It’s back to school season. And while some people are leaning towards subjects like criminology, sciences, law, others are contemplating developing a career in the arts. Vancouver’s film industry is on fire right now, with many big TV shows and films being produced in the heart of the city.
Whether you want to be a film writer, director, a 3D animator, a visual effects artist, or otherwise, there are tons of places where you can learn your craft and develop the creativity to become a powerhouse in Vancouver’s film industry.
Here are the top 5 places to study film in Vancouver.
VFS is one of the world’s most well-known and renowned film schools. The school has won hundreds of awards and their alumni have worked on many of today’s biggest films.
Founded in 1987, VFS offers courses in almost every aspect of the entertainment arts including acting, animation, film production, screenwriting, makeup, game design, and other disciplines. The school is equipped with high-end camera equipment, on-campus film sets, studios, green screens, computer labs, and more.
VFS is a state of the art institution with a big reputation, and it’s not a shocker why. Their website is plastered with famous movie posters and award laurels. That being said, studying for a year at VFS does come with a hefty tuition cost, especially if you are an international student.
InFocus is a hidden gem in Vancouver’s film arts education system. Humbly opening 10 years ago, offering small documentary workshops, the school has grown into an effective educational facility. An impressive 87% of their alumni have found work post-graduation. The school claims to takes pride in its hands-on training, small class sizes and the support it can provide each individual student.
Currently, InFocus offers three major diploma programs: film production, 3D animation and visual effects, and screenwriting. They also offer a three month compositing for VFX certificate program. On top of that, they host workshops for acting, script supervising, traffic control, and more.
The school has seen a boost in popularity over the last couple years. Many of InFocus Film School’s alumni have won film festival awards, and their financial affordability compared to other private schools are making them a strong competitor in this market.
UBC is British Columbia’s oldest university. Establishing in 1908, UBC is 110 years old and is listed as one of the top 20 universities worldwide. It’s also in Canada’s top three.
Their theatre and film program offers several degrees in acting, design, film production, film studies, theatre studies, and more. It’s massive campus comes equipped with editing rooms, a virtual resource centre with over 400,000 35mm photographic slides, videos and films, and NBC Studios, a convertible classroom space which features a green screen and lighting grid.
Unlike VFS and InFocus, who both offer 1 year film programs, UBC’s film production program takes a total of 4 years to complete.
SFU emphasizes hands-on learning with classroom education. After extensive studies in cinema studies and history, students receive technical training. They then deepen their understanding of the arts by producing actual films.
You have the option to major in film, minor in film and video studies, or have an extended minor in film.
SFU’s film program also gives students the opportunity to explore and collaborate with students in the dance, visual art, theatre, music, and arts programs.
Founded in 1968, CapU covers various aspects of both filmmaking and animation. They offer courses such as motion picture arts (film production), 2D animation and visual development, costuming, visual effects, documentary and it’s unique Indigenous independent digital filmmaking program.
Capilano’s facilities include virtual reality and motion capture-equipped studios. They also have high-speed render farms, professional filmmaking equipment and cintiq drawing tablets. Programs run for 4 years.
Surrey social enterprise leader Harsh Thakkar is an RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant of 2020
Multiculturalism is one of the things Harsh Thakkar loves most about Canada. But it comes with its share of challenges, like language barriers, which can keep newcomers feeling left out. That might explain why Thakkar, head of DIVERSEcity Interpretation and Translation Services in Surrey, B.C., is so passionate about communication across cultures. “Language should never be an obstacle for anyone in a country as diverse as Canada,” says Thakkar, who is one of this year’s RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award winners.
Thakkar oversees a team of more than 300 interpreters and translators who help clients communicate, especially in the health care and court systems, in more than 88 languages. Under his leadership, he has grown the business to include rare languages, Indigenous languages and even American Sign Language (ASL). “We are proud to be a designated provider for provincial and municipal government interpretation and translation needs,” he says.
And the kicker is that it’s all for a good cause. DIVERSEcity Interpretation and Translation Services is a social enterprise, certified by Buy Social Canada. That means its profits go toward the good works done by its parent charitable organization, DIVERSEcity Community Resource Society, which helps immigrants, refugees and vulnerable populations.
Knowing his work is helping immigrants is poignant for Thakkar, who came to Canada from India as an international student in 2001. He faced his own challenges, juggling his business studies with being a peer mentor, while trying to gain work experience, even though international students were then limited in their ability to work off campus.
“This also made it more difficult to secure work experience points to later qualify under the skilled immigration category,” he says. “This motivated me to run for campus student representative. After winning the election, I went to the Parliament of Canada to speak about allowing international students to work off campus.”
Thakkar, who’s thrilled the rules have improved since then, says, “It’s important to stay positive in the face of challenges. The most important attribute that helped me achieve my goals is my personal drive and ‘can-do’ attitude and maintain enthusiasm even when things get tough.”
The same lessons apply in business. Professionally, Thakkar has developed a reputation as a charismatic, optimistic leader with organizations like the Vancouver International Marathon Society before coming to DIVERSEcity.
Thakkar, who also manages DIVERSEcity’s CELPIP Language Testing Centre, says he wants to continue to grow in his current role and take every opportunity to support newcomers to Canada, including mentoring international students in his personal time.
“As immigrants, we are surrounded by a lot of challenges, but don’t let those stop you from moving forward,” he advises. “A positive mindset is what’s going to allow you to succeed in your goals in Canada,” he says. “Honestly, we are so blessed to be in a country where people care about each other, so all you have to do is go out there and talk with people.”
And if they speak a different language, Thakkar can help you with that!
Shakti Film Festival 2020
Shakti Society is a nonprofit society committed to empowering women, families, and children through community forums, Shakti Awards, annual wellness days, and other activities. Our mandate is to support all members of society, especially women, in finding their power and voice to become strong leaders and advocates for themselves and the community. We have introduced various initiatives that help ‘awaken the power within’ and create dialogue around feminism and gender equality. The Shakti Film Festival is our latest undertaking in our mission to increase and acknowledge women’s contribution to our society and their representation in film.
Shakti Society has addressed the influence of media and films on violence against women and we will be focussing and promoting films that showcase women in strong roles as well as filmmakers who are often marginalized due to various barriers, like race, color, finances, language, disability, sexual orientation and various health issues including mental health.
Due to the current pandemic, we will be hosting our inaugural film festival in a digital format where films will be screened over two days, October 10th and 11th, in honor of the International Day of the Girl Child. We will be inviting film and media personalities as well as community leaders to engage in action-oriented discussions about the role that media plays in shaping society and how we as consumers of media also play a big part in creating our culture.
This year’s program is set for October 10-11, 2020, and will consist of films that will include:
- 1 Feature Film: 60 mins or longer
- 1 Documentary Film: 45 min or longer
- 1 Short Film: up to 20 mins
- 1 Student Film: up to 8 mins
People of all genders are welcome to submit their films as long as a woman holds one of the following positions within the filmmaking team: Director, Writer, Cinematographer or Producer.
Films must fall within one of the following themes:
- Violence Against Women
- Political Participation of Women
- Women and Environmental Challenges
- Race, Gender, Identity
- Men and Boys as Allies
The Submission Deadline is September 30th, 2020.
Awards & Prizes
- Best Film – $100
- Best Student Film – $100
- Best Documentary Film – $100
- Best Short Film – $100
Films can be submitted at https://filmfreeway.com/ShaktiFilmFestival-1
Vancouver based cleantech startup secures supply chain with Nissan North America
Moment Energy, a Canadian cleantech startup, secured a supply chain with Nissan North America earlier this month. This marks a key milestone for the company as they are the only Canadian company working with Nissan towards creating a circular economy for electric vehicle batteries. Through this supply chain, Moment Energy aims to reduce diesel consumption in remote communities and work with renewable energy providers to store clean energy.
While the demand for renewable energy such as wind and solar is increasing, there remains a gap for sufficient energy storage. Traditional storage can be expensive and involves the depletion of raw materials. Moment Energy fills this gap by repurposing electric vehicle batteries for sustainable energy storage.
“We’re very excited to work with Nissan towards creating a more sustainable future.” said Sumreen Rattan, Co-Founder, Moment Energy. “This puts us on the road to not only efficiently deliver renewable energy to remote communities but also prevent these batteries from producing toxic waste in landfills. We at Moment Energy are delighted to be at the forefront of the development of clean technology.”
“Moment Energy is proving that second-life Nissan LEAF batteries can continue to have value outside of the vehicle.” said Mark Thorpe, Director Business Planning & Development Aftersales, Nissan North America. “As a global pioneer in electric vehicles, Nissan is dedicated to discovering and promoting new ways to use EVs to achieve a better future.”
Moment Energy is now engaging with battery manufacturers and renewable integrators to bring second life energy storage to market. They are also seeking partnerships for off-grid pilot projects. For more information or partnership opportunities please contact Sumreen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Moment Energy
Moment Energy is a Vancouver based startup that was founded to make energy storage more accessible.
