Erica Jordan

Erica Jordan


Inspired by dance, photography and politics throughout her youth, at eighteen Erica Jordan picked up her first 16mm film camera and never looked back. She gained early recognition with her first short film Dance for One, screening for enthusiastic audiences at many film festivals, including The Mill Valley Film Festival. She went on to receive the Best Emerging Filmmaker Award at Rivertown Film Festival for her feature film Walls of Sand, about the friendship between two women, an undocumented Iranian and an agoraphobic American, and their search for freedom. Walls of Sand won Honorable Mention at Slamdance Film Festival and gained international attention as the first feature film selected to stream over the Internet. Film Threat selected Erica’s second feature film, In the Wake, as one of the best independent feature films of 2001 — “While anyone who saw ‘Walls of Sand’ could immediately recognize Ms. Jordan’s talent as a filmmaker, her new feature ‘In the Wake’ serves to confirm not only her skill and mastery of independent film production, but also herald her arrival as one of the major artists of the indie scene.” Erica’s feature documentary In Plain Sight will be available for distribution this Fall 2014, after premiering at film festivals.  In this searing exposé, she follows renowned photographer Lisa Kristine on an unforgettable journey onto the frontlines of modern-day slavery, witnessing intimate moments of human connection and devastation. Through these dark passageways, the film bears witness to the indomitable human spirit. (For more info, please visit Painted Nails, a one-hour documentary co-produced and directed by Erica Jordan and Dianne Griffin, currently in post-production, enters the lively world of a Vietnamese nail salon and explores not only its unique opportunities for immigrant women but also flamboyant nail art, pampered clients, and the serious health risks that lurk beneath the brightly painted surface. (for More info, please visit Erica’s scope encompasses writing, producing, directing and editing documentary and narrative features that entertain, as they expand into a deeper view of the world.

FILMS (written, produced, directed and edited by Erica Jordan)

Painted Nails (2015 – 1 hr. documentary)  Co-produced with Dianne Griffin. In Post-Production
In Plain Sight  (2014 – 1 hr. documentary)
Seed to Sprout  (2012)  Three short films for youth dance/film/theater collaboration.
Our Daily Bread (2011) Several short films for dance performance at CounterPulse, SF
Any Sunday at Rhythm and Motion (2009 – 7 min. documentary)
Saving Malcolm X (2005 – 30 min. documentary)
Fostering Art (2004 – 15 min. short documentary)
In the Wake (2001 – 94 min. dramatic feature)
Ida McCray:  Families With A Future (2001 – 6 min. documentary) Produced for Oxygen TV Channel.
Glenda Hope: The Tender Champ  (2001 – 6 min. documentary) Produced for Oxygen TV Channel
Tales from the Heart (1998 – 37 min. dramatic shorts)
Walls of Sand (1995 – 110 min. dramatic feature) Co-wrote, co-produced with Shirin Etesam
A Different Shade of Blue (1991 12 min. dramatic short)
Dance for One (1989 – 11 min. dramatic short)


