Learning & Outreach with The Cinematheque

"The Cinematheque is one of the hidden educational gems in Vancouver. I have been working with them for over ten years and they have proven to be a highlight of the year for myself and my students." Film Studies Teacher (Lord Byng Secondary, Vancouver)

The Cinematheque offers interactive programs that explore film and visual media in the world around us. We believe that creative filmmaking, film appreciation, and digital literacy are best approached through fun and active learning. We value diversity and inclusion, and we centre these values in the hands-on work that we do. Bringing more than twenty years of outreach experience to our practice, we offer programs to members of the public, community organizations, and primary and secondary schools, in Metro Vancouver and throughout British Columbia.

Get in touch to find out more: learn@thecinematheque.ca


Trips to our downtown Vancouver theatre can bring your curriculum to life! From English classes digging deeper into Romeo & Juliet, to French Immersion groups wanting to see Quebecois cinema on the big screen, we offer unique, carefully facilitated learning experiences through film. Our film studies workshops are custom-designed: contact us to discuss your field trip ideas.

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The Visual Language of Film

This workshop provides students with a clear introduction to key concepts of Film studies emphasizing the Visual Dimension of Filmmaking. Participants are presented with critical tools, which they immediately apply through the analysis of selected clips from visually compelling film.

Romeo & Juliette & Films

This workshop provides challenging and fun activities to accompany a Romeo and Juliet film screening, and encourages dynamic discussion among participants. Participants will explore the possibilities and limitations of Shakespeare’s plays as experienced in different mediums and film interpretations.

Canadian Indigenous Gaze

This workshop provides students with a clear introduction to key concepts of Film studies. A special emphasis is placed on the Visual construction of Canadian Identity through Film, and Media. Participants deconstruct this theme through a screening, and investigating how prominent Canadian Indigenous Filmmakers shape our films and media.

Understanding A.I.: Science Fiction and Film

Since the advent of film, screenwriters, directors and artists have used the medium to imagine the technology of the future. But how do past visions compare with our present, and how do today’s visions predict our future? Prepare for exciting discussions and debates about film and our shared hopes and fears on screen.

Canadian Female Gaze

This workshop provides students with a clear introduction to key concepts of Film studies. A special emphasis is placed on the Visual construction of Canadian Identity through the Female Gaze, and how prominent Canadian Female Filmmakers shape our films and media.


Fun and exciting, our projects stimulate participants at any level of filmmaking experience. The filmmaking programs can take you from zero to hero through the development, filming and editing of short films. Respectful and experienced art facilitators can bring our mobile media lab to your community centre, school or library. Funding for schools is available through school district and local funds, including ArtStarts in Schools (due in May and October each year). Funding for organizations or non-profits can be organized in collaboration with the Cinematheque. Watch past projects below!

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2019 - TREK Sustainability and Social Justice

A series of documentaries exploring environmental sustainability, and social justice in the community made by students in the TREK outdoor education program at Prince of Wales Secondary School.

2019 - Prince of Wales Documentaries

Documentaries on social justice and contemporary topics created by Grade 10 students of Prince of Wales Mini Secondary School.

2019 - Edith Cavell Elementary School Real-show parodies

Real-show parodies made in Mr. Walter's class by grade 7 students at Edith Cavell Elementary School.

Digital Literacy

Our media literacