Failed Films turns its back on the white walls, polished pieces, and polite gallery conversation to bring you an undiscovered enclave of artists whose raw and daring works will shake your perception of what art can be. Founded by Chris Gates, Grace Mendenhall, and Jonah Strauss, this underground art event showcases the film, photography, art, and performance rejected by formal galleries and unsupported by the Bay’s rapidly changing art scene. //
All of Failed Films’ festival profits will go directly back to our artists, enabling them to continue making work. Since its inception in Fall 2016, our events have successfully featured over a hundred pieces of art, carving out a much needed space for new work and emerging artists. Our goal is to become a sustainable quarterly event that is able to provide grants, resources, and an audience for local artwork with a non-traditional approach.
Next Event // April 29th // Classic Cars West, 411 26th Street, Oakland
8 PM // Gallery Opens
10 PM // Screening
11 PM // DJs Rob Fatal & Mike Colossal
Note: all performers and attendees must be over the age of 18.
These events are nonprofit. All proceeds above operating expenses go to the artists. Please contact us if you are interested in funding commissions for this or future events.
Submitting to Failed Films:
We accept ideas, installations, films, halves of films, quarters of films, bloody tampons in glass boxes, photography, and more! Send us what we don’t expect.
We are particularly excited by works produced specifically for a Failed Films event.
Every body, every expression welcomed. Priority given to marginalized bodies / trans / queer / fat / POC / disabled artists.
Whether your piece is complete or in development, all submissions must include submission form found by clicking "SUBMIT" button.
About the Founders:
Grace Mendenhall is a multimedia artist with a background in documentary film and photography. Her work has appeared in publications like Playboy and The Bay Bridged, and has been featured at a number of film festivals, including La Fete du Slip, CineKink NYC, and the San Francisco Bay Area Sex Worker Film and Art Festival. She currently works as a freelance video editor and animator.
Jonah Strauss is a production designer for rock and roll bands, and has toured internationally with indie luminaries such as Arcade Fire, TV on the Radio, and Blonde Redhead. He currently runs Survivor Sound, an Oakland-based analog recording studio and live concert recording service.
Christopher Gates is a Bay Area creator and producer. You can find his fingerprints on local productions such as We’re Still Working: The Art of Sex Work visual art exhibition and event series at SOMArts, the Ask First Consent Campaign, and Cum & Glitter - A Live Sex Show. He is currently feeding himself by working in media. Feast or famine, Christopher is dedicated to cultivating opportunities and spaces for Bay Area artists.