Inaugural SF PornFilmFestival Touts Successful Virtual Run

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco PornFilmFestival concluded this weekend and organizers are celebrating the success of the inaugural event, which unspooled entirely online on

A crowdfunding campaign earlier this summer surpassed its original goal of $7,000 and eventually drew just over $11,000 to cover artists‘ fees for over 100 participating filmmakers, guest curators and moderators; equipment and broadcasting tech; and closed-captioning in several major languages, among other needs.

A rep noted the event drew over 1,500 attendees, with most of them viewing on laptops. A smaller number watched on mobile devices, tablets and AirPlay.

„Originally planned as two-day, in-person theatrical event, the festival bloomed into a five-day virtual attraction presenting 90 films, including five short film programs, plus Q&As and filmmaker talks, followed by a full day of recorded programs on-demand for those who may have missed a live event — or just wanted to watch again,“ said the rep.

„Highlights included the Opening Film satirical feature ‚The Sad Girls of the Mountains,‘ introduced by Mike Stabile’s short documentary ‚Smut Capital of America,‘ recounting San Francisco’s history as the epicenter of adult film 50 years prior,“ the rep noted. „The Closing Film ‚Volunteers Wanted‘ paid homage to the ethos of adult film festivals filmed at the PornFilmFestival Berlin. It was introduced by ‚Mes Chéris,‘ a powerful newly released docu-porn whose physical festival premiere had been interrupted by the coronavirus.“

Two guest-curated programs showcased films from the United Kingdom and Latin America. Over 30 filmmakers discussed their films for Q&A sessions and answered the favorite question of Festival Director Shine Louise Houston: „So, what’d you shoot on?“

Web Developer Kriss Lowrance thanked attendees for their patience with any technical issues.

„Alongside this being the first time we’ve done a festival, and this being the first time we’ve done a whole livestreamed festival, it is during a pandemic,“ said Lowrance. „So that means we’re all working together remotely, which means you’re doing ‚dead-drops‘ essentially of the hard drives with all the files, gently setting it down and backing away and everything.“

Plans are on the boards for a second edition of the festival to be held in Autumn 2021. Whether or not the event returns to its planned venue, the Brava Theater in San Francisco’s Mission District, event organizers revealed they plan to „retain an online component, allowing for a more accessible experience for a global network of artists and audiences.“

Until then, will use its platform to host several upcoming adult festivals whose plans were also disrupted by the pandemic: the Seattle Erotic Cinema Society Festival (SECS Fest) September 11 to 13, and New York’s CineKink on November 12 to 15.

Highlights from the inaugural San Francisco PornFilmFestival are still available on-demand for free with a membership.

Follow the fest on Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.

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