Best Film Schools in Canada. With world-class film, visual effects, animation, and post-production companies already well established and employing thousands of creative people across the nation, Canada’s multibillion dollar television and film industry is weathering the global pandemic better than many others. Film schools have expanded and are still thriving in the major centers that attract productions from all over the world to help feed the talent pipeline. These film schools produce award-winning graduates and make Canada an excellent place to start a career in the film industry and attending a film school.
The film school and television industry employed about 181,000 people in 2018–2019 in positions ranging from special effects and animation to sound editing, camera operation, and post-production, from Vancouver to Halifax, Toronto, Montreal, and in smaller cities. According to the Motion Picture Association, during that time period, the overall amount of film and television production hit a record high of $9.32 billion, resulting in a GDP of $12.8 billion for Canada’s economy.
The top film schools in Canada offer a variety of technical programs and filmmaking courses to choose from to help you get ready for a career in film production. These programs range from one-year diploma and certificate programs to four-year bachelor’s and master’s degrees. In journalism and advertising, where there is a high demand for expertise in visual storytelling, film school graduates are also hired. These film schools and the business professionals who teach there will assist you in developing the knowledge, skills, and networks necessary to pursue a career in a film school at the center of Canada’s creative economy, whether your goals are to become a sound editor, screenwriter, or director of a cinematic masterpiece.
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Best Film Schools in Canada
1. University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia is considered as North America’s most international university and consistently ranks among the top 20 public universities in the world. A renowned film school training program that has developed cutting-edge performers and theatrical techniques for more than 50 years is located on the UBC Vancouver campus. Students engage in hands-on learning during the filmmaking process. The program’s objective is to create independent filmmakers with the knowledge and creativity needed to impact and shape the business. Working together on student film sets outside of class allows students to pick up knowledge from more seasoned peers. One of the program’s graduates is the creator of the well-liked television show The Good Fight.
The NBC Studio, a flexible classroom area with a green screen and lighting grid, is one of many places on the UBC campus where this four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program is taught. Computers in editing rooms are equipped with software for additional post-production processes in addition to editing programs like Final Cut Pro and Premiere. Film and media production, motion picture sound, post-production techniques, cinematography, and other topics are covered in the courses.
2. Toronto Metropolitan University
Toronto Metropolitan University’s (formerly Ryerson University’s) School of Image Arts is known for its film school program and the opportunity for students to network in the film industry while learning alongside experts who are embedded in this crucial part of Ontario’s and Canada’s economy. The school is situated in the heart of Toronto and close to the city’s entertainment district.
The practical Image Arts: Film Studies, Bachelor of Fine Arts degree offers possibilities for internships and real-world experience working alongside professional filmmakers. Filmmaking, film technology, film theory, writing, directing, producing, cinematography, sound, art direction, and editing are among the subjects covered in the courses. Students who choose the Integrated Digital option in their third year can concentrate on digital media through specialized production and technical courses.
The Film Studies Program provides a thorough academic foundation for undergraduate studies in the theory and practice of analog and digital storytelling, paving the way for career options in the Canadian screen industries as well as graduate-level study. The curriculum places a strong emphasis on experiential learning and is made to foster individual views that will advance the development and diversity of Canadian culture as well as increase the country’s visibility in worldwide film and video.
3. York University
Through field placements, internships, and the film School’s partnerships with creative industries and arts organizations, from Facebook to Canadian Stage, students gain practical experience, explore career options, and develop relationships with potential employers. They do this under the guidance of award-winning professionals with real-world experience.
Small classes (ranging in size from 25 students in the first year to 10-15 students in the third and fourth years) enable our internationally renowned (and consistently productive) teachers to provide good mentoring.
Along with studies in the theories and methods of screenwriting, directing, and producing, this four-year program offers classes in cinematography, editing, and sound. Students collaborate in teams using industry-standard production and post-production tools on a variety of digital and film media. The course blends in-depth technical training with a focus on the artistic potential of film as a storytelling, social engagement, and self-expression medium.