The International Film Festival on Human Rights, Buenos Aires Argentina In Plain Sight, June 2015
Napa Valley Film Festival (Napa Valley, CA) In Plain Sight, 2014
United Nations Film Festival (Palo Alto, CA) In Plain Sight, 2014
Mill Valley Film Festival (Mill Valley, CA) In Plain Sight, 2014
Our Daily Bread presents Seed to Sprout, 3 short films screened at CounterPulse, part of a youth dance/film/theater collaboration, CounterPulse 2012.
San Francisco Docent’s Symposium, 49 Miles of Innovation and Connection, screened at St. Louis national symposium, October 2011.
Deep Waters Dance Theater, Our Daily Bread, several short films screen throughout dance performance, CounterPulse April 2011.
ODC Dance Commons, Any Sunday at Rhythm & Motion, screened at the 30th anniversary party
San Francisco City Hall, Saving Malcolm X, video screened as part of a photo exhibit, 2006
Zeum: San Francisco’s Children’s Museum, Fostering Art, part of photo exhibit, 2004
Oxygen Media, Glenda Hope, Ida McCray documentaries, national broadcast, 2001
New York International Independent Film & Video Festival (NY & LA), In the Wake, 2002
Black Point Film Festival, Wisconsin, (Honorable Mention) In the Wake, 2002
Mill Valley Film Festival, Mill Valley, CA In the Wake (Official Premier Presentation), 2001
WinFemme Film Festival, Beverly Hills, CA (Critic’s Choice Award) – In the Wake, 2001
U.C. Davis International Film Festival – Davis, CA, (Honorable Mention), In the Wake, 2001
Film Festival of Iranian Cineaste in Diaspora, Canada, New York, Walls of Sand, 2001
Women’s Iranian Film Festival, Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley, CA – Walls of Sand, 2001
Film Arts Festival of Independent Cinema In the Wake, 2001
Light+Screen Film Festival, (New York, NY) 2000 – Walls of Sand
The Mill Valley Film Festival, Tales From The Heart:  The Belly Dance, 1998
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Short Romances, (SF, CA) Tales From The Heart, 1998, (website) (first contemporary feature in the web) – Walls of Sand, 1998
The Festival of Iranian Films Made in Exile, (Sweden) Walls of Sand, 1997
Short Romances, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts,  (SF, CA) – Tales From The Heart, 1997
Boston Museum of Fine Art Film Festival, Walls of Sand, 1996
Orpheum Theater, (Boston, Mass.) (Calendar Screening), Walls of Sand, 1996
Roxie Cinema, (San Francisco, CA) (Calendar Screening), Walls of Sand, 1996
UCSF Psychiatrists Resident Screening, (San Francisco, CA), Walls of Sand, 1996
Slamdance Film Festival, (Saltlake City, Utah) (Honorable Mention), Walls of Sand, 1996
Umea Film Festival, (Sweden) – Walls of Sand, 1995
Nashville Independent Film Festival, (Tenn.) Walls of Sand, 1995
Film Arts Foundation Film Festival, (SF, CA) Walls of Sand, 1995
Breckenridge Film Festival, (Colorado) Walls of Sand, 1995
Rivertown Film Festival, (Minneapolis) Walls of Sand, 1995
Bay Area Women’s Film Festival, (Berkeley, CA), Walls of Sand, 1995
Big Muddy Film Festival, (Ill.) Walls of Sand, 1995
Palo Alto Film Festival, (Palo Alto, CA) Dance for One, 1987
Art Institute Film Festival, (SF, CA) Dance for One, 1987
Mill Valley Film Festival, (Mill Valley, CA) Dance for One, 1987


The Puffin Foundation Ltd. Artist’s Grant – 2009 for Painted Nails


• San Francisco Film Society, FilmHouse Residency Award, 2010
• Black Point Film Festival – Honorable Mention, In the Wake, 2002
• Film Threat, Hollywood’s Independent Voice – Best Unseen Film Award- In the Wake, 2001
• Selected Colds Springs Workshop, sponsored by Miramax Films, Walls of Sand, New York, 1996
• Honorable Mention – Slamdance Film Festival, (Salt Lake City, Utah), Walls of Sand, 1996
• Best Emerging Filmmaker Award, Rivertown Film Festival, Walls of Sand, 1995
• Juror’s Award, Nashville Independent Film Festival, Walls of Sand, 1995


“Griffin, Jordan Getting Their ‘Nails’  Done” San Francisco Film Society, SF360 Daily News & Features from America’s Film & Media Frontier, July 24, 2010
“Independent Film Distribution: How to Make a Successful End Run Around the Big Guys,” Phil Hall, 2006
“An Interview with Erica Jordan” by Jonathan W. Hickman,, 2002
“An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking”, by Hamid Naficy, Princeton Univ. Press, 2001
“In The Wake, Review,” Film Threat, 2001
“Erica Jordan: The Quiet Pioneer”, Film Threat interview by Phil Hall, May 3, 2000
“FILM; For Moviegoers, The Net’s Not Yet An Easy Option,” New York Times, March 1, 1998
Move Close Up, Interview with Bonnie Steiger, Erica Jordan and Shirin Etessam interviewed, San Francisco Public Access channels (1998)

San Francisco Film Society – filmmaker membership • Bay Area Video Coalition – membership