Critics Adult Film Association

Last updated
Critics Adult Film Awards
Awarded forExcellence in the porn film genre. [1]
Sponsored byEast Coast Producers Association of the Adult Film Association of America [1]
Location New York City
CountryFlag of the United States.svg  United States
Presented byCritics Adult Film Association
First awarded1981
Last awarded1987

The Critics Adult Film Association (CAFA) was a New York-based group of East Coast adult sex film critics, which bestowed awards upon those working in pornographic film during the 1980s. The awards were first presented in 1981, honoring the movies of the previous year. Talk Dirty to Me, a sex comedy starring John Leslie, who won Best Actor, was voted best film of 1980. Samantha Fox was the first Best Actress, winning for her role in This Lady Is A Tramp, another sex comedy.


Amanda By Night , an adult crime-drama and Roommates, also a drama, would become CAFA's most-honored movies, with the latter being presented with seven awards in 1983, including Best Director (Chuck Vincent) and Best Actress (Veronica Hart). [2] Amanda By Night scooped six awards the previous year in a ceremony "held at the famed Copacabana": [1] Best Film, Best Actress (Hart), Best Supporting Actress (Lisa De Leeuw), Best Director (Robert McCallum), Best Screenplay and Best Editing.

The CAFA and Adult Film Association of America awards were considered the major adult film awards of the Golden Age of Porn. By 1985, sex news magazine Cheri declared: "Held at the Silver Lining, a snazzy little bistro on the West Side's Restaurant Row, the fifth-annual Critics Adult Film Awards was a gentle reminder that porn films can be measured against standards other than the Peter Meter." [3]

The seventh CAFA Awards were presented May 27, 1987 in Manhattan. [4] The association seems to have faded away after that, as did the New York-based adult film industry, overtaken by the X-Rated Critics Organization and its Heart-On Awards, which had first been presented two years earlier and which were based in California, the new centre of porn production.

In 1986 all three awards programs chose the same Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress. [5]

CAFA Awards

The trophies were called the Critics Adult Film Award and each was inscribed with the year the award was being given for, on a gold-plated round icon with decorative edges on a wooden base. [6]

In 1987, Cinema Blue magazine described the voting as a two-stage process: "CAFA President Jack Shugg and officers Steffani Martin, Colette Connor and Will H. Jarvis, aided and abetted by the members of CAFA...mail out two ballots to the New York porn critics. On the first ballot, the critics make five choices for best movies and performers in each category. (This year, any film or video released between January 1, 1986 and February 28, 1987 was eligible.) The ballots are then mailed back and the officers and their assistants count them. The choices with the most votes are then listed on a second ballot and again mailed to the critics who make one final choice in each category. These votes are once again tabulated and the movie or performer in each category with the most votes becomes the winner." [4]

Winners are listed below by the year in which the awards presentation was held, not by year the award was for, which was the previous year.

Best Film

1981Talk Dirty to Me [7]
1982Amanda By Night [1] [7]
1983Irresistible [7]
1984 (tie)
1985 (tie)
  • Raw Talent – Joyce Snyder, producer and Larry Revene, director [3] [7]
  • Good Girls, Bad Girls – Arthur Ben, producer-director [3] [7]
1986Taboo American Style [5] [7]
1987Winner: The Devil in Miss Jones 3 [8]

Nominees: Behind the Green Door: the Sequel , Every Woman Has a Fantasy 2, Lust on the Orient Express, The Oddest Couple, Star Angel [4]

Best Actress

Veronica Hart at the 2002 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo Veronica Hart.png
Veronica Hart at the 2002 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo
1981 Samantha FoxThis Lady Is A Tramp [7]
1982 Veronica HartAmanda By Night [1] [9]
1983Veronica Hart – Roommates [7]
1984 Sharon MitchellSexcapades [7]
1985 Colleen BrennanTrinity Brown [3]
1986 Gloria LeonardTaboo American Style [5] [7]
1987 Sheri St. ClaireSweet Revenge [4] [8]

Best Actor

1981 John LeslieTalk Dirty to Me [7]
1982Richard Pacheco – Nothing to Hide [1] [7]
1983John Leslie – Talk Dirty to Me 2 [7]
1984 Eric EdwardsSexcapades [7]
1985 Tom Byron 1
1986Eric Edwards – Corporate Assets [7]
1987 Jerry ButlerStar Angel 2 [4] [8]

Best Supporting Actress

Erotic actress Sharon Mitchell Sharon Mitchell.jpg
Erotic actress Sharon Mitchell
1981 Vanessa del RioDracula Exotica [7]
1982 (tie)
1983 (tie)
  • Lisa De Leeuw [7] The Blonde Next Door
  • Sharon Mitchell – Blue Jeans [7]
1984Sharon Mitchell – Night Hunger [7]
1985Colleen Brennan – Good Girl, Bad Girl [3] [7]
1986 Sheri St. ClaireCorporate Assets [7]
1987 (tie)

Best Supporting Actor

1981Richard Pacheco – Talk Dirty to Me [7]
1982Richard Pacheco – Dancers [1] [7]
1983 Jamie GillisRoommates [7]
1984 R. BollaThe Devil in Miss Jones 2 [7]
1985Tom Byron 1
1986Jose Duval – Taboo American Style [7]
1987 Ron JeremySweet Revenge [4] [8]