4. Humber College
The largest college in Canada is Humber College in Toronto, which enrolls about 27,000 full-time and 56,000 part-time students. According to the most recent Colleges Ontario data, it is also a favorite among employers, with a 100% satisfaction rating.
While the Lakeshore campus is fittingly placed just west of the city on Lake Ontario with a wonderful view of the downtown core, the college’s North campus is situated in the north end of Toronto. Around 200 full-time students live in a close-knit community on the smaller Orangeville campus.
Whether it’s a certificate, diploma, or degree in fields as diverse as engineering, business, the creative arts, marketing, media, performing arts, or the skilled trades, chances are Humber offers a program for it.
Graduates of Humber’s eight-semester long Bachelor of Film and Media Production degree leave with both practical and theoretical knowledge gleaned from an extensive program in direction, image, sound, cinematography, videography, and other areas. Students may also select the Advanced Diploma in Film and Television Production, a more concentrated but equally demanding curriculum, which is only six semesters long.
With these classes, industry professionals offer advice on how to use and perfect the identical equipment used on sets all around the world. Students get access to top-notch studios and modern audio- and video-editing facilities. Students can work on every facet of a production from beginning to end by enrolling in classes in writing, lighting, directing, camera operation, distribution, or exhibition.
Additionally, both programs provide work placement periods, which might be four to eight weeks (Advanced Diploma) or fourteen weeks (Bachelor program). In order to give students the opportunity to work on set and assist with a range of tasks during the production of a film or television show, instructors and students collaborate to find a placement in the Greater Toronto Area.
Films made by Humber graduates are frequently chosen for festivals like TIFF, Hot Docs, and the Montreal World Film Festival.
5. Fanshawe College
With four campuses in London, Woodstock, St. Thomas, and Simcoe, Fanshawe College is one of Ontario’s biggest colleges and serves more than 43,000 students annually. It is situated in the southwest of the province. The Advanced Filmmaking program at Fanshawe is intended for students searching for hands-on training to provide them the expertise necessary to work in the film and television industries.
Building on your prior technical, theoretical, and artistic skills, this graduate certificate program will show you the variety of opportunities open to you when working as a member of a film crew. Industry experts will lead you through the practical technical and aesthetic facets of documentary and narrative filmmaking. With the option to complete an internship with one of the college’s industry partners, you will gain knowledge of the Canadian film business. An articulation agreement between Brock University and Fanshawe has been created to enable qualified students to get both an Ontario Graduate Certificate in Advanced Filmmaking and a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Film Studies. You may choose to begin at Brock or Fanshawe.
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6. George Brown College
Located in one of North America’s most significant movie centers, downtown Toronto. For students in the film school, the city serves as a “living laboratory.” Here they will acquire the skills necessary for sound and video production, as well as access to industry experts who might eventually hire them. The St. James Campus, Casa Loma Campus, and Waterfront Campus are the three main campuses and various other locations that put students in the center of downtown Toronto.
There is a rising need for sound designers as the mobile entertainment and gaming sectors in North America expand. The Sound Design & Production degree at George Brown College focuses on producing sound for movies, television, and video games. Students collaborate with different media departments to develop the audio for games, animations, and short films. Theoretical sound design, sound design, practical postproduction, gaming audio design, production and location sound, and more are all covered in the courses in the film school.
The Video Design & Production diploma program at George Brown College will introduce students to both established and cutting-edge filmmaking methods. Digital video technology, production, digital narrative, audio production, video editing, visual effects, directing, and a capstone project are among the topics covered in the courses.
7. Concordia University
Concordia University offers the ideal environment for learning the craft of filmmaking in the heart of the bustling, multicultural city of Montreal. 75% of courses had fewer than 60 students, which is a common number for courses with small class sizes. Every year, this film school enrolls more than 50,000 students, and the teaching members are closely connected to the business world.
The three courses in filmmaking—filmmaking I, II, and III—form the core of the bachelor of fine arts in film school production curriculum. Technical classes in the curriculum, like those in cinematography and sound, support the program’s core production courses. Other courses, such writing, directing, extended cinema, montage, production design, and creative producing, also include procedural and aesthetic issues.
