director, writer, editor


is an award-winning narrative and documentary

director known for intimate and gripping storytelling.



Erica Jordan, an award-winning director, writer and editor of narrative and documentary films that will evoke and inspire, is currently developing her new feature film set on Sausalito's waterfront. Erica is now editing Kat Alioshin's feature documentary - "Animation Outlaws -- All About Spike and Mike," slated to premiere at Annecy Film Festival in June 2019.

"Seeing Slavery,” Erica’s 2018 documentary which unravels the unseen worlds of human trafficking, forced labor and prostitution was awarded Best Short Documentary at Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards and Around Film Festival (ARFF International) and premiered at Raleigh Studios in August 2018. "Seeing Slavery" will screen on May 5, 2019, in Amsterdam as part of Around Film Festival.


Erica’s 2017 feature documentary “Painted Nails,” enters the lively world of a Vietnamese nail manicurist. “Painted Nails” aired nationally on PBS and has screened at film festivals around the world. "Painted Nails" is currently being distributed by Kanopy. To learn more, please visit


“Walls of Sand,” Erica’s debut feature about an Iranian woman’s search for freedom, received the Best Emerging Filmmaker Award at Rivertown Film Festival, 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 award-winning dramatic 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 heralds her arrival as one of the major artists of the indie scene.”


Seeing Slavery (2018 - short documentary)
Painted Nails (2016 - feature documentary) co-produced/directed Erica Jordan and Dianne Griffi

In Plain Sight (2014 - feature documentary)
Seed to Sprout  (2012)  Three short films for youth dance/film/theater collaboration.
Our Daily Bread (2011) Several short films for a 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)



UNAFF Traveling Film Festival - Denver, Painted Nails 2017

Seattle Asian American Film Festival, Painted Nails, 2017

Cinequest International Film Festival, Painted Nails, 2016

CAAMFest 2016, Painted Nails, (Center for Asian American Media) 2016

Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, Painted Nails, 2016

Disorient Asian American Film Festival, Painted Nails, 2016 (Courageous Womyn Award)

Viet Film Festival, Painted Nails, 2016

DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival, Painted Nails, 2016

Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival, Painted Nails, 2016

Chicago International Social Change Film Festival, Painted Nails, 2016

ECO Film Festival, Painted Nails, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2016

CAAMFest, Painted Nails, San Jose, California, 2016

New Orleans Film Festival, Painted Nails, Jury Award Finalist, 2016

UNAFF International Documentary Film Festival at Stanford, Painted Nails, 2016

California Film Institute - San Rafael Film Center, Painted Nails, 2016

Main San Francisco Public Library, Painted Nails, 2016

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
CounterPulse Theater, (SF, CA) Our Daily Bread presents Seed to Sprout, 3 short films part of a youth dance/film/theater collaboration, 2012.
San Francisco Docent’s Symposium, 49 Miles of Innovation and Connection, 2011.
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



• Courageous Womyn Award at Disorient Film Festival - Painted Nails 2016

• Jury Award Finalist at the New Orleans Film Festival - Painted Nails 2016

• 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



Women and Environments - Ethical Engagement in the Age of "Sustainable Consumerism

A Review by Helen Lynn

7x7 Magaine

 Painted Nails: A San Francisco Salon Owner Shares Her Story of Miscarriages + Safe Cosmetics Advocacy in New Documentary

Frontrunner Magaine

Painted Nails, a feature-length documentary film by Dianne Griffin and Erica Jordan, is equal parts immigrant and activist story.

Viet Film Fest 2016

Interview with Painted Nails Filmmakers

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Erica Jordan - Independent Film Director

San Francisco


Tel   415.505.1366

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