Directing, camera operation, cinematography, scriptwriting, and producing duties are some of the jobs that a filmmaking degree or education can help you attain. The best filmmaking schools in Canada can put you in line for this exciting and rewarding career.
You could work your way up from the bottom in some fields related to filmmaking, many of the jobs, though, require either a specific degree or at least some targeted skills and theory education.
However, be aware that not every school has courses that translate toward filmmaking.
Education is more than books and classrooms. It is also after class discussions, interaction with mentors and sponsors, and real-world application of knowledge learned.
If you live in Canada or are eligible to go to school in Canada, there are fine schools offering education in filmmaking.
Some of these schools offer degree programs, either undergraduate or graduate (or both), and others are diploma-based with an accelerated schedule designed to translate directly into work in the industry.
15 Best Filmmaking Schools In Canada In 2023
One of the most prestigious film schools in Canada, most of the Vancouver Film School graduates have found meaningful work in the Film and TV industry.
Many award winners are among the graduates of this school. In fact, over the last 10-year period, literally, thousands of Vancouver Film School graduates have won awards or been nominated for both the Emmys and the Oscars.
Founded in 1987 and located in the heart of Vancouver, VFS has courses in:
- Film and TV production
- Interactive or game design
Plus, other disciplines in the arts.
Many well-equipped labs and workshops are available for student use. There are green screen rooms, film sets, studios, screening rooms, theatres, and computer labs equipped with the latest software for editing and sound engineering.
VFS’s approach to learning balances classroom instruction and theory with real world hands on production experience.
In just one year of training, students can graduate with the skills, knowledge, and even experience that will allow them to become a working professional in their chosen fields.
First founded in 1827 as a royal college under the control of the Church of England, it became the secular college it is today in 1850. The fully accredited cinema program was added about 30 years ago.
While a degree is a degree, having one from certain schools seems to carry more clout. A film degree from the University of Toronto is well respected in the filmmaking industry.
For graduate students, the Cinema Studies Institute at the University of Toronto offers Master’s and Ph.D. programs in Cinema Studies.
For undergraduates, the Bachelor’s degree program in film study includes aesthetic, technological, economic, and sociocultural theory and instruction.
Core courses focus on practical topics such as film analysis and putting film history and theory in perspective to today’s art market. Advanced courses include a deep study of specialized topics.
Established in 1908, UBC is British Columbia’s oldest university. The university is ranked among the top 20 public universities worldwide and the top three in Canada. Three former Canadian Prime Ministers were educated at UBC.
Theatre and Film at UBC offer several different degrees in the study of Theatre and Film. Included in these programs is an interaction of studies of other disciplines.
For instance, a Film major can include courses in creative writing or even business topics. Classroom courses are mixed with practical experience in actual productions.
Undergraduate degrees include:
- Film Production
- Film Studies, and Theatre Studies
Graduate degrees include:
- Theatre Studies
- Theatre Practice
- Film Production
- Cinema & Media Studies.
Toronto Film School offers in-person on-campus diploma programs that are designed to quickly qualify students for a career in entertainment, fashion, design, or video games.
Starting in 2003, the school’s courses are designed to prepare students for a career in acting, film production, graphic design, and interactive media, and writing for film and TV.
Understandably, programs are taught by industry professionals and focus on real-world industry experience. Diplomas can be achieved in just 12 to 18 months.
Students will be filming, editing, performing, writing, and designing with the guidance of media industry professionals who are successful in their fields. This way, graduates are well prepared for careers within the entertainment industry
Established in 1948, Ryerson has a fine degree program for visual arts. Ryerson’s School of Image Arts is internationally recognized as a top undergraduate school offering specialized instruction in film and photography.
Additionally, the education given has a balance of studio, lecture, and lab courses that includes real work both in fine arts and in commercial production.
Students in film studies will actually be making a documentary, fiction, or experimental films and videos in each year of their undergraduate program.
Course studies are designed so that students gain skills in all aspects of filmmaking. This includes writing, directing, cinematography, production design, and editing.
Many Ryerson degreed graduates have achieved big things in their careers as producers, directors, editors, and cinematographers.
Based in Vancouver and founded in 1968, CapU has a fine arts degree program that covers various aspects of filmmaking, including animation.
Programs include Motion Picture Arts, 2D Animation and Visual Development, 3D Animation for Film and Games, Costuming for Stage and Screen, Digital Visual Effects, Documentary, and Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking.
Included in the programs is actual production experience on projects in the fields listed above. Capilano University’s Faculty of Fine & Applied Arts enjoys fine reputation programs such as:
- Motion picture arts
Plus, other arts, translating into a great education for creatives in those various fields.