The first two years of the Master of Fine Arts in Film Production combine seminar courses in art history, theory, and criticism with independent, supervised studio practice, and the third year is devoted to studio practice and production. These courses are supplemented by workshops, guest lectures, and special projects.
8. Trebas Institute
Toronto is one of the best cities in North America to study film production in the Film School. Trebas Institute, a private career college founded in 1979, focuses on giving students the skills they need to excel in the entertainment industry. Within six months, almost 80% of Trebas Institute graduates land a position in their area, including jobs as film and video editors, gaffer/grip, screenwriters, post-production workers, and cinematographers.
You will be engaged in learning how to use key filmmaking tools, such as cameras (HD, 4K, and more), lighting, audio equipment, green screens, and cutting-edge software for video post-production and editing. Short films, a web series, television broadcasts, and advertisements will all be among the projects. Each program’s learning experience is constantly enhanced by the professors’ extensive experience in the production of entertainment.
9. Vancouver Film School
VFS, a significant film school that was founded in 1987, has numerous production facilities for making games, animation, digital apps, movies, TV, and more. You will be able to connect with people who can help you advance your career and gain access to the school’s alumni directory. In the heart of Canada’s Hollywood North, the film school offers 15 post-secondary programs taught by professionals from the business at eight sites throughout Vancouver.
With a demo reel of your work, you can earn a diploma in film production in just one year. Students can choose to focus on two of the five main creative streams of directing, cinematography, producing, production design, and post-production during their year-long exploration of the five filmmaking disciplines.
10. Simon Fraser University
With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby, and Surrey, Simon Fraser University was founded in 1965 and is situated in the heart of Canada’s West Coast film industry. The Film School for the Contemporary Arts in Vancouver’s downtown has a film program. Given its location, the school keeps close connections with local and national festivals, sound studios, post-production facilities, and industry professionals.
The Bachelor of Fire Arts film school program blends teaching in film history and studies with technical training and skill development. 24 out of the roughly 125 applicants who submit applications to the program each year are accepted. These 24 pupils move as a unit and develop strong working bonds. Three study options are available through the program: a major in the film school, an extended minor in film, a minor in film, and video studies. Students learn how to hand-process film and shoot 16mm film on Bolex cameras during their first year. Although many students still choose to work in digital video in the third and fourth years, the option to shoot on film is still available.
11. Toronto Film School
The Toronto Film School offers a hands-on, collaborative education opportunity covering all facets of filmmaking across three campuses on Yonge-St. in downtown Toronto. Small classes with lots of one-on-one instruction and mentoring are available at the institution. As a participant in the course and while working in the industry, you will develop ties with other students and a professional network at Toronto Film School’s new studio site, which debuted in 2019.
The Toronto Film School provides accelerated programs that can lead to careers as a director, producer, camera operator, sound designer, or post-production supervisor, among other roles in the film industry.
Courses in audio, editing, cinematography, production, camera and set technique, marketing and promotion, advanced directing, storyboards, and visual storytelling are available through almost a dozen programs. In just 18 months, students can anticipate graduating with a portfolio of their work.
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12. Capilano University
Capilano University, situated in North Vancouver on the North Shore Mountains, is renowned for its small classes (25 students on average), which offer individualized attention and support. With connections from working in their respective professions, instructors have qualifications from the professional sectors in which they teach — from applied behavior analysis to business and music. Co-op and work practicum placements are two common forms of practical work placement learning offered by programs. It is also in the center of the West Coast film industry in Canada.
The university’s Bosa Film school and Animation is where this four-year Bachelor of Motion Picture Arts program is offered. A 3D editing lab, an 8000 square foot sound stage, and other cutting-edge professional tools will be at your disposal as you work. Technical directing, foundational cinematography, production design, advanced editing, sound editing and sound recording, screenplay and producing are among the topics covered in the courses.