Best Director

1981 Anthony SpinelliTalk Dirty to Me [7]
1982 Robert McCallumAmanda By Night [1] [7]
1983 Chuck VincentRoommates [7]
1984Anthony Spinelli – Dixie Ray, Hollywood Star [7]
1985 (tie)
1986 Henri PachardTaboo American Style [5] [7]
1987 Cecil HowardStar Angel 2 [4] [8]

Best Erotic Scene

American pornographic actress Vanessa del Rio Vanessa del Rio 1.jpg
American pornographic actress Vanessa del Rio
1982Games Women Play [1]
1983 (tie) [10]
  • Roommates (Kelly Nichols and Ron Hudd)
  • Talk Dirty To Me 2 (John Leslie and Nicole Black)
1984Silk Satin and Sex (with Vanessa del Rio and Jerry Butler) [11] [12]
1985 (tie)
  • Suze Randall's Stud Hunters ("the Pippi Anderssen group-grope") [3]
  • Private Teacher ("a Tom Byron/Kay Parker tete-a-tit") [3]
1986Passage Through Pamela (transsexual scene) [5]
1987The Oddest Couple (Danielle and David Christopher) [4] [8]

Other Categories

Like the Academy Awards, CAFA also honored the best in various production categories. For example, at the awards show held in 1985, Every Woman Has a Fantasy scooped up cinematography and music awards, Raw Talent polished off top honors for editing prowess and Sandy Amsterdam's production design and Talk DIrty to Me III netted make-up and costuming kudos for Traci Lords' mermaid tail. [3]

However, unlike the Academy Awards, CAFA also presented awards in categories specific to the pornographic movie industry, such as Best Group Scene, bestowed in 1987 to The Devil in Miss Jones 3: A New Beginning with Vanessa del Rio and seven studs. [4] [11] [13] With the advent of pornography on video, a Best Adult Video award was created, won by Candida Royalle for Urban Heat [14] in 1985 and Christine's Secret in 1987. [4]

The annual Gerard Damiano Special Achievement Award, named after the producer, writer and director of the 1972 cult classic Deep Throat , went to actress Georgina Spelvin in 1982, [1] [6] Erica Eaton, publicist and former CAFA chairperson, in 1985 [3] and Gloria Leonard in 1987. [4] [8]


^1 There is a discrepancy as to which movie(s) Tom Byron won for in 1985. Cheri magazine states "He managed to walk off with Best Actor (for Sister Dearest) and Best Supporting Actor (Talk Dirty To Me III)". [3] Internet Adult Film Database founder Peter Van Aarle lists Private Teacher as his Best Actor win and Sister Dearest as his Best Supporting Actor award. [7]

^2 In the book The X-Rated Videotape Guide II, author Robert Rimmer states, "In May 1987, the CAFA (a New York film critics group) gave Snake Eyes II awards for Best Script (Anne Randall), Best Actor (Jerry Butler, who also received it for the original Snake Eyes), and Best Director (Cecil Howard)." [15] However, this seems unlikely as Snake Eyes II was not released until 1987 [16] [17] and it contradicts two other sources that list Butler and Howard winning in 1987 for Star Angel and no category called Best Script. [4] [8] Possibly Snake Eyes II won the following year, however, there doesn't seem to be a record of whether any awards were held in 1988.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 "1981 Adult Film Critics Awards", Porn Stars: The Stag Erotic Series Vol. 3 No. 4, July/August 1982, pp. 6–9.
  2. The Film Journal Volume 87, Pubsun Corp., 1984.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 "CAFA Capers: The N.Y. Critics Salute Porndom's Finest", Cheri Magazine, October 1985, pp. 24-27.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Will H. Jarvis, "The 7th Annual CAFA Awards: The X-rated stars cum out at night!", Cinema Blue magazine, Vol. 4, No. 8, November 1987, pp. 6-9.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Bill Bottiggi, "The 10th Annual Erotica Awards", Stag magazine, December 1986, pp. 56-57.
  6. 1 2 Photo (enlarged) Archived 2013-02-10 at accompanying "An Interview with Porn Star Icon Georgina Spelvin" by Charles Shea LeMone, June 8, 2009. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 Peter van Aarle, "Historical 'Best Porn Movie' Winners", Rec.Arts.Movies.Erotica (, June 7, 1997. Retrieved 2012-05-11
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Will H. Jarvis, "The 7th Annual CAFA Awards," Erotic X-Film Guide, January 1988, pp. 12-17.
  9. Caballero Video Co., Amanda By Night DVD case
  10. Erotic Film Guide (Vol.1 No. 9 ed.). Eton Publishing Company, Inc. September 1983. p. 12.
  11. 1 2 Vanessa del Rio, "My Mundane Meandering As Mistress of Masturbatory Memories" blog. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  12. Jerry Butler, Robert Rimmer and Catherine Tavel, Raw Talent: The Adult Film Industry As Seen By Its Most Popular Male Star, Prometheus Books, 1990, p. 318. ISBN   0-87975-625-X
  13. Dian Hanson and Vanessa del Rio, "That's 'Slut' with a capital 'S' ", Taschen Books. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  14. Dr. Eve, "Femme Productions – DVD" Archived 2011-12-23 at the Wayback Machine
  15. Robert H. Rimmer, The X-Rated Videotape Guide II, p. 522. Prometheus Books, 1991. ISBN   0-87975-673-X
  16. 'Snake Eyes II' on IMDb
  17. Data for Snake Eyes 2 was taken from the Internet Adult Film Database.