Canyon has tried for nonprofit status a number of times. Problem is that while Canyon filmmakers rarely make anything like a profit, Canyon is a distributor whose goal is to rent films and send the profits back to the filmmmakers and ideally make enough of a profit for themselves to expand their facilities or whatever. They're hardly a financially successful profit-making enterprise, but they aren't by the definitions used in California "nonprofit."

One hopes that now that it's clear that in fact no one does make a profit from avant-garde work, nonprofit status might be a possibility. It is a tribute to the remarkable commitment of the folks who have kept Canyon afloat for now half a century that they have been a very successful distributor--at least in terms of the service they have provided--without needing nonprofit status.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Frameworks] canyon in the news (bad news dept)
From: Matt Helme <>
Date: Sun, February 19, 2012 12:03 pm
To: Experimental Film Discussion List <>

I was wondering why Canyon went for profit anyway?
From: Tim Halloran <>
To: Experimental Film Discussion List <>
Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2012 11:00 AM
Subject: Re: [Frameworks] canyon in the news (bad news dept)

Could not agree more. But a workable middle ground needs to be found, utilizing digital reproductions for cursory surveys but integrating real projected prints where it is essential to the work. Maintaining one or two projectors for these unique experiences doesn't seem like too much of a burden. Projected discs of readily available material for everything else.


Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 18, 2012, at 8:29 PM, wrote:

> While I don't have any solutions, Canyon's becoming a not for profit seems
> like a good start. Perhaps then some in "the industry" who claim early
> inspiration from experimental films will get out their checkbooks. Keeping
> Canyon going wouldn't take that much. Perhaps some in the Bay Area could
> form a fund raising committee.
> At the risk of bringing up an old issue here, I am disturbed that nowhere
> in the debate is it mentioned that there is a unique aesthetic value, for
> many films, to presenting them as originally intended, on film. Yes,
> projectors are harder to find; yes, some schools won't pay for rentals. I
> don't have any solutions to all that. But if the members of this list
> won't even acknowledge the particular qualities of film projection, and
> that so many of the greatest works of the avant-garde were made with those
> particular qualities in mind, and that such works often lose hugely on
> video, then the "battle" is over before it has even begun. You can hardly
> try to find projectors and rental funds if you don't even care. Similarly,
> instructors who don't care about this difference can hardly explain it
> with any passion to their students. I have found that many students can
> indeed appreciate the unique qualities of film with only a little
> explanation and encouragement.
> David Tetzlaff:
> "...everything needs to gets digitized, and made available in a medium rez
> form along with prints. So, when you rent a print of 'Cosmic Ray' from
> Canyon, you get an SD DVD of 'Cosmic Ray' to put on reserve in the library
> for the length of the term...."
> This does not even acknowledge that there are still filmmakers, still
> living filmmakers, perhaps even in my view some of the very greatest of
> filmmakers, who refuse to "digitize" their work because they feel too much
> is lost. Is there no respect at all for the artist's intentions with
> regard to her or his work?
> Fred Camper
> Chicago
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