Staff, Interns and Volunteers
Director of Operations
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 Berlin, Boston, Sydney, Chicago, Malaysia and St. Petersburg, Russia. 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.
Having collaborated extensively with artists in various fields, Johnston has been involved in film, interdisciplinary and media arts for over 10 years. Curating film screenings internationally and in the U.S. for six 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 May 2012. Contributing a chapter about No Wave Filmmaker Vivienne Dick in the forthcoming critical anthology Downtown Film, Video and Television 1975-2000 (Intellect Press, UK) she is currently working on a volume of essays about women directors. Teaching film theory, history and studies courses in San Francisco since 2008, she can be found teaching any number of the following courses: Film History, Genres in Film, analog before digital: punk/no wave film & music, Exploring Science Fiction Cinema, Motion Picture Theory & Style, Art & Ideology of the 20th Century and Crossing Borders: Art & Culture in Global Society.
A persistent advocate of film, she is dedicated to serving at such a critical time in the continuing evolution of Canyon Cinema. Denah received her PhD in Media Philosophy: Film & Theory from the European Graduate School where she is the Simone de Beauvoir Fellow, an MFA in Filmmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BFA in Photography with a Film Studies Minor from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
Antonella Bonfanti has worked in the moving image archives and preservation field since 2008. Specializing in collection management, Antonella has held positions at the George Eastman House, Prelinger Archives and California Audio Visual Preservation Project. She attended the Selznick Graduate Program in Film and Media Preservation at University of Rochester and George Eastman House where she received a Master’s Degree. Prior to that, Antonella graduated from University of Toronto with an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Studies in 2003. Antonella has worked as a technical manager and chief projectionist for several of Southern Ontario’s premier independent and experimental film festivals including the Images Festival, Media City and the Toronto International Film Festival’s Wavelengths program. It was from this experience of projecting rare prints of independent works at festivals and art houses, which are often compromised by mishandling or neglect, that she decided to pursue a career in film preservation. As an active member of the Association of Moving Image Archivists, Antonella has presented at the annual AMIA Conference on a variety of subjects and strives to build communities around film through sharing skills at organizations such as the San Francisco Participatory Archives Groups, and volunteering for the San Francisco Cinematheque and Home Movie Day in both San Francisco and the East Bay.
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.
Current Volunteers and Interns
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.