Unfortunately I was unable to attend but the team did everything possible to get filmmakers from out of town in, which is great to see.

    October 2022
  • Jessica Love

    Fantastic festival, especially for Kansas creators!

    October 2022
  • Here is a comment from Dir.Ishii who attended KCUFF.

    I attended the festival for the first time in 2022 with "YUZO The Biggest Battle in Tokyo". It was my first time in Kansas City. I was a little apprehensive to say the least, but once I got there, I found that the festival was different from those in big cities, and was very warm and cordial with a small group of best staff.

    I am really glad that I went to this festival. I am proud that my film was screened here and that I received an award. I am really grateful to Willy, the representative of the festival. I would definitely like to go again someday.

    October 2022
  • Ryan Balas

    I don't think I've ever been treated as kindly as the way I was at KCUFF. This is a festival truly created and curated by deep film lovers. The exhibition itself was beautiful and thoughtful and the team created a warm and supportive environment for filmmakers and audience to truly connect. I hope to have the honor of playing there again.

    October 2022