The founders, Sumreen Rattan, Gurmesh Sidhu, Gabriel Soares and Edward Chiang met in the Mechatronic Systems Engineering Program at Simon Fraser University where they co-founded an electric race vehicle team, Team Phantom. They leveraged their passion for clean tech and entrepreneurship into the creation of Moment Energy.
To learn more about Moment Energy, visit their website at www.momentenergy.ca
1 – circular economy – an economy following the principles of reduce, reuse, repurpose, and then recycle
Rally Against Police Murder July 4 Surrey BC
Vigil for Ejaz Choudry and Rally Against Police Murder
MOVED TO JULY 4
We demand and public inquiry into how Police Murder are handled.
The Al-jamia Mosque in Vancouver and Coalition Against Bigotry will hold a prayer vigil on Friday June 26th at the Al-Jamia Mosque at 655 West 8th Ave during at
during Friday Juma prayers at 1 pm to mourn the murdered of Choudry, a 62 year old South Asian man struggling with his mental health by the police in Malton Ontario on Saturday June 20th.
Because it a 50 person limit in the Mosque, people can join and online solidarity prayer vigil on Facebook. Please can pray in their own way and time or have a moment of silence to think about the tragic murder of Ejaz Choudry.
Then join West Coast Cop Watch and Coalition Against Bigotry-Pacific for a Rally and March Against Police murder and abuse on July 1st at 1 pm at the Central City Mall where the Independent Investigation Office of BC is located, to protest the lack of police responsibly and accountability of the murder and abuse by the police. We demand a public inquiry into how police murders and handled in BC. We want to remember Chantel Moore, Ejaz Choudry Kyaw Din, Tony Du, Navarone Woods and many others, mostly Indigenous, Black and People of Colour who have been murdered or abused by the police.
Kyaw Din, who also struggled with his mental health like Ejaz Choudry was also murdered by the RCMP in Coquitlam last year in his home. The Din family held a rally outside the IIO office and Surrey City Centre in February demanding answers from the IIO. They don’t even know the name of the police officer who killed their brother. We also remember Tony Du who was murdered by the Vancouver Police, a Vietnamese, Chinese man also struggling with his Mental health. The police officer who shot Du did hot get charged with murder.
We also Navarone Woods, a Gitxsan indigenous man murdered by the Skytrain Police. The Coroners Jury and also asked for better mental health support during police incidents.
We ask people to wear masks and keep 2 meters distance. We will march to the RCMP E Division Headquarters and then end with a potluck physical distance picnic in Green Timbers Urban Forest.
We acknowledge that this event is being organised on the occupied, traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples – specifically the Musquem, Squamish, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo, Stolo, Musqueam, Katzie and Qayqayt Nations.
For more information, contact Imtiaz Popat at 604 396-2072
Local Innovation Combats Overdose Crisis
OVERDOSE INTERVENTION APP: New Digital Technology Released to Address the Overdose Crisis
Today, Oxus Machine Works Limited (OMW Ltd)., a local health technology firm that specializes in innovations for diverse communities, announced that they are releasing the Overdose Intervention App (ODi) to combat the ongoing Public Health Emergency and the staggering rise of overdose deaths during COVID-19.
Of this innovation and its impact, Upkar Singh Tatlay (Managing Director) of the tech firm Oxus Machine Works said, “This vital tool engages the entire community in ensuring we are prepared for any circumstance that involves an overdose emergency. Often the onus is on the user themselves but by placing this digital asset in everyone’s hands we are making sure that this a community-wide response and we are all empowered to act. In addition, communities that are most directly impacted by this health crisis such as South Asians are often left out of consideration when it comes to programming, technology, and content. ODi ensures that the unique needs of BIPOC communities are met through the delivery of linguistic and culturally appropriate content.”
The deployment of the Overdose Intervention App will happen through a network of peers with lived-experience along with the ongoing work of outreach events that are held every week. Media and key stakeholders are encouraged to attend to see proactive steps taking place to address the overdose crisis.
Overdose Intervention App: The Overdose Intervention App (ODi) allows users of different communities and language backgrounds to rapidly respond to an overdose emergency with resources and guidance that is suitable to their needs. This app includes an innate 9-1-1 calling feature, techniques to identify a suspected overdose, steps to administer naloxone, and sequential guidance on emergency first aid response. The Overdose Intervention App allows everyone to access linguistic and culturally relevant resources to offset the dangers of an overdose for free on both Android and Apple devices.
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