Home PageAnnouncing crossroads 2022


film stills from CROSSROADS 2021

Cinematheque is excited to announce that CROSSROADS 2022 will be presented August 26–28. Our in-person/theatrical screenings will be presented at
Gray Area, San Francisco. All artists to be included to be notified by June 30. Full line-up to be announced by July 15. All dates and details subject to change.
Please watch this space for news and updates (or join Cinematheque’s
email list)!




CROSSROADS push[es] together the outer limits of narrative logic, experimental abstraction, and documentary… an essential festival for contemporary moving-image art.James Hansen, The Brooklyn Rail

San Francisco’s hub for experimental film, media, and performance…
David Hudson, Criterion

…one of North America’s major showcases for avant-garde and experimental film, video and multimedia work.
— Michael Sicinski, UZAK 27

Founded by filmmaker Bruce Baillie in 1961, San Francisco Cinematheque is the Bay Area’s premier venue for avant-garde/experimental, underground and personally expressive film, video and performance work. In its dedication to exhibiting works of aesthetically radical cinema from all historical eras and geo-political locales, Cinematheque cultivates the international field of artist-made cinema, inspiring aesthetic dialog and critical discourse and encouraging appreciation across the broader cultural landscape.

Inaugurated in 2010, CROSSROADS is San Francisco Cinematheque’s annual film festival, dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary avant-garde film, video and performance work. Artists featured in previous years have included Malic Amalya, Ephraim Asili, Stephanie Barber, Stephen Broomer, Peter Burr, Emily Chao, Paul Clipson, Colectivo Los ingrávidos, Susan DeLeo, Nathaniel Dorsky, Erin Espelie, Kevin Jerome Everson, Adrian Garcia Gomez, Karissa Hahn, Mike Hoolboom, Ken Jacobs, Rosa John, Kerry Laitala, Alexandre Larose, Laida Lertxundi, Saul Levine, Jeanne Liotta, Cherlyn Hsing-Hsin Liu, Simon Liu, Azucena Losana, Jodie Mack, J.M. Martínez, Jesse McLean, Cristiana Miranda, Michael A. Morris, Jeremy Moss, OJOBOCA, Alee Peoples, Michael Robinson, Margaret Rorison, Lynne Sachs, Daïchi Saïto, Rajee Samarasinghe, Talena Sanders, Tulapop Saenjaroen, Sylvia Schedelbauer, Scott Stark, Jamilah Sabur, Jonathan Schwartz, Cauleen Smith, Deborah Stratman, Makino Takashi,  Paige Taul, Robert Todd, Kit Young and Antoinette Zwirchmayr.

CROSSROADS is curated annually by Cinematheque’s Artistic Director Steve Polta.
A history of CROSSROADS (including past line-ups) is available here.

CROSSROADS 2022, the thirteenth iteration of our annual film festival. Pending resolution to the COVID-19 pandemic, CROSSROADS 2022 will be presented August 26–28. Our in-person/theatrical screenings will be presented at Gray Area, San Francisco. Full line-up to be announced by July 15. CROSSROADS 2022 will also be presented with a strong online component at www.sfcinematheque.org. All dates and details subject to change. 


NOTE: The submission period for CROSSROADS 2022 is now closed. Thanks for all for their entries. Please watch this space for news an updates on CROSSROADS 2022.

As a celebration of recent/contemporary film, video and performance, CROSSROADS prefers to preview film/video work completed 2018–2022. If you have work completed prior to 2018 that you strongly feel would be right for CROSSROADS feel free to send it along, keeping our curatorial preference in mind.

There are absolutely no hard and fast genre restrictions governing the CROSSROADS curatorial process. That said, CROSSROADS tends to lean toward presenting works that engage with the histories and traditions associated with forms of cinema identified as avant-garde, experimental, underground, personal, graphic, abstract, expanded, “visionary,” etc etc etc, including work that is otherly challenging (in terms of form and content), including “conceptual” work and work that is overly expansive, confounding or boundary-crossing. We are also interested in formally innovative narrative and documentary forms, animated works and the like. We are less interested in traditionally-formatted narratives, “feature films” or topically-oriented documentary films. We delight in new forms and surprises so if you think your film is right for CROSSROADS please share. Please see this history of CROSSROADS for examples of past exhibitions and/or view CROSSROADS 2021 in its entirety (through October 21, 2021) here. In terms of online programming we are particularly interested in work that is performative and/or involves collaboration across digital networks or otherwise engages with aspects of livestreaming, remote viewing, and geographically dispersed artists (and audiences). Please contact festival@sfcinematheque.org with any questions.

We are quite honored to present world, national and local premieres of work and proudly reference such status in promoting the festival and its programs. The CROSSROADS curatorial process is open, however, to all works regardless of “premiere status.” We hold no policy of inclusion or exclusion based on this status and such status has no bearing whatsoever on our selection decisions. 

Viable formats for cinema space exhibition include 8mm, Super-8mm, 16mm, 35mm, QuickTime/ProRes, Blu-ray and DCP. We also seek submissions of cinematic (and “cinema adjacent”) performance, multi-projector (“expanded cinema”) projection works, installations and other works of para/proto/quasi cinema. Our curator and technical staff delight at unusual proposals and can often rise to artistic challenges; please bring them on. Please contact festival@sfcinematheque.org with inquiries concerning alternate exhibition formats or for more information on submitting performance, installation or other non-standard, even non-theatrical work. For the online manifestation of CROSSROADS, all works will be presented as digital video, QuickTime ProRes files preferred.

Our strong preference is that entries be submitted as streaming online video. If it is necessary for you to submit your as physical media (e.g. DVD, Blu-Ray, film print or on a hard drive, please contact us at festival@sfcinematheque.org to discuss.

PLEASE NOTE: Cinematheque pays rental fees for all works screened in CROSSROADS.

NOTE: The submission period for CROSSROADS 2022 is now closed. Thanks for all for their entries. Please watch this space for news an updates on CROSSROADS 2022.

  • Early Submission Deadline: November 30, 2021 ($20 per entry)
  • Late Submission Deadline: January 31, 2022 ($25 per entry)
  • Payments via PayPal or check/money order are accepted.
  • Checks/Money Orders (payable to San Francisco Cinematheque) can be mailed to:

San Francisco Cinematheque
55 Taylor Street
San Francisco CA 94102 USA

NOTE: Entry fees are waived for Cinematheque members (with no limit on number of entries). Become a member and save!

UPDATE 5/15/22: Films selected for CROSSROADS 2022 will be announced mid-July 2022. If your work is selected, we will contact you via email by June 30. You will be asked to provide an exhibition copy of your work (film or digital video) by July 31, 2022 as well as (at your option) high-resolution still images, video clips and the like (details will follow). All physical exhibition media will be returned at the conclusion of the festival. PLEASE NOTE that all dates are tentative and subject to change.

Questions? Please contact CROSSROADS at festival@sfcinematheque.org.

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