Those seeking the very finest in romantic, daring, sensual and richly artistic porn need look no further than the 2023 San Francisco Porn Film Festival, set to return with its grand celebration of sexual cinema August 16th-27th, with online programing and in-person events broadcasting live from the Brava Theater August 18th-19th, powered by streaming adult platform PinkLabel.TV.
The festival is what organizers describe as “a multi-generational celebration of the industry’s history, and a look forward to the innovations of today’s adult filmmakers.”
The Feminist Sexpert also classifies this primo naughty flick fest as a whole lot of fun; a collection of 69 titles presenting an erotic smorgasbord catering to every genre, audience and sexuality. The event will include in-person and virtual screenings, socials, filmmaker chats, and a vibrant selection of expertly made and thought-provoking (not to mention hot!) erotic and adult films.
This year’s festival features both new releases that push the genre and explore the full cinematic landscape of sexuality, along with classic LGBTQ movies–with an emphasis this year on group sex scenes. Love it!
The festival, appropriately enough, closes with BIG/BANG, a curation of who’s-who in contemporary porn-making around the world.
Other highlights include the Wednesday, August 16, FORE/PLAY feature, a special 24-hour selection of films screening on-demand, with films showcasing international filmmakers, including Auto/Visual and Jerks from Greece, NARCISSISM from Germany, and House of Woland from Australia, while Documenting a Hot Summer Weekend and The Dinner Party represent contemporary Bay Area porn producers.
On Thursday, August 17th, artists will come together at 11:00AM Pacific, streaming online from across the seas in the MEET/GREET filmmaker chat. Later that evening at 7:00PM, the festival’s opening film presents an early 2000’s San Francisco homegrown dyke porn, SUGAR HIGH GLITTER CITY.
Filmmakers Jack Strano and Shar Rednour from SIR Productions will be in conversation with scholar Lynn Comella. The landmark film is preceded by an excerpt from Shine Louise Houston’s 2000’s queer porn cult classic The Crash Pad. This program is a must-see for fans of dyke and queer porn!.
On Friday, August 18th, the festival gets physical with two action-packed shorts programs broadcasting live and in-person from the Brava Theater. FUCKING/FUN screens joyful and hardcore shorts at 4:00pm.
Local artists include HANKY director Ramses Rodstein and Transit co-creator Jiz Lee in attendance. Then at 7:00PM, the narrative and explicit porn program continues with SEX/SCENE. Local highlights include CrashPad Quickies: Knotty Rell and Zuri Love by CrashPad director Ava LaPrima and No Man Like Me by trans creator Jaq Quicksilver.
International artists include Australian Into-You-I-See-Me exploring interabled intimacy and the United Kingdom’s Pointe to Please displaying the artistic parallels of ballet and pole dancing. Saturday, August 19th has the festival back in the theater with ART/SMUT at 4:00PM presenting short films with an explicit and experimental focus.
Other festival highlights of particular interest to women include BIG/BANG, showcasing sex scenes by the biggest movers and shakers in the queer and ethical adult scene: Midnight Tryst by Forplay Films (Los Angeles), Beer and Loving with Las Bangers by HardWerk Pictures (Berlin), RITES OF SPRING by Four Chambers (London), Babygurl’s Big Birthday Bang by AORTA Films (New York) and CrashPad’s End of Year Special (San Francisco). Festival film and Q&A replays will be available online through Aug. 27.
“The global ensemble of films celebrates joyful sex, bodies, and represents the latest in contemporary adult filmmaking,” reads an event press kit.
The Feminist Sexpert agrees in full, and encourages all interested in promoting artistically and ethically produced porn to support this year’s festival by donating to the event’s annual fundraiser, offering VIP and pre-sale tickets, limited edition t-shirts, PinkLabel.TV gift cards, and big sponsorship packages.
“The fundraiser allows the international filmmaking community and its biggest fans to play a major role in supporting the event by helping to secure theatrical and virtual production expenses, and importantly, ensuring artist payment,” reads the event press kit. Contribute to the cause of really, really good porn here. The fund-raiser ends in a week, so let’s get to it Ladies!
For more insight about the 2023 San Francisco Porn Festival, the Feminist Sexpert once again had the pleasure of interviewing industry legend Jiz Lee, Marketing Director of the festival and of the groundbreaking PinkLabel.TV and Pink and White Productions.
1. Jiz, I am very pleased to help promote this year’s San Francisco Porn Film Festival, which in my opinion is one of the finest feminist, multicultural and queer film festivals in the world. Please let us know some of your favorite highlights from this year’s festival schedule!