Founded in 1974 in Montreal Quebec from a merger of Loyola College and Sir George Williams University, this school has several Bachelor and Master’s programs for film and cinema.
The Bachelor’s program in Film Production gives students the opportunity to study a diversified range of film and arts subjects.
In fact, course are taught by established filmmakers and other media artists in addition to staff professors.
The Master’s program in Studio Arts (Film Production Option) includes expanded education in cinema, animation, digital media, and even installation and implementation of exhibition and projection technologies.
These degree programs mix real-world hands-on training with classroom instruction, helping to ensure a student has the tools and training they need for a successful career in the entertainment industry.
Located in Alberta and established in 1964, Red Deer College has a unique take on four-year studies for its undergraduate degree programs.
A student’s fourth year can be taken anywhere, even working on a real movie set for current production. That is definitely a hands-on training approach.
Studies can be in production or performance and the topics covered include:
- Audition techniques
- Business, and career path
- Digital editing
- Production management.
Continuing education courses helps to refine an established professional’s skills and abilities in their chosen filmmaking field.
Established in 1965 in Vancouver, this film school places an emphasis on real-life learning paired with classroom education.
Along with complete technical training and instruction in cinema studies, students have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of other fields in the arts.
Courses include the actual production of films and videos, working closely with established professionals as well as instructors.
The relationship between a student and their instructors or mentors often turns into a working relationship after receiving their degree.
In fact, many graduates have gone on to produce prize-winning, commercially successful, and critically acclaimed films.
Continuing education programs help further refine working professionals in their chosen fields.
Canada’s third-largest university, York is located in Toronto and was founded in 1959.
Offering graduate and undergraduate programs as well as continuing education and shorter diploma courses, students of any level of education can find the training they need for a successful career in Filmmaking, TV, Theatre, and many other arts.
The Department of Cinema & Media Arts, which is part of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, offers three separate undergraduate programs: Production, Cinema and Media Studies, and Screenwriting.
Course studies include:
- Television studies
- Film history
- Experimental and alternative cinemas
- Contemporary theory
- Digital media.
11. Fanshawe College
Originally the Ontario Vocational Centre in Ontario, it was established in 1967.
From degree programs to online learning continuing education, Fanshawe has courses in TV, Digital Media, and Film.
In fact, these courses are primarily taught by professionals who are themselves well established in the industry. They see the value of training others in these competitive and exciting career fields.
The entire college is quite large. Combining all the campuses and the international studies with online learning, there are almost a half-million students at any given time.
Founded in 1841 by a charter from Queen Victoria, Canada Queen’s University is a public research university located in Kingston, Ontario.
Understandably, Queen’s U is one of Canada’s oldest accredited institutions and has a top-notch reputation worldwide.
Besides the film and TV studies, Queen’s U offers degrees and courses in medicine, arts, education, and many other fields.
It is a premier research university in areas such as computational science and engineering, globalization studies, mental health, basic and clinical biomedical sciences, healthy environments and sustainable energy systems, and social issues such as surveillance, poverty, and bullying.
This translates into a well-rounded education that can give degreed graduates an advantage in the highly competitive world of global Film, TV, and Media.
Windsor Ontario is home to University of Windsor since 1963 and has programs in Humanities, Engineering, Business, Medicine, Law, and several other areas of study.
TV and film studies can be added to the university’s various different undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
One of the higher-ranked universities in the world, Windsor has the capability to provide a great education to aspiring professionals.
A classical education, even for an Arts major, has great benefits for those wanting to put their education to good use.
Besides the technical aspects of filmmaking, it will equip a graduate for the world of business and finance and how those fields relate to the Arts. This is easily one of the best filmmaking schools in Canada!
George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology located in Canada is a public, fully accredited college of applied arts and technology originally chartered in Toronto, Ontario in 1966.
Visual effects and interactive media are among the available film and TV studies. These courses translate well into other media such as the gaming industry as well as to professional workplace training programs.
Toronto is home to many major industries in Canada and one of the most important economic hubs in North America. Thus, the city becomes a sort of living lab for students to train in and to do real-world hands-on work.
15. Sheridan College
In Ontario since 1967, Sheridan College has had a relationship with Ryerson University. The new campus will focus on delivering programs in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.
Animation is a major field of study in Sheridan, with graduates achieving many Oscar and Emmy nominations and several wins.
Graduates have held key positions at Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, and DreamWorks Animation.
Most importantly, this is highly regarded as one of the best filmmaking schools in Canada for animation and digital arts!
If there are any schools, colleges, or universities that you think I have missed out on. Please let me know in the comments as I plan on updating this list as time goes on. Thanks for reading!