Canyon Cinema is dedicated to educating the public about independent, non-commercial, experimental, avant-garde and artist-made moving images. We manifest this commitment by providing access to our unrivaled collection to universities and cultural organizations worldwide, as well as cultivating scholarship and appreciation of artist-made cinema. We ensure the experience of rare film works in their original medium while also reaching new audiences through our growing digital distribution project.
Canyon Cinema’s unique collection of artist-made films – comprised of digital media, 8mm, Super 8, 16mm and 35mm prints – traces the vital history of the experimental and avant-garde filmmaking movements from 1921 to the present. With a strong emphasis on American West Coast and San Francisco Bay Area filmmakers, we are the access point to 3,400 ground-breaking works that represents 260 artists .
Canyon Cinema began in filmmaker Bruce Baillie’s Canyon, California backyard in 1961 as a forum for filmmakers to share work with each other and the community. In late 1966, the filmmakers founded Canyon Cinema Co-op. as a distribution company – established as a cooperative, owned and operated by filmmaker members (it was formally incorporated in 1967). In 2012 the membership voted to become a nonprofit. Today, continues to serve as an essential resource for educators, curators, researchers, and enthusiasts through our robust distribution program and online catalog. Since successfully managing the transition to operating as a 501c3 non-profit in 2014, CCF has made available 215 new and preserved works, and co-presented screenings with organizations including the National Gallery of Art, Kadist Art Foundation and the Exploratorium, in addition to hosting an ongoing free series of artists’ salon at San Francisco’s New Nothing Cinema.