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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. 

Vancouver Film School

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 Film School

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 Department of Theatre and Film

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. 

Simon Fraser University

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. 

Capilano University

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. 

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