Underground film fest returns Dec. 24

WHITTIER — Scheduled for the Saturday night primetime slot in the fourth-annual Minneapolis Underground Film Festival is “Profane,” the story of a Muslim dominatrix who becomes possessed by a jinni, one of the supernatural creatures from Arab folklore.

So, yes, the festival maintains its warm embrace of challenging, often transgressive filmmaking. And, under the leadership of Mark Hanson, who took over as festival director this year from founder Greg Yolen, the festival is bigger than ever, with dozens of films showing on two screens over three days.

People often associate underground filmmaking with low-budget horror and slasher flicks, and there will be plenty of that, to be sure, including merry schlock like “The Disco Exorcist” and, from Norway, “Dark Souls,” a relatively slick-looking horror film with an ecological undercurrent.

The lineup also features some intriguing documentaries that explore marginalized and underground communities — subjects that reflect the filmmakers’ own fringe status. “Genderf*kation: A Gender Emancipation” and “This is My Journey” both explore the transgender experience, while “Noise & Resistance” seeks out expressions of DIY, or do-it-yourself, culture in European punk, squatter and queer communities.

There are plenty of locals in the mix, including a number of Minneapolis and Minnesota filmmakers making return appearances at MUFF. Leading off the festival is “30 Films 30 Days,” a record of Tyler Jensen’s attempt to make a movie everyday for one month.

The Minneapolis Underground Film Festival runs Dec. 2–4 at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, 2501 Stevens Ave. S. 874-3700. minneapolisundergroundfilmfestival.com