Producers: Carol Leigh • Erica Elena • Laure McElroy
Director: Erica Elena• Film Curator: Laure McElroy

P.O. 210256
San Francisco, CA 94121
For further info, email

Call for Entries*
The Festival sponsors ongoing screenings internationally and a festival in San Francisco.
Click for Online Application Form

The San Francisco Bay Area Sex Worker Festival was 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 proudly supports diverse Bay Area communities and 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 nearly three hundred works and generated much interest in the media. In addition, the festival presents performances and events. Performances include spoken word marathons, bus and bicycle tours highlighting San Francisco history, theatrical productions and cabarets. In 2005 Whore College was launched in conjunction with the Sex Worker Festival among other workshop formats including the Institute of Sex Workology. Films and videos for the Festival focus on sex workers' rights; organizing efforts and working conditions for strippers; global sex work and sex work as a labor issue on the international agenda; sex workers as artists; queer sex workers; anti-racism andti-oppression in sex worker communities, sex work and gender identities; sex education, sex art, porn and erotica; portraits of strippers, prostitutes, doms, madams... We encourage diverse participation and diverse perspectives.


Qualifying Entries:
Films and videos must be:
1) directed or produced by someone who has worked in the sex industries or
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 conventional stereotypes and stigma regarding prostitution and other forms of sex work. We are interested in all work addressing all subjects by sex worker filmmakers.
Upon filmmakers consent, all such works will be included in our location-based library of films about sex work, available for researchers and activists. If your work does not fit into these categories, please don't submit it.
Entry forms
are available online at our website. 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, 2017. (Please email us and let us know you sent it, or send us a link to the online video.) The late deadline is March 21st. The extended deadline is April 4th with permission. Films must be received by that date. The festival will take place in May 2017. The festival also sponsors ongoing screenings at festivals around the world and we accept work on an ongoing basis. Call 415-751-1659.

Entry Fees:
A separate entry fee and application form is needed for each work. The entry fees are:
Regular deadline (postmarked by March 1, 2017) $10.00 for the first film or video, and $5.00 for each additional film or video.

Late Deadline (postmarked after March 1, 2017) $15.00 for the first film or video, and $10.00 for each additional film or video. Deadline is March 21st. Extended deadlines will be announced.

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

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 the festival curator with assistance from the production team.

Mailing Information:
Include address label on both tape and container. All submissions must be shipped prepaid and packed in proper containers to arrive at the Sex Worker Fest offices no later than 2 weeks before the festival or other screening dates (to be announced). 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 Sex Worker Festival will be responsible for return shipping charges for 16 and 35mm films 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, pict files, etc.) of films and videos selected for screening become the property of the Sex Worker Fest and can be used to promote The Sex Worker Fest and the programs of The Sex Worker Fest in all mediums including film, television, radio and the internet.