Canyon Cinema is delighted to offer a film tour comprising four captivating film programs and two digital packages, set to screen throughout the US, and beyond, from November 1st, 2017 through 2018.

These four 16mm programs, composed of 43 films drawn from Canyon’s circulating collection of more than 3400 titles, will provide an opportunity audiences to encounter some of the defining works of American avant-garde cinema as they were meant to be seen, while also recuperating forgotten voices and casting a contemporary eye on Canyon’s collection. Many of the films in the tour will be recent restorations and new prints. Two digital programs built from new HD transfers are also available, allowing participation from a wide variety of venues and organizations.

As part of Canyon’s effort to renew its longtime commitment to sustaining a grassroots distribution network for alternative cinema, the touring programs have been designed to be adaptable. In addition to the four set programs, area curators, teachers, and artists are encouraged to organize special programs oriented towards regional accounts of Canyon’s legacy. We are especially interested in supporting programs that feature local Canyon filmmakers in order to provide a platform for these artists to reflect on their work in relation to Canyon’s collection, history, and culture.

As a component of the Canyon Cinema 50 project, the touring program is meant not only to celebrate Canyon’s history but also to point the way towards the organization’s continued relevance as both a purveyor of and advocate for artist-made cinema, seeding the next generation of what founding filmmaker Bruce Baillie described as “a federation of willing devotees of the magic lantern muse.”

Read a full press release for the tour here.


Each program runs 80 – 90 minutes. Many of the titles being screened are recent restorations and new prints (marked with an asterisk). Programs contain mature content.


Studies in Natural Magic
Ciao Bella or Fuck Me Dead by Betzy Bromberg

Program One: STUDIES IN NATURAL MAGIC features recent films by Saul Levine, Charlotte Pryce, and Christopher Harris; rarely screened films by Standish Lawder and Jean Sousa; sublimely filmed and acutely perceived portraits of cities, seas, skies, and landscapes by Peter Hutton, Julie Murray, Gary Beydler, Robert Fulton, and Emily Richardson; Betzy Bromberg’s audacious and energetic feminist punk city symphony; Degrees of Limitation, one of Scott Stark’s earliest films, a humorous 3-minute structuralist gem; and Portland, a mid-90s travelogue and playful Rashomon-like inquiry into the nature of truth by Greta Snider. Total running time: 79 minutes

Film Filmmaker Length Year
Light Lick (Amen) Saul Levine 4 2017
Catfilm for Katy and Cynnie*  Standish Lawder 3 1973
Ciao Bella or Fuck Me Dead* Betzy Bromberg 9 1978
28.IV.81 (Bedouin Spark) Christopher Harris 3 2009
Redshift Emily Richardson 4 2001
A Study in Natural Magic Charlotte Pryce 3 2013
Starlight Robert Fulton 5 1970
Swish Jean Sousa 3 1982
Hand Held Day* Gary Beydler 6 1975
Portland Greta Snider 12 1996
Degrees of Limitation* Scott Stark 3 1982
Shrimp Boat Log David Gatten 6 2010
Boston Fire Peter Hutton 8 1979
Orchard Julie Murray 10 2004


Flower, The Boy, The Librarian by Stephanie Barber

Program Two: ASSOCIATIONS is titled after John Smith’s 1975 film, a joyfully dense rebus-like image-word construction. Smith’s film is preceded by Sara Kathryn Arledge’s rarely seen 1958 work What is A Man, a film years ahead of its time, and Mark Toscano’s 2012 piece Releasing Human Energies, which utilizes film laboratory test footage of a “China Girl” set to a found text read by Morgan Fisher. The program also features Abigail Child’s classic 1989 film Mercy, from her celebrated “Is This What You Were Born For?” series; canonical works by Phil Solomon, Barbara Hammer, Robert Breer, and Robert Nelson; and two recent restorations: the humorously poignant Confessions by Curt McDowell and Akbar, Richard Myers’ extraordinary 1970 portrait of young black filmmaker and student, Akbar Ahmed. Total running time: 90 minutes

Film Filmmaker Length Year
Releasing Human Energies* Mark Toscano 5.5 2012
What is a Man? Sara Kathryn Arledge 10 1958
Associations John Smith 7 1975
Hot Leatherette* Robert Nelson 5 1967
Dyketactics Barbara Hammer 4 1974
Flower, The Boy, The Librarian Stephanie Barber 5 1997
The Snowman Phil Solomon 8 1995
Swiss Army Knife with Rats & Pigeons* Robert Breer 6 1981
Confessions* Curt McDowell 11 1971
Thine Inward-Looking Eyes Thad Povey 2 1993
Mercy* Abigail Child 10 1989
Akbar* Richard Myers 16 1970


Duo Concertantes by Lawrence Jordan

Program Three: DECODINGS is named after Michael Wallin’s found-footage masterpiece, “a profoundly moving, allegorical search for identity from the documents of collective memory” (Manohla Dargis). The program begins with Duo Concertantes, a classic animation by one of Canyon’s earliest filmmakers, Lawrence Jordan, and Billabong, an underappreciated impressionistic documentary of a boys’ youth camp by another key Canyon figure, Will Hindle. Tom Palazzolo’s 1973 film, Love It/Leave It, offers a portrait of the USA that feels particularly relevant to our current political moment. Other works include Lie Back & Enjoy It, JoAnn Elam’s lucid examination of the representation of women in film; artist and filmmaker Cauleen Smith’s 1992 Chronicles of a Lying Spirit (by Kelly Gabron), an “exploration of the implications of the mediation of Black history by film, television, magazines and newspapers” (Scott MacDonald); and Naomi Uman’s classic 1999 found-footage film Removed, which deploys nail polish, bleach, and 1970s pornography to fashion a film where the female figure exists only as an empty, animated space. Total running time: 87 minutes

Film Filmmaker Length Year
Duo Concertantes Lawrence Jordan 8 1964
Billabong Will Hindle 9 1969
Love It / Leave It* Tom Palazzolo 15 1973
Removed* Naomi Uman 6 1999
Chronicles of a Lying Spirit (by Kelly Gabron)* Cauleen Smith 6.5 1992
Point de Gaze Jodie Mack 5 2012
Encounters I May or May Not Have Had with Peter Berlin Mariah Garnett 14 2012
Lie Back & Enjoy It JoAnn Elam 8 1982
Decodings Michael Wallin 15 1988


Valentin de Las Sierras by Bruce Baillie

Program Four: CONTINUUM is named for Dominic Angerame’s silent and exquisitely filmed black and white 1987 city portrait. The program also features Bay Area filmmaker Karen Holmes’ underappreciated late 1970s landscape and performance film, Saving the Proof; Los Angeles effects artist and filmmaker Pat O’Neill’s 1973 masterpiece Down Wind; Gunvor Nelson’s My Name is Oona, one of the canonical works of the American avant-garde; and two works from the mid-2000s: Tomonari Nishikawa’s frenetic single-frame city portrait, Market Street, and animator Janie Geiser’s Terrace 49. The program is bookended with Valentin De Las Sierras and Mujer De Milfuegos, films by Canyon Cinema founders Bruce Baillie and Chick Strand that continue to resonate as vital, adventurous film art. Total running time: 85 minutes

Film Filmmaker Length Year
Valentin de Las Sierras* Bruce Baillie 10 1968
My Name is Oona Gunvor Nelson 10 1969
Down Wind Pat O’Neill 15 1973
Terrace 49 Janie Geiser 5 2004
Market Street* Tomonari Nishikawa 5 2005
Continuum Dominic Angerame 14 1987
Saving the Proof Karen Holmes 11 1979
Mujer de Milfuegos* Chick Strand 15 1976

As part of the film tour, Canyon is also offering two digital programs. These packages are composed of new HD transfers of select films from the 16mm programs outlined above. Programs run between 70 – 80 minutes. Programs contain mature content.


Digital Programs 1
Alpsee by Matthias Müller

Digital Program One features select films by from the four 16mm programs, including work by John Smith, Robert Nelson, Naomi Uman, Curt McDowell, and JoAnn Elam, as well as Alpsee by Matthias Müller. Total running time: 78 minutes

Film Filmmaker Length Year
Associations John Smith 7 1975
Hot Leatherette Robert Nelson 5 1967
Hand Held Day Gary Beydler 6 1975
Swiss Army Knife with Rats and Pigeons Robert Breer 5 1981
Alpsee Matthias Müller 15 1994
Lie Back & Enjoy It JoAnn Elam 8 1982
Love It / Leave It Tom Palazzolo 15 1973
Removed Naomi Uman 6 1999
Confessions Curt McDowell 11 1971


Arbor by Janie Geiser

Digital Program Two features select films from the four 16mm programs, including work by Barbara Hammer, Cauleen Smith, Scott Stark, and Karen Holmes, with the addition of Arbor by Janie Geiser and two films by Canyon Cinema co-founders Chick Strand (Fake Fruit Factory) and Bruce Baillie (Mr. Hayashi). Total running time: 72.5 minutes

Film Filmmaker Length Year
Mr. Hayashi Bruce Baillie 3 1961
Arbor Janie Geiser 7 2012
Akbar Richard Myers 16 1970
Dyketactics Barbara Hammer 4 1974
Chronicles of a Lying Spirit (by Kelly Gabron) Cauleen Smith 6.5 1992
Degrees of Limitation Scott Stark 3 1982
Saving the Proof Karen Holmes 11 1979
Fake Fruit Factory Chick Strand 22 1986

Recognizing that interest in Canyon Cinema’s films and legacy may take many different forms, we are offering the option of curating your own Canyon Cinema 50 event. Please send us a brief proposal of what you would like to screen, specifying any Canyon Cinema filmmakers in your region that you would like to invite to participate in the event. Canyon Cinema 50 tour rental rates will apply!

Programs cannot exceed 70 minutes. “Curate your own” programs cannot include any of the films from the “official programs.”


The four 16mm programs, and a forthcoming digital program, are available for rental as single programs or as a discounted package with all four. For bookings please contact David Dinnell –

In order to make these touring programs accessible to a wide range of exhibition spaces, rental rates are being set to a sliding scale according to the renting organization’s operating budget:

Organizational Budget Per program all four
$0 – $50,000 $180 $612
$50,001 – $300,000 $300 $1020
$301,000 + $450 $1530

Bookings are on a first-come basis. Forward or return shipping via FedEx or UPS required.

Venues are encouraged to partner with other venues in their city or region to present multiple programs. Doing so will be both a cost-sharing measure as well as an excellent community-building effort. For example, a university books two of the programs with a local microcinema booking a third, and the art museum booking a fourth. You may also wish to consider involving alternative screening spaces, such as local art galleries and community spaces. The Canyon Cinema 50 tour is a wonderful opportunity to seek out new collaborations, activating new partners and audiences in your area.

  • Press and promotion material packets will be made available to venues. All are customizable and include printable programs, press releases, stills, trailer, gifs, and suggestions for promoting events.
  • In person appearances from Canyon staff or regional filmmakers: Canyon has a limited travel budget to support in-person appearances by an organizational representative.
  • Is there a regional filmmaker you would like to invite to appear in person to participate in your event? There is a limited budget to support modest honoraria for in-person appearances. Please inquire with David Dinnell ( for details.
  • The official programs will be sent pre-built, with detailed technical notes.
  • Canyon Cinema 50 merchandise available on consignment for sale in your gift shops or merch tables. Please ask us about details.

Canyon Cinema is a nonprofit film and media arts organization that serves as one of the world’s preeminent sources for artist-made moving image work. 2017 marks its 50th anniversary. The organization celebrates this milestone through the Canyon Cinema 50 project, which includes a screening series in the San Francisco Bay Area, US and international touring programs showcasing newly created prints and digital copies, and an educational website including new essays, ephemera, and interviews with filmmakers and other witnesses to Canyon’s 50-year history.

Canyon Cinema is thankful for the long term support of the George Lucas Family Foundation. Dedicated project funding for Canyon Cinema 50 has been generously provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Owsley Brown III Foundation, Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation and The Fleishhacker Foundation.