Founded by filmmaker Bruce Baillie in 1961, San Francisco Cinematheque is the Bay Area’s only dedicated venue for avant-garde/experimental, underground and personally expressive film and video work, and one of the premier exponents of experimental/avant-garde film and video in the U.S. With a base of support strongly grounded in the Bay Area artistic community, Cinematheque proudly contributes to national and international cinematic discourses. We are dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of film/video works that challenge the boundaries of moving-image art and question the hegemonic role of mainstream media forms. Our mission is to make works of experimental/avant-garde film and video an important part of the broader cultural landscape. As an advocate for such work, and as an exhibitor, Cinematheque acts as a catalyst for dialogue and education relating to the history and current practice of experimental film and media, providing a forum for future innovations in the field.
CROSSROADS is Cinematheque’s annual film festival celebrating recent (and rediscovered) artist-made film, video and performance cinema. Founded in 2010, each year CROSSROADS presents a diverse line up of contemporary work from the international community. It is presented annually over three to four days each Spring, with a rotating cast of supporting venues. In its eight years of existence, CROSSROADS has quickly emerged as a significant international film/video showcase, having become a choice festival for filmmakers to premiere and screen work, and a destination festival for engaged curators, film enthusiasts, like-minded filmmakers and loyal community members.
CROSSROADS […] is not only a marvelous and wide-ranging film and video festival; under the stewardship of Artistic Director Steve Polta, it has evolved into a vital one for those of us hoping to keep abreast of new directions in the field. It’s also a realm of improbable discovery and surprise. … It’s a beautiful thing to get your face blown off, aesthetically speaking…
—Michael Sicinski: A Blistering Light at Crossroads Film Festival. Fandor, Keyframe Daily
CROSSROADS 2015 boasted an eclectic lineup of artist-made film and video that, at its best, pushed together the outer limits of narrative logic, experimental abstraction, and documentary record. Now in its sixth year, CROSSROADS has quickly become an essential festival for contemporary moving-image art […]. CROSSROADS seeks to productively befuddle our conception of what moving-image art can be rather than reaffirm ingrained perceptions of whatever it is we call artist’s cinema, experimental film, or media arts.—James Hansen: Pleasure in Dissonance—CROSSROADS 2015. The Brooklyn Rail
View full schedules from our previous festivals:
CROSSROADS Touring Programs: Beginning July 2015, select programs from CROSSROADS are available for exhibition (in easy-to-screen digital video format!) at interested venues worldwide, including museums, cinemas, art spaces, colleges & universities (e.g., exhibitions for filmmaking and film studies courses), DIY microcinemas and art galleries. For complete information, please see our CROSSROADS Touring Programs page or send an email inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org. Details about venues hosting these screenings coming soon!