Olivia Humphrey talks about Kanopy


To learn more about Kanopy, winner of the CWB’s Seal of Excellence Award for the Best International Cinema Streaming Site, we had the opportunity of interviewing Olivia Humphrey, Founder and CEO of Kanopy.

Olivia Humphrey has many years of media distribution experience, including at BBC Worldwide in London, Austar Satellite TV and Roadshow Entertainment in Sydney, where she managed the non-theatrical release slate. She founded Kanopy in 2008 to address the opportunity to build film as a core resource for all students in higher education before expanding into public libraries in 2016. Headquartered in San Francisco, Kanopy distributes a catalog of 30,000 films to over 4000 libraries, reaching an audience of 5M+ users.

Watch our interview with Olivia Humphrey about Kanopy in this video:

In our jury statement announcing Kanopy as the winner of CWB’s Seal of Excellence Award we mentioned that: “Not only does Kanopy carry most of the masterpieces of International Cinema, but also uses an innovative way to allow international cinema fans to access their treasure-trove of content at no cost: through public library membership or affiliation with a school. Another advantage of Kanopy is its international reach and its creative design of the site, which makes it very easy for the visitor to find their desired content.”

Becoming a Kanopy member is very easy, if you are college or university student or academic member in an English-speaking country, you can access Kanopy at school or home. Other fans of cinema as an art, can use a public library membership to watch thousands of movies, including hundreds of Criterion Collection titles on Kanopy.

I personally had to go online and request for Los Angeles Public Library membership and an Ecard, as Burbank libraries, where I live and work, are not yet part of Kanopy program. After receiving my library Ecard number, I went to the Kanopy site and joined as a member. The whole process was very easy and quick and in matter of 2 hours I started to watch Fellini’s La Strada on my TV using a Roku box.

Kanopy is also available on Apple TV, your computers, iOS and Android phone apps.

Now it’s over three months that I am watching movies on Kanopy and I am a happy man! All those wonderful films that once was carried by HULU and I always missed them when HULU for mysterious removed them from their library, now I can find them on kanopy!

Even Kanopy carries a long list of great international films, it still misses several masterpieces of contemporary international cinema, such as Cinema Paradiso, A Separation and Time of the Gypsies. But this is a growing site that needs to be checked every day to find new films added to their library.


About Author

Bijan Tehrani

Bijan Tehrani a film director, film critic and writer, works as editor in chief of Cinema Without Borders while teaching Language of Film and Film History at workshops nationwide. Bijan has won several awards in international film festivals and book fairs for his short films and children's books.

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