2017 marked the 50th anniversary of Canyon Cinema, the nonprofit film and media arts organization that serves as one of the world’s preeminent sources for artist-made moving image work. Designed to celebrate this milestone, the Canyon Cinema 50 project comprises an educational website featuring new essays, ephemera, and interviews, as well as a lavish film program curated by David Dinnell, visiting faculty at California Institute of the Arts and former Program Director at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Following eight months of Bay Area screenings, Canyon is taking its show on the road, and Anthology is honored to host the NYC component of its celebratory tour, with four separate programs showcasing more than 40 films drawn from Canyon’s circulating collection, ten of them screening from freshly-struck prints commissioned specifically for the series.
Beginning in 1961 as an exhibition series in Bruce Baillie’s home, and formally incorporating as a filmmaker cooperative in 1967, Canyon has always existed as a forum for artists to share their work with each other and engage the broader community. Since becoming a nonprofit in 2014, Canyon has redoubled its commitments to preserving and distributing rare non-commercial work in its original medium. Canyon Cinema 50 represents an opportunity for audiences to encounter some of the defining works of American avant-garde cinema as they were meant to be seen, while also recuperating forgotten voices and casting a contemporary eye on Canyon’s collection.
Canyon would like to thank all the filmmakers, participating archives, and their staffs for their support throughout this project: Academy Film Archive (Mark Toscano), Chicago Filmmakers (Brenda Webb), Chicago Film Archives (Michelle Puetz, Nancy Watrous & Brian Belak), and Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (Jon Shibata & Mona Nagai). Laboratory work was completed at Colorlab (Laura Major, Chris Hughes & Tommy Aschenbach), Fotokem (Denise Marques), and Cinema Arts (Janice Allen & Michael Kolvek).
The Canyon Cinema 50 project is organized by the Canyon Cinema Foundation and supported in part by the George Lucas Family Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Owsley Brown III Foundation, the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, and The Fleishhacker Foundation.
Canyon Cinema Director Antonella Bonfanti will be here in person for the screenings!