About Us

BLACK ZERO is a multimedia publisher specializing in Canadian experimental cinema from the 1960s to the present.

We are named for the second sequence in John Hofsess’s Palace of Pleasure. What does Black Zero mean to us? It is the solid black frame that marks the zero-point of a film’s countdown leader; it is the dark acetate of a roll of film stock as seen in profile; it is a void and an absolute fill, nothing and everything, the darkness of the movie house magnified to infinity. It is the circle at the centre of each of our discs.

In 1968, Jonas Mekas wrote that the Canadian underground film had “a finer vibration, a finer density, a finer matter.” It was bursting with an extraordinary diversity of forms, and its evolution in years since has prized photographic self-reflexivity, the landscape, the diary. Black Zero seeks to celebrate this cinema in both its dominant forms and its strange detours.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why the ‘Canadian’ and ‘experimental’ focus?

Canadian experimental film is an underserved field with a rich history. Our staff, advisors, and commentators include filmmakers, critics and authors of books on the subject, whose close and extensive experience with this cinema informs our releases.

I read that you might be releasing a particular film. Can I pre-order?

We're very grateful for your interest! However, our policy is to accept purchase orders only for discs we can put in the mail immediately.

If I write you, how quickly will my inquiry be answered?

We aim to respond to any questions we receive by email within 3 business days. Please note that we are a small organization. We are grateful for your patience.

Is local pickup an option?

Local pickup is an option in Toronto, Ontario. Bear in mind that we do not have a brick-and-mortar store. To arrange an in-person purchase, reach out to us at info@blackzero.ca.

How do I return a product I’ve received?

Please contact us at info@blackzero.ca with further details. Is the product faulty or damaged, for example?

There is a problem with my order – for example, one of the discs is faulty.

Please contact us at info@blackzero.ca with more details about the issue.

There is a problem with my order - I don’t have a blu-ray player. Can I get a DVD instead?

Our discs are blu-ray only. We offer no DVD option. We elected to go blu-ray-only because the format allows for frame accuracy and it offers a resolution that does justice to these films.

How are your discs manufactured? Are they all-region?

Our discs are BD-Rs. We use high-quality Verbatim media, we burn them on an Epson Disc Producer system, and we test our discs on a variety of common players. Our discs are all-region. Each release is assembled by hand at our workshop in Toronto, Canada.

Can I recommend a film for release?

We welcome recommendations and want to be in dialogue with the needs of our customers! That said, our slate tends to align with multi-year critical and preservation projects undertaken with our community partners.

I'm an audio-visual professional. Are you hiring?

We are grateful for your interest! Unfortunately, we are not hiring at this time.

I'm a librarian at an educational institution. Can I acquire your titles for my institution's catalogue?

Please reach out to us at info@blackzero.ca to discuss your institution's licensing needs.