CROSSROADS 2024 will be held August 30–September 1 at Gray Area

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, Alix Blevins, Stephen Broomer, Peter Burr, Emily Chao, Paul Clipson, Charlotte Clermont, Colectivo Los ingrávidos, Nathaniel Dorsky, Ayana Dozier, Carl Elsaesser, Erin Espelie, Kevin Jerome Everson, Siegfried A. Fruhauf, Janie Geiser, Friedl vom Gröller, Karissa Hahn, Christopher Harris, Mike Hoolboom, Sky Hopinka, 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, Angelo Madsen Minax, Cristiana Miranda, Jeremy Moss, OJOBOCA, Zack Parrinilla, Alee Peoples, Charlotte Pryce, Morgan Quaintance, Michael Robinson, Sylvia Schedelbauer, Daïchi Saïto, Rajee Samarasinghe, Tulapop Saenjaroen, Scott Stark, Jamilah Sabur, Jonathan Schwartz, Cauleen Smith, Rhea Storr, Deborah Stratman, Makino Takashi,  Paige Taul, Erin Weisgerber, Matt Whitman, 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.

Cinematheque seeks submissions of recent films, videos and works of performance cinema for CROSSROADS 2024, the fifteenth iteration of our annual film festival. CROSSROADS 2024 will be held August 30–September 1 2024  at the San Francisco venue known as Gray Area with the festival line-up to be announced early July 2024. As we have done since 2022, CROSSROADS 2024 will be followed by an online “echo” featuring works included in the theatrical presentations, at www.sfcinematheque.org. 

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As a celebration of recent/contemporary film, video and performance, CROSSROADS prefers to preview fim/video work completed 2021–2024. If you have work completed prior to 2021 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 strongly 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) and also including “conceptual” work and work that is expansive or boundary-crossing (whatever these terms might means). Multi-projector work, film/video performance, dance/motion performance, presentations with live music (or other live components) and other “expanded cinema” forms are staples of the CROSSROADS experience. We are open to being challenged and do what we can to accommodate such work so if this is what you do, please share. We are open to works of all durations, ranging from infinitesimally short to challengingly long. We are also interested in formally innovative narrative and documentary forms, animated works and the like. We are less interested in traditionally-formatted narratives 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 to get a sense of what we do.

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, QuickTime/ProRes and Blu-ray. Please note that we cannot present work as DCP or 35mm. We also seek submissions of cinematic (and “cinema adjacent”) performance, multi-projector (“expanded cinema”) projection works and other works of para/proto/quasi cinema but (unfortunately) cannot present installation work or works intended for gallery presentation. In almost all cases, preview media is required but feel free to include written or visual documentation of non-standard works as you feel necessary. Works screened in the CROSSROADS 2024 Online Echo 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 share your submission as physical media (e.g. DVD, Blu-Ray, film print, hard drive, etc.) please contact us at festival@sfcinematheque.org to discuss.


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

San Francisco Cinematheque
55 Taylor Street
San Francisco CA 94102 USA


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Makers of films selected for CROSSROADS 2024 will be informed via email the first week of June 2024. Final information on the work and the artist(s)—film note, bio, images, etc—will be requested at this time. You will be asked to provide an exhibition copy of your work (film or digital video) by June 30, 2024. All physical exhibition media will be returned at the conclusion of the festival.

Please note that all dates and details relative to CROSSROADS 2024 are tentative and subject to change.

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