Film Schools in Canada: A leader in film education is Canada. In prospering cities like Toronto, Ontario, Montreal, Quebec, and Vancouver, British Columbia, students can choose to enroll in public or private universities.
These locations provide students with the traditional college experience in addition to housing some of the greatest film schools in the world. Students will have a lot of chances in these urban settings, which are bustling with culture, museums, art galleries, movies, restaurants, sports arenas, and scenic natural areas.
Canada’s film schools provide a wide range of programs and degree levels. Those who are passionate about filmmaking can pursue their education to the farthest extent possible, choosing from accelerated one-year programs through BAs, BFAs, MAs, MFAs, and PhDs.
The best 10 film schools in Canada are listed below. Students in Canadian film schools have the chance to study many facets of filmmaking, including video game development, film theory, augmented reality, virtual reality, and documentary production, as well as cinematography, lighting, costume design, screenwriting, and animation.
The 10 Best Film Schools in Canada
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Concordia University Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema (Montreal, QC)
Canada’s largest university-based institution for cinema study, production, and animation is located at Concordia.
In fact, it was one of the first universities in Canada to offer courses in and degrees in cinema, and it currently takes in 250 new students each year. The School of Cinema at Concordia is located in Montreal, which is renowned as one of the top movie hubs in North America.
Three BFA programs are available at Concordia: technical and aesthetic production practices, film theory, and animation techniques.
Graduate students have the option of pursuing an MFA in film production in addition to an MA or PhD in film and moving image studies. Every year, the Concordia Film Festival, which is organized by students, gives Concordia students a venue to present their work.
Yves Belanger (cinematography for Dallas Buyers Club), Emilie Goulet (computer graphics animator for the Oscar-winning film Soul), and Sephen Campanelli, who has worked with actor Clint Eastwood on more than 20 films, are just a few of the award winners and nominees Concordia has produced.
Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts (Vancouver, BC)
At Simon Fraser University, students can pursue a minor in film and video studies or a BFA in film.
In their first two years of study, BFA students learn how to use Bolex and Arriflex cameras to shoot 16mm film; in their final two years of study, all students have the option of sticking with film or switching to digital video.
The Red Scarlet and Epic Cameras, as well as Panasonic GH5 DSLR cameras and Sony 4K video cameras, are the primary cameras utilized at Simon Fraser. Students use all of these cameras as part of their immersive education. Additionally, SFU encourages students to pursue multidisciplinary experiences in performance studies, visual art, drama, music, and music theory.
24 students in a cohort who cycle through the curriculum make up the Simon Fraser program. These students are chosen from a group of approximately 125 applications, of which 50 are given the chance to participate in a 15-minute interview.
Students are dedicated to creating, shooting, and editing their own film in their fourth year of study, which they will screen at the Concordia Film Festival. The Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) screened Kathleen Hepburn’s Never Steady, Never Still, which was chosen as one of the top Canadian movies of 2017.
Carleton University (Ottawa, ON)
Students who study in Cinema and Media Studies (CAMS) at Carleton University obtain knowledge and skills in a wide range of areas, including digital video and audio production, genre studies, and writing for film and television.
The Comps is a senior project in which individuals or groups of individuals work independently on their own initiatives with the assistance of faculty mentors.
A 4-5 page project proposal and bibliography, a project, a 4-5 page methods essay with bibliography, a symposium presentation, and adherence to the process make up the five main components of the Comps.
For the assignment, students have the option of creating an academic article, a long or short screenplay, or a full- or half-hour TV pilot. They could decide to make a short movie instead. Three extended-response questions from the students’ coursework are included in the exam that must be taken.
Graduates from Carleton go on to succeed in the film business.
Paul Austerberry, a production designer, just received an Oscar and a BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Awards) for his work on the set of Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, which was selected the Best Picture of the Year for 2018.
Ryerson University (Toronto, ON)
Writing, directing, producing, art direction, editing, cinematography, theory, and film history are all topics covered in depth in Ryerson’s BFA in Image Arts: Film Studies.
Students must undergo an internship during which they frequently collaborate with accomplished filmmakers.
They have the option of choosing an integrated digital option in their third year of study, which places a greater emphasis on digital media. Every year, senior film students work together to plan a movie showing at a nearby theater.
Students can continue on to earn an MA in a number of fascinating fields, including scriptwriting and story design, documentary media, and the preservation of film and photography.
Alumni from Ryerson have had numerous behind-the-scenes jobs for well-known movies and television programs. The movie Picture of Light by Peter Mettler was recently selected by TIFF as one of Canada’s Essential 150 Films. TV editor Pia Di Ciaula has experience with Netflix’s The Crown.
As one of the top TV directors in the world and a four-time Emmy Award nominee for shows like Game of Thrones, Jeremy Podeswa has written and directed three critically acclaimed films.