Thank you for saying so, and for helping us get the word out! (Especially important, given how difficult it is to share sex-related information online these days.) The festival has so much to offer. There’s over 69 films!
Some highlights for me personally include the opening film Sugar High Glitter City, which was a film I saw prior to realizing that I could find a place in the adult industry. Big Sur Gay Porn is another highlight, a unique documentary about porn and gay culture by Ryan A. White, the director of Raw! Uncut! Video! which is another gay porn doc to check out.
As a lover of documentaries, and as someone who recognizes that porn should be valued, especially for its cultural relevance, porn documentaries might be my favorite subgenre of adult film.
Of course, explicit movies that arouse and celebrate sexuality are just as exciting, and this year’s submissions had a particularly fascinating trend: group sex! Maybe everyone emerged from the isolation of COVID wanting to make up for lost time. The festival ends with a ‘big bang’ featuring five films that focus on the multiplicity of pleasure. Interestingly, it also reflects porn makers from five global cities — London (FourChambers), New York (Aorta Films), Los Angeles (ForPlay Films), Berlin (HardWerk Pictures), and of course, San Francisco’s very own CrashPadSeries.com.
2. Tell us a bit about the history of this groundbreaking festival!
The festival was inspired by the PornFilmFestival Berlin, an epic film festival that has been running for over a decade. PinkLabel.TV’s director Shine Louise Houston has attended the Berlin festival for years, and recognized the important role it played for both audiences and artists.
There are so many important conversations that can come from watching adult films. I’m inspired by films that politically and creatively challenge the definitions of what “porn” can be. There’s also a sort of ‘porn-begets-porn’ snowball effect, where a filmmaker (and often an aspiring filmmaker!) sees something that sparks an idea or desire that then inspires them to create their own film, thus adding to the conversation.
In this way, an artist community grows around the presence of a festival and cultivates films that push the genre. We want to foster that kind of artistic growth here in San Francisco and so with Berlin’s enthusiastic permission, Shine launched an American version of the festival.
What is wonderfully unique about the San Francisco PornFilmFestival is how it was shaped by COVID. Creating a festival during a global pandemic made it one of the most accessible and community-supported events we’ve had the pleasure to organize.
Our festival launched in 2020, with planning well underway when the pandemic happened. The team pivoted to a virtual festival approach and fundraised to build our own broadcasting platform so that we could live-stream porn, which is restricted almost everywhere else. We shared our porn-friendly platform with other adult festivals who had lost access to theater venues. The show would go on!
As venues opened up, we added the in-person programs, but kept the entire festival online, making it accessible for those who cannot travel or otherwise join us in-person. The Brava Theater, our venue we’ve presented at for the past three years, is wheelchair accessible and all the films are subtitled or closed captioned.
We also want films screened to reflect ourselves and others in our community, so our curation considers inclusion and representation of disability, older ages, and body types, in addition to race, gender, sexuality, and kinks.
3. Tell us how important public support is to the staging of this year’s festival. What are the various ways in which people can get involved?
It could not happen without public support, beginning with the very first fundraiser in 2020 to build our broadcasting platform. We hold a festival fundraiser every year, because theater screenings mean additional costs but at the end of the day we want to ensure artists are paid, just as we must pay for the insurance and the staff.
As artists ourselves, we try to balance the realization that festivals are expensive to run but should acknowledge artists’ labor. After all, without the artists, there would be no festival!
We want YOU to get involved! It feels great to play a role in a festival and there are many ways to help that fit all income levels. You can help by simply spreading the word. Follow the festival online and share our posts.
You can purchase an online or in-person festival pass. You can donate more to get fun perks such as t-shirts and a giftcard to PinkLabel.TV. If you have the means, consider making a substantial contribution. We offer sponsorship packages that include name thank you’s, logo placements, and VIP swag bag goodies.
We’re especially looking for a few sex-positive companies, porn patrons, and festival angels to support our mission in a major way as Premier and Extravaganza Sponsors. Is this you or your company? Contact us!
4. In today’s challenging times, it seems to me that the San Francisco PornFilmFestival is a cinematic safe space where all adults of all genders and sexualities can feel welcome and entertained. Thank you so much — if you like, feel free to leave us with a message of welcome and invitation to this special event. 🙂
The best thing about porn is its ability to reflect our desires. Film itself is all about storytelling, whether it’s capturing history, giving voice to the underrepresented, or dreaming up utopias of new worlds.
We curate the festival to celebrate the kinds of films that inspire and challenge us, and reflect our own sexuality and exploration. It’s a respectful space that embraces a sex-positive perspective and an open-minded approach to new experiences. We welcome all adults to watch with us!