CROSSROADS 2020 Call for Entries



SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW CLOSED. Full festival lineup will be announced mid-April 2020. 
QUESTIONS? Please contact CROSSROADS at festival@sfcinematheque.org.


CROSSROADS 2019 festival trailer
pictured above (clockwise from top): 
Lines of Force (2018) by Dan Browne; Pwdre Ser   the rot of stars (2018) by Charlotte Pryce; Polly One (2018) by Kevin Jerome Everson

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 Basma Alsharif, Malic Amalya, Ephraim Asili, Rosa Barba, Stephanie Barber, Tommy Becker, Stephen Broomer, Peter Burr, Mary Helena Clark, Paul Clipson, Colectivo Los ingrávidos, Nathaniel Dorsky, Erin Espelie, Kevin Jerome Everson, Karissa Hahn, Mike Hoolboom, Ken Jacobs, Rosa John, Kerry Laitala, Alexandre Larose, Laida Lertxundi, Saul Levine, Jeanne Liotta, Cherlyn Hsing-Hsin Liu, Simon Liu, Jodie Mack, Jesse McLean, Cristiana Miranda, Michael A. Morris, Jeremy Moss, Lydia Moyer, OJOBOCA, Alee Peoples, Ben Rivers, Michael Robinson, Margaret Rorison, Ben Russell, Rajee Samarasinghe, Sylvia Schedelbauer, Kelly Sears, Scott Stark, Jamilah Sabur, Jonathan Schwartz, Cauleen Smith, Makino Takashi, Robert Todd, Els van Riel, Travis Wilkerson, Karen Yasinsky 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 2020, the eleventh iteration of our annual film festival—to be held early June 2020 (date to be determined) at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Festival program will be announced mid-April 2020.


COMPLETION DATE: As a celebration of recent/contemporary film, video and performance, CROSSROADS 2020 is envisioned to showcase fim/video work completed 2017–2020. If you have work completed prior to 2017 that you strongly feel would be right for CROSSROADS, feel free to send it along, keeping our curatorial preference in mind.

GENRE: 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 under various non-commercial rubrics 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 work that might be described as “conceptual” or that is otherly expansive, confounding or boundary-crossing (or boundary-affirming). We are also interested in formally innovative narrative and documentary forms, animated works and other marginalized forms (including student films). We are less interested in traditionally-formatted narratives or topically-oriented documentary films. There are absolutely no restrictions concerning durations of works we will consider. We delight in surprise (and love encountering works by filmmakers not known to us) so if you think your film is right for CROSSROADS please share it with us. Please see this history of CROSSROADS for examples of past exhibition and please contact festival@sfcinematheque.org with any questions.

PREMIERE POLICY: Cinematheque holds a policy that a work’s premiere status will hold no bearing on CROSSROADS curatorial decisions. While 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, such status has no bearing whatsoever on our curatorial decisions.

EXHIBITION FORMATS: Viable exhibition formats 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.

SUBMISSION FORMATS: Entries are accepted in the form of streaming online video (preferred) or on DVD or Blu-ray. DVD/Blu-ray submissions must be clearly labeled with film title, filmmaker name(s) and contact email address. Please include a pre-paid, SASE with your submission if you would like submitted preview media to be returned. If you simply must submit your work in a format other than these listed above, please contact us at festival@sfcinematheque.org to discuss.
NOTE (again): Submission via streaming online video is *strongly* preferred.
Access our online submission form embedded below.

PLEASE NOTE: Cinematheque pays rental fees for all works screened in CROSSROADS.
• NOTE: Entry fees (late & early) are waived for Cinematheque members (with no limit on number of entries).
Early Submission Deadline: November 30, 2019 ($20 per entry)
Late Submission Deadline (now extended!): January 31, 2020 ($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
• MEMBERSHIP: Entry fees (late & early) are waived for Cinematheque members (with no limit on number of entries). Membership provides discount (or free) admission to screenings, discounts on purchases from our online store and more. Become a member and save!

SELECTED FILMS: Films selected for CROSSROADS 2020 will be announced mid-April 2020. If your work is selected, we will contact you via email. You will be asked to provide an exhibition copy of your work (film or digital video) by May 15, 2020 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: Cinematheque pays rental fees for all works screened in CROSSROADS.

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

Don’t forget the entry fee ($25/entry)! Please click button below to pay via PayPal!
Electronic payment can also be sent via paypal to cashier@sfcinematheque.org.

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