Capilano University School of Motion Picture Arts (North Vancouver, BC)
The largest film school in western Canada is located in Capilano, which was founded in 1968. Actually, the university is most well-known for its study programs in film, animation, performing arts, and jazz.
Students interested in specialty like games, virtual reality, lighting/grip work, animation, and cinematography can enroll in Capilano’s programs.
Students can get a Bachelor of Motion Picture Arts degree there in addition to other diplomas, degrees, and certificates. One of the few Indigenous filmmaking programs in North America is located at the Bosa Centre for Film and Animation. After earning that diploma, students can apply to start year 3 of the Bachelor of Motion Picture Arts program.
The VFS-CapU Pathway Program was recently developed in collaboration between Capilano University and the Vancouver Film School’s Digital Design and Acting for Film & Television programs. Graduates of the VFS program may continue their education by enrolling in Capilano’s BA in Design in Visual Communications (or Performing Arts).
At the Vancouver International Film Festival in 2019, six Capilano film school graduates debuted their films. Alumni have also worked together on hit movies including Disney’s Zootopia.
Toronto Film School (Toronto, ON)
Toronto is regarded as Canada’s center for fashion, design, and film. Over 260 productions have been filmed in Toronto, which also has a $2 billion film and entertainment business and hosts the annual Toronto Film Festival (TIFF).
The fact that TFS is one of Canada’s top-ranked film schools comes as no surprise. There are diploma programs lasting 12 to 18 months in fields like writing for film and television, video game design, and interactive media.
For students who want English language improvement before beginning a Film School diploma program, TFS also provides a 12-week ESL track. Graduates go on to work as directors, producers, visual effects supervisors, actors in radio, television, animation, and video games, voice actors, and designers of costumes and motion graphics.
Graduates of film production programs have contributed to movies including The Shape of Water, Black Panther by Marvel, Star Trek Beyond, and Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast adaptation. Game animators have also worked together on well-known video games like Grand Theft Auto.
Vancouver Film School (Vancouver, BC)
The Vancouver Film School, which opened its doors in 1987 with just six film students in its initial session, today employs an expedited one-year education program that blends theory with production experience. Students work together with distinguished professors and mentors from some of the top studios in the world.
The VFS offers 15 different programs for students to select from. Among the choices are creature animation, 3D animation and visual effects, filmmaking, game/web/mobile programming, VR/AR design, and creature animation.
On both Canadian and international rankings lists, VFS was recognized as the top school for animation training for the second year in a row. Students have amassed more than 5000 Oscar and Emmy nominations and victories, and graduates are associated with entertainment businesses that generate close to $20 billion annually.
In movies and television programs like Game of Thrones, Wonder Woman, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, Joker, Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake, and Marvel’s Black Panther, alumni have made contributions.
York University School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (Toronto, ON)
BFAs in media arts, production, or screenwriting, as well as BAs in cinema & media studies, are offered as undergraduate degrees at York University. Graduate students can pursue a Ph.D. in Cinema & Media Studies, an MFA in Film, or an MA in Cinema & Media Studies.
The average size of York’s film classrooms is 25 students or less, and the university’s screenwriting program is among the best in North America.
At TIFF, students frequently have the chance to participate in field studies and take classes from renowned guest artists. At Cinespace Film Studios, they can produce short fiction, documentary, and alternative films to obtain filmmaking experience.
David Shore (House) and Karen Walton (Orphan Black and Queer as Folk), two Emmy Award-winning screenwriters, teach master classes at the institution, and Maya Bankovic, an alumnus, received Best Cinematography for Akilla’s Escape at the 2021 Canadian Screen Awards.
University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)
One of the first film production programs in Western Canada was established at the University of British Columbia.
Several shows, including 50 Shades of Gray, Smallville, X-Men Origins, The X-Files, The Butterfly Effect, and many others, have actually been filmed on its campus.
The University of British Columbia offers a BA or BFA in Theatre or Film Studies. The BFA integrates theory with practice, artistry, and research, whereas the BA is primarily concentrated on theoretical understanding.
Graduates can pursue an MFA, MA, or Ph.D. in theatre and film in addition to an MA.
Like a lot of the other universities on this list, UBC helps its graduates land fascinating jobs in the film business. One such Emmy Award-winning lighting designer is Mike Inwood. Additionally, the Cannes, Sundance, and TIFF film festivals regularly exhibit student work and nominate it for awards.
University of Toronto Cinema Studies Institute (Toronto, ON)
One of the major undergraduate cinema study programs in Canada is offered by the Cinema Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. They provide film studies major, minor, and specialty programs.
A specialist must complete 10 courses, a major must complete seven courses, and a minor must complete courses. Foundations, genre and modes, social and cultural practices, theory and criticism, history and country, and independent studies are the seven areas into which all courses are divided. Core interests concentrate on cinema history, film theory, and film analysis.
If you’re a student looking for financial help, the Cinema Studies Institute is a good choice. The institute specifically provides nine undergraduate students enrolled in the cinema studies program of study with scholarships.