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 (http://www.agnesfilms.com), 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 history and studies courses at the Academy of Art University 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 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.