Welcome to the Sex Worker Fest! Coming so soon, at the Roxie, Artists Television Access, with "Failed Films" with BAWS at the Dungeon Art Gallery and in a Special Online Launch with a seminar. The theatrical screenings are May 22-26, 2019 Visit http://www.sexworkerfest.com/ for event info.

The entry deadline has passed ...so sorry! Maybe some of you want to donate even a tiny amount. The donate link has a video compilation of some of our very cool past festival trailers. https://fundly.com/swfest2019 Please check it out!

The San Francisco Bay Area Sex Workers Film and Arts Festival is a biennial event, established in 1999 to provide a forum for the accomplishments of sex worker film and video makers and to screen works about sex workers and the sex industries from around the world. The Sex Worker Festival provides an opportunity to recognize and honor prostitutes, dancers, porn performers and other sex workers, who have historically been a dynamic part of arts communities.

To date, the Sex Worker Festivals have screened many hundreds of hours of videos and generated much interest in the media. See our archives (in progress at http://www.sexworkerfest.com/videos/

Films and videos for the Sex Worker Festival focus on sex workers' rights; organizing efforts and working conditions for dancers; global sex work and sex work as a labor issue on the international agenda; sex workers as artists; anti-racism and anti-oppression in sex worker communities; sex work and gender identities focusing on LGB/transgender/queer sex workers; sex education, sex art, porn and erotica; and portraits of strippers, prostitutes, doms, madams and more. We encourage diverse participation, diverse perspectives emphasizing under-represented voices in our movements and communities.

For those who don't know, our beloved curator and close friend, Laure McElroy, passed away in August 2018. Director Erica Fabulous and founder Carol Leigh look forward to working with local sex worker artists to support the Sex Worker Festival on it's 20th Anniversary (launched in 1999). Through the last several years, Carol Leigh has been managing cancer, so that our organizers needed to scale down a little bit.

After much thought and many struggles we have decided to hold a smaller version of our usual 10 day Festival for 2019. This season we will present a marathon screening day at the Roxie, an opening event at Artists Television Access, a screening with Failed Films at Dungeon Art Gallery and online screenings for those who offer permission. We will also be offering our highlight event for sex workers, Whore's Bath, which has proudly grown to events featured around the country. Theatrical director and performer, Jovelyn Richards will present a rare solo performance on Friday night.

You can contact us directly for more information at swfest@bayswan.org.

Qualifying Entries:
Films and videos must be:
1) directed or produced by someone who has worked in the sex industries;
2) about any aspect of sex work.
Please note: We are interested in art, experimental work, music videos, narratives, documentaries and all works that challenge stigmatizing stereotypes regarding prostitution and other forms of sex work. If your work does not fit into this description, please don't submit it.

Upon filmmakers consent, all such works will be included in our location-based library of films about sex work, available for researchers and activists. http://www.sexworkermedialibrary.org/about

A separate application must accompany each work.

Entries may be sent on an ongoing basis. The first deadline for the 2017 Festival is March 1, 2019. (Please email us and let us know you sent it, or send us a link to the online video.) The festival will take place in May 2019. The festival also sponsors ongoing screenings at festivals around the world and we accept work on an ongoing basis. Call 415-857-5425

Entry Fees:
A separate entry fee and application form is needed for each work. The entry fees are:
First deadline (postmarked by March 1, 2019) $10.00 for the first film or video, and $5.00 for each additional film or video.

Late Deadline (postmarked after March 1, 2019) $15.00 for the first film or video, and $5.00 for each additional film or video.

Checks or money orders should be in U.S. funds. Entry fees will be waived based on financial need upon request. Fees are waived if needed (email us), and always for makers in developing countries with no access to US dollar currencies.

Screening: Preferred: Quicktime files (high quality h.264), DVD, Film-16 or 35mm (by special arrangement only)
Preview- Preferred- 1) web links for viewing online 2) DVD

Foreign language film and video should be made available with the original language soundtrack and English subtitles, however we will consider works in that have not been subtitled.

Entries will be reviewed by festival curating director and production team. We will notify entrants by May 1, 2019.

Mailing Information:
Include address label on both tape and container. Movies must be shipped prepaid and packed in proper containers to arrive at the Sex Worker Fest office. DO NOT send films for preview. Do not send submissions in fiber-filled envelopes, as the dust damages equipment.

If a FILM is invited to participate, the film must be shipped prepaid, insured and packed in proper containers. FILM media is only accepted by prior arrangement. The San Francisco Bay Area Sex Worker Festival will be responsible for return shipping charges for 16 and 35mm films only when pre-arranged with the filmmaker. The Sex Worker Fest will not pay for international shipping for domestic films (USA). The Sex Worker Fest does not assume any liability for damage to prints due to improper containers or otherwise. 16 mm and 35 mm films (only) in our possession must be insured by the film maker against damage or loss while participating in the festival.

Upon acceptance, film cassettes and videos sent from outside the United States must be accompanied by a commercial invoice or b&w, value of shipment and sender's name and address. Cassettes should be marked: 'For Festival Screening Only.'

Publicity Materials:
Materials (photos, image files, etc.) of films and video clips (short promotional excerpts only) selected for screening become the property of the SF Bay Area Sex Worker Fest and can be used to promote SF Bay Area Sex Worker Fest and the programs of SF Bay Area Sex Worker Fest in all mediums including film, television, radio and the internet.

Overall Rating
  • Lola Clavo

    Great and important festival! Keep doing the work!!

    September 2019
  • Kase Pena

    Thankful that such a film festival exist! This is so important especially to give space to a community who's stories are either not told, or when told, not told well. Thank you San Francisco Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival and please continue to build on what you have so far.

    July 2019
  • James Mileham

    Brilliant festival! Fantastic communication and event 10/10

    June 2019
  • PJ Starr

    The San Francisco Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival is the original festival for people making films from a rights point of view about sex work and for sex workers making films about sex work. The team is excellent, and with minimal funds they host a variety of events that are inclusive and interesting. This is a community led festival so you may not meet and network as much as other larger or mainstream industry festivals. But the community empowerment is perfect and the slew of films to see excellent.

    October 2017
  • Tahir √ún

    An unique festival with film, video, performances, workshops, visual arts and more...

    June 2017