Canyon Cinema: Introducing canyoncinema50.org

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Canyon Cinema is proud to announce the launch of canyoncinema50.org, a new web resource for lovers of experimental film. For the site's debut, we celebrate Barbara Hammer with a video interview conducted in 2017 and a beautiful essay on her work by curator, writer, and friend Susannah Magers -- in time for a tribute screening we're helping to prepare here in San Francisco next week. More original essays and featured ephemera to be posted in the weeks ahead, so be sure to check back in often.

A Brief Note on the Site

Canyon Cinema Co-op officially incorporated on February 20, 1967. In 2017 and 2018, Canyon Cinema Foundation celebrated a half century of continuous operation with Canyon Cinema 50, a multifaceted community engagement initiative encompassing more than forty San Francisco Bay Area events and screenings; an international film tour introducing the work of Canyon filmmakers to new audiences around the world; and the creation of newly commissioned essays, video interviews, film prints, and digital transfers that enhanced appreciation of a diverse array of films in the collection. While celebrating Canyon’s rich history as one of the world’s preeminent distributors of artist-made moving image work, Canyon Cinema 50 also provides a framework for future endeavors as we continue to expand our role as an advocate for independent cinema in a changing media landscape.

In addition to documenting local and international Canyon Cinema 50 programming, canyoncinema50.org will serve as a cultural and educational resource by regularly publishing original essays, interviews and other ephemera produced especially for the occasion. The site also hosts information about upcoming Canyon events, reflecting the organization’s renewed focus on directly engaging the local film community following the successes of Canyon Cinema 50.

Where We Go From Here

The backbone of the website is a new and highly customized database platform that will eventually relate to all of the specific needs and goals of our organization as an archive and educational resource that celebrates and safeguards the vibrant history of independent media art; as an exhibitor that shares work with the power to enchant and engage in the Bay Area and beyond; and as a distributor committed to playing an active role in the ongoing evolution of artist-made cinema. We are adapting a powerful collection management system for canyoncinema50.org that will eventually power all of Canyon Cinema, and will share it as an open resource for other organizations looking to catalog their collections in a comprehensive and forward-thinking way. What we are building reflects an ambitious agenda for pursuing Canyon’s mission as an educational resource and proponent for artist-made cinema. 

Of course, this is no small task. Canyon Cinema Foundation operates on a shoestring budget, with a full-time staff of only two people. Every dollar that we receive helps to advance our long-term vision of providing meaningful access and essential context to the films in our collection. 

We invite you to consider making a standalone donation or joining Friends of Canyon Cinema, our community membership program, to help ensure that Canyon continues to provide a home for artist cinema well into the future. With your help, canyoncinema50.org is only the beginning.

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