About Help Canyon Cinema Thrive!

After more than 50 years, Canyon Cinema remains committed to reimagining what it means to be a reliable, artist-centered distributor of some of the most adventurous filmmaking being done outside the mainstream.

An essential resource for educators, researchers, students, and cinephiles, Canyon is one of the world’s preeminent sources for independent, avant-garde, and experimental media, distributing the works of 300 artists to an international assortment of vibrant festivals and historic cinematheques; to an underground teeming with microcinemas, itinerant and one-off showcases, and unsponsored, unpublicized living-room gatherings; to a thousand classrooms filled with enchanted students; and now, to an increasingly networked, online audience.

In 2022 we continued to meet the needs of both our clients and audiences by actively promoting, preserving, and expanding access to the work of our artist members; and by developing new tools, programs, and collaborations that have enabled Canyon to operate and evolve more effectively in the digital space. We have also endeavored to make the collection more inclusive, more representative of contemporary forms and practices, and more global, adding 13 new and returning artist members during the past year; while allocating more resources (such as support for the digitization of film prints) to filmmakers historically underserved by Canyon Cinema and the field of experimental media more broadly. 


As a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit, Canyon Cinema Foundation relies on tax-deductible donations to meet our basic obligations: to educate the public about independent, non-commercial, experimental, and artist-made moving images; to ensure the experience of rare film works in their original medium; and to cultivate new audiences through our growing digital distribution program. By contributing to this campaign, you are helping us achieve these goals as we evolve and adapt to the changing conditions of media exhibition and distribution in the 21st century. We are grateful for your support!

There are several ways that you can help support Canyon Cinema. You can donate to our General Fund, or you can be more specific about what you would like your contribution to be used for. 

When you donate to Canyon's Digitization Fund, you will be helping make the work of our artist members available to a wider audience, via our growing digital distribution program. The money raised through this initiative directly supports the transfer of films in Canyon's collection that are not currently available digitally. 

You can also make a donation to the John Carlson Memorial Fund, in honor of the beloved Bay Area filmmaker, teacher, lab technician, and longtime friend of Canyon Cinema.

All donations are fully tax-deductible.

Alternatively, you can join our Friends of Canyon Cinema membership program and receive annual rewards. Memberships are tax-deductible for the full monetary amount if you choose to opt out of receiving rewards, and less the fair market value amount if you do choose to receive rewards. Current Friends members receive free access to “Canyon-on-Demand” streaming programs, a copy of the Canyon Cinema Discovered catalog, a subscription to the Canyon Cinemazine, 20% off Canyon merchandise, plus member-only updates, previews, and more.

Canyon Cinema welcomes gifts of every kind, including stock contributions and matching gifts from your employer. For more information, please contact [email protected] or call 415.626.2255.

Photographs of Canyon Cinema office by Terri Loewenthal, 2021.