13. Confederation College
Confederation College in Northern Ontario, which enrolls about 7,000 students, provides a two-year diploma program that equips graduates with extraordinary storytelling abilities. Confederation has been offering technical courses on its eight sites in Ontario since 1967. A comprehensive program that delves into the specifics of almost every facet of film or television production is available at the school’s main campus in Thunder Bay.
Graduates of Confederation’s film program have gone on to work on the sets of several television shows and movies, including Stranger Things, Murdoch Mysteries, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Avengers: Endgame.
The two-year film production diploma program at Confederation is meant to put your name on the big screen as quickly as feasible. Students learn about all facets of filmmaking, including directing, writing, cinematography, sound mixing, and even the fundamental corporate operations that underpin the motion picture and television industries.
Every student who participates in the program gets to direct their own movie, complete with a crew and modern production facilities. They then get to screen them with the rest of the cohort at a year-end film festival.
Confederation also takes pleasure in providing modern tools so that trainees may practice using the cameras and other gear they will eventually use on set. Graduating students are ready to enter a familiar circumstance once hired thanks to their academic experience.
Fourth-semester students from Thunder Bay also travel to Toronto to connect with former classmates who are active in the city’s film business. Grads frequently land entry-level jobs as camera, sound, editing, or production assistants.
14. Sheridan College
Sheridan College, which is west of Toronto, is highly known for its innovative programs and draws lecturers with current and relevant industry expertise. Their modern production facilities enable students to study among the best in a perfect environment. Awards for student work are frequently given out at North American film festivals.
The one-year Advanced Television & Film Production program combines the theoretical, technical, and artistic facets of television and film studies while offering hands-on, industry-relevant experience. Students will receive training in particular skills and will gain an understanding of the technology and production techniques needed in the field. Classes will cover cinematography, directing, scripting, editing, sound, production design, and post-production. Students studying camera will work in teams of professional cameras under the guidance of gaffers and cinematographers from the business. Sheridan University has two industry-style mixing theaters for playback of audio mixes, and audio students receive training using tools such as Pro Tools.
You can select electives in direction, production, writing, and editing in the Honours Bachelor of Film and Television to determine your areas of talent. In your final semesters, you’ll choose a specialty from scriptwriting, directing, cinematography, editing, sound, or documentary or drama production. You’ll collaborate with people with different specialties in teams as you pitch, look for funding, develop, and produce your project. To get you ready for the business, you’ll go through the identical process that filmmakers do. Between semesters 6 and 7, students complete a 14-week work placement and a portfolio project.
15. Red Deer College
Red Deer College was founded in 1964 and is halfway between Calgary and Edmonton. It provides more than 100 programs. A polytechnic university will be created in the next three to five years after receiving approval in 2018 to start offering degree programs.
Graduates of this four-year Bachelor of Applied Arts program will be prepared for entry-level positions as actors, directors, producers, or technicians in medium- to large-sized theaters, film sets, and production firms. The program gives students a choice of majors, including live entertainment and film production. Students can work in a connected field or on their own projects throughout the four years of mentored work experience. Introduction to film, basic visual principles, advanced cinematography, post-production, and other topics are covered in the courses.
FAQS on Best Film Schools in Canada
Where is the best place in Canada for film industry?
Toronto may be the place for you, according to MovieMakers 2022 list of best places to live and work in film. MovieMaker.com has released their 2022 ranking of the best cities to live and work in as a moviemaker, and Toronto took the number two spot.
Is Canada good for filmmaking?
Canada a great place to launch a career in the film industry.
Which country is No 1 in film industry?
The United States cinema (Hollywood) is the oldest film industry in the world and also the largest film industry in terms of revenue.
How much is Vancouver film school tuition?
The tuition fee at Vancouver Film School ranges from $10,500 to $53,250. VFS offers scholarships to both domestic and international students
Is film school worth the money?
There's no definitive answer to this question, as there are many successful filmmakers who have both attended and passed on film school. While attending film school doesn't automatically guarantee you success in the industry, it can provide you with access to resources and connections that you may otherwise miss.23
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 surroundings, 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.
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.
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