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New Haven Underground Film Festival has a new venue

In its third annual incarnation, the New Haven Underground Film Festival will emerge in Hartford on Saturday, May 13, at the venerable Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

“Connecticut’s only underground film festival is not going mainstream,” cautions Deborah Gaudet, Curator of Film and Theater at the Wadsworth Atheneum. “Yes, the museum is providing the New Haven Underground Film Festival with a proper theater and greater capacity. But more importantly, the Atheneum has a rich history of supporting experimentation and artistic integrity in film that dates back to 1929.”

Co-founded by independent filmmakers Todd Dzicek and Michael Mongillo, the New Haven Underground Film Festival (NHUFF) began in 2004. The first NHUFF received approximately 45 submissions and was held in a 50-seat room at a Southington conference center. The 2005 Festival received around 100 submissions and was held in Meriden at the 80-seat Augustus Curtis Cultural Center. This year, NHUFF has received more than 200 submissions, and it has yet to send its official solicitation to filmmakers.

“We’re thrilled that we’ve found a new home at the Wadsworth Atheneum. We couldn’t be prouder or happier,” said Mongillo. “Best of all, our filmmakers will now screen their work at a world-class venue.”

“This year we’re really living up to the festival motto, ‘So Underground that it’s Not Even in New Haven.’ We’re not even in New Haven County!” joked Dzicek. “But with the help of our new Festival Director, Jeannie Majewski, and the kind support of everyone at the Wadsworth Atheneum, we can continue to help independent filmmakers, which has always been our goal.”

Whether documentaries, animations, comedies, or works by area filmmakers, NHUFF screens both features and shorts. The 2006 lineup will be announced in mid-to-late April. Special guests include Phil Hall, author of The Encyclopedia of Underground Movies (Michael Weise Productions, 2004, 300 pages, paperback, $26.95), and actress Debbie Rochon, known to adoring fans as the “Scream Queen.”

Prices for the full day pass are $15 at the door; $12 for advance sales through the NHUFF website (; $10 for Wadsworth Atheneum members; $10 for students with ID and seniors (62+); and $7.50 for Wadsworth Atheneum Film Buffs.

Doors open at 1:30 p.m. to the Aetna Theater at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Movies start screening at 2 p.m. and continue until 11:30 p.m. Please visit or for more information.

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