Staff, Interns and Volunteers
Denah Johnston employs optical printing and hand development in her filmmaking, leaving a certain degree of her process to chance operations. Currently Johnston is exploring various methods of re-photography, sound construction and manipulation in her new works with found footage source materials. Influenced by Stan Brakhage, Maya Deren, Ingmar Bergman, George Kuchar and the writings of William S. Burroughs, she has most recently screened films in Washington D.C., Berlin, Boston, Sydney, Chicago, Malaysia and St. Petersburg. Johnston’s film flux received a Juror’s Prize for Best Experimental Film in 2004 at the Athens International Film & Video Festival and in 2009 she won Juror’s Prize for Best Experimental Film for Devil’s Dairymaid. In 2010, anomie won best Experimental Film at the Fargo Film Festival.
Working in distribution at Frameline for 3 years she has extensive experience working in various realms of academic, festival and museum screenings and programming. In 2009 she organized and moderated a free public panel discussion on Queer Underground Cinema at the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival that was supported by the NEA and the Warhol Foundation in conjunction with programming a number of films including It Came From Kuchar, Thundercrack! and I Was a Teenage Rumpot. In June 2014 she joined a panel discussion hosted by San Francisco DocFest “Fact, Fiction or ?” investigating the state of documentary moderated by film critic Michael Fox.
Having collaborated extensively with artists in various fields, Johnston has been involved in film, interdisciplinary and media arts for 16 years. Curating film screenings internationally and in the U.S. for over 10 years, she also serves as Experimental and Fringe Film Editor for agnes films, an online resource for female filmmakers and those interested in their work. Her book No Future Now: A Nomadology of Resistance and Subversion was published by Atropos Press in 2012. She is currently working on a volume of essays about women directors. Denah has been teaching film theory, history and studies courses in San Francisco since 2008.
A persistent advocate of film, she is dedicated to serving at such a critical time in the continuing evolution of Canyon. Denah received a PhD in Media & Communication with a focus on Film Theory from the European Graduate School, an MFA in Filmmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BFA in Photography with a Film Studies Minor from Ohio University.
Antonella Bonfanti has worked in the moving image archives and preservation field since 2008 and has been the Collection Manager at Canyon Cinema since 2013. Trained in collection management, she has held positions at the George Eastman House and Prelinger Archives, where she taught students and volunteers. Bonfanti specializes in the history and conservation of early safety film stocks, small gauge formats, home movies, and independent artist-made films. She received an MA from the Selznick Graduate Program in Film and Media Preservation at the University of Rochester and George Eastman House in 2008, and graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours BA in Cinema Studies in 2003. For the last decade Antonella has also worked as a technical manager and projectionist for southern Ontario’s premier independent cinemas and film festivals, including Cinematheque Ontario, Images Festival, Media City and the Toronto International Film Festival’s Wavelengths program. The opportunity to project rare prints of independent works spurred her to pursue a career in film preservation. An active member of the Association of Moving Image Archivists, she serves on the Film Advocacy Task Force and co-organizes the annual AMIA Archival Screening Night. In 2014 she joined the board of directors of the Center for Home Movies. Antonella is passionate about building community around film through skill sharing and has co-organized and participated in Home Movie Day events in San Francisco and Oakland CA, Toronto, ON and Rochester NY.
Current Volunteers and Interns
Special Projects Volunteer
Kym began volunteering at Canyon in the Winter of 2012 undertaking monumental tasks such as the detailed print inventory of over 3,500 films, shelving repair, collections of outstanding accounts and organization/filing systems. An internationally exhibiting and award winning filmmaker, herbalist and photographer Kym is an invaluable resource that we call on to assist with detail-oriented organizational projects.
Fernanda is an independent filmmaker with a marketing background. She graduated from Restart in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2012 and been volunteering with Canyon Cinema since November 2014, helping with film inspections and organizing our archival materials.
Michael Metzger is a Ph. D. candidate in the Art History program at Stanford University. His dissertation research explores matters of film, knowledge and technology in the 1960s and 1970s by tracing the impact of the zoom lens on experimental and educational film practice.
Lindsay Needels is an M.A. candidate in Cinema Studies at San Francisco State University. She began volunteering at Canyon Cinema in 2013, shortly after graduating from UC Santa Cruz, where she worked as an award-winning film critic for a student-run publication. At Canyon, Lindsay has preformed a number of jobs, from web administration to archival organization to fundraising research. Additionally, she has served as public programs assistant, helping with the organization of the Canyon Cinema Salon Series. Her academic research focuses on spectral media, posthumanism, the uncanny, and new and experimental modes of spectatorship and exhibition.
Megan Needels is a filmmaker and independent curator. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in film production with her interests focused on experimental documentary. Her work centers around themes of gender, performance and reenactment and has been screened in The Santa Cruz Film Festival and at the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz, CA. Her passion for experimental film and deep adoration of celluloid led Megan to Canyon first as an intern and then volunteer, where she helps with film inspections, shipping, and general print management. Megan also curates experimental film screenings in the Santa Cruz area and acts as Assistant Curator of the New Alchemy exhibition in Santa Cruz, CA.
Editor, Canyon Cinema Confessions
John Schmidt is a bookseller in Oakland, CA. He relocated to the Bay Area after studying film at Wesleyan University, where he worked on a number of student films as writer, director of photography, producer, and production assistant. Interested in film and print cultures, he helps to organize Canyon Cinema newsletter Confessions, in addition to the work he does inspecting films and updating the Canyon website. He is an occasional curator at Oddball Films and former volunteer at Small Press Distribution.
Former Volunteers (since 2013)
Rafael Eaton is a student pursuing his Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, with a concentration in Archival Studies, from Drexel University. He has been with Canyon Cinema since February of 2013, first as a volunteer and now as an intern. At Canyon he assists with film inspections, updates and organizes our archival materials, and has been working on an inventory of our films and digital media. Previously, he volunteered with both The Prelinger Archive and The Sutro Library branch of the California State Library in San Francisco.
Editor, Canyon Cinemazine
Courtney Fellion is a curatorial intern for SFMOMA and lectures at San Francisco State University. She is editor of the Canyon Cinemazine, a quarterly publication for experimental film/media. Her research interests include experimental modes of exhibition and distribution, postregional discourse, posthumanism, landscape, nostalgia for fictive/virtual places, and the mythology of the American West.
Frankie Fleming began volunteering at Canyon during the Summer of 2012. She was first introduced to Canyon Cinema during her studies at Bard College where she graduated from the Film/Electronic Arts department. At Canyon she assists with film inspections and organizing archival materials. Previously, she worked with the Joanie 4 Jackie Archive, digitizing, curating, and releasing a DVD of materials from a project started by Miranda July in the 1990s. She continues to make videos in San Francisco and is part of the Drip Dry Collective.
Adam Foster began volunteering at Canyon Cinema upon graduating from the University of California Santa Cruz with a degree in Film and Digital Media. He assists us with film inspections and creating promotional media.
During his studies at UCSC, he developed a considerable interest in both autobiographical and experimental filmmaking. At Canyon Cinema, Adam has been able to further appreciate and study the works of inspirational independent and avant-garde filmmakers, while learning the techniques critical to the preservation of film and the value of maintaining an archive of artists’ work. Looking to the future, Adam is interested in furthering his education and experience in film and video preservation, as well as, pursuing opportunities in its production and exhibition.
His production work at Santa Cruz includes a feature length observational documentary on the city of Watsonville, co-produced with a team of 19 other student filmmakers, which won the Audience Choice Award at the 2012 Santa Cruz Film Festival. For his senior exit production, Adam completed a short documentary about the ban of gay individuals from the Boy Scouts of America,and the complicated terrain that gay Eagle Scouts face when confronted by their exclusion. The film received a 2013 UCSC Deans’ Award as an outstanding research project.
Janine Gericke is a librarian and media archivist with seven years experience working in public and private collections including the New York Public Library, the University of San Francisco’s Gleeson Library, Anthology Film Archives, San Francisco Media Archive, SFMOMA, and Pacific Film Archive. She is a graduate of the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation and holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University and a Bachelors in Film Studies from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She is also an ‘In the Field’ writer for Film International.At Canyon Cinema she assists with film inspections. She loves the Castro Theatre, zombie movies, flea markets, and her French Bulldog Otis.
Alison Helzer is an undergrad at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Film and Media Studies. This summer she is living in San Francisco interning at the Exploratorium and volunteering at Canyon Cinema and the Prelinger Archive. She is fascinated by the science of human visual perception and the interaction between the brain and cinema. After graduation in the spring, she hopes to continue exploring her interest in film and science education.