Announcing Canyon Cinema Discovered! 2021-2022 Curatorial Fellowship

Canyon Cinema Foundation invites proposals for a new curatorial endeavor: Canyon Cinema Discovered.

This multifaceted, year-long fellowship program aims to engender fresh perspectives on experimental cinema and to meaningfully expand Canyon’s role in providing access to this key strand of American media art. Four curatorial fellows will be selected to assemble programs from Canyon’s unique collection of artist-made films for online streaming and a possible screening tour (conditions permitting). As a point of focus, the cohort will be encouraged to activate undervalued and underseen works and to incorporate recent acquisitions as well as complementary works from outside of the collection, with the aim of broadening Canyon’s offerings and directly engaging with the continuing evolution of experimental cinema and media. 

Research will be conducted remotely under the guidance of a team of project advisors and Canyon Cinema staff over the course of 2021, beginning in May. The specially curated programs will be presented online starting in spring of 2022. These programs will be further enriched and contextualized by curatorial essays to be published on Canyon’s website and in a printed catalog.  

In continuation with Canyon’s commitment to providing access to rare artworks in their original medium, fellows will have the opportunity to catalyze the creation of new exhibition prints and digitizations of selected works. The newly struck 16mm prints made for Canyon Cinema Discovered will ensure that audiences can continue to experience these works in the best possible light. Meanwhile, the creation of new digital copies, for the purposes of research, study, and exhibition, will be crucial to expanding the availability of, and cultivating new audiences for, artist-made cinema. 

Each fellow will receive $3,000 for their participation in the program. Applicants can be based anywhere in the world, but should be fluent in English and available to attend monthly Zoom meetings and 2-3 online workshops/presentations.

Fellows will be chosen through an open application process by a committee of project advisors composed of filmmakers, curators, and writers. Selections will be made on the basis of the applicant’s ability to provide original perspectives on avant-garde and artists’ cinema and media; to illuminate unheralded or forgotten film and videomakers; to organize programs that speak to contemporary social, political, and artistic concerns; and to forge strong intergenerational connections between legacy films in Canyon’s collection and contemporary work by today’s moving-image artists. 

Submission Deadline: April 1, 2021

To Apply, please submit (1) a statement outlining your interest in experimental film and media and previous curatorial experience (max. 250 words), (2) a brief program concept (max. 250 words), (3) a current CV, and (4) one to two critical writing samples, via the following online form: 

Canyon Cinema Foundation is committed to the principles of equal opportunity, equity in employment, accessibility, and to becoming a more inclusive organization. Members of traditionally underrepresented groups are welcome and strongly encouraged to apply.

Individuals who require accommodation during the application process are invited to contact 

About Canyon Cinema: Canyon Cinema Foundation (San Francisco, CA) is dedicated to educating the public about independent, noncommercial, experimental, avant-garde, and artist-made moving images. We manifest this commitment by providing access to an unrivaled collection of films to universities and cultural organizations worldwide, and cultivating scholarship and appreciation. We ensure the experience of rare film works in their original medium while also reaching out to new audiences through our growing digital distribution project.

Project Advisors: Christopher Harris, filmmaker and Associate Professor of Cinematic Arts, University of Iowa; Steffanie Ling, writer and curator; Adam Piron, filmmaker, programmer, and Associate Director of Sundance Institute’s Indigenous Program; Lynne Sachs, filmmaker and poet

Project Funders: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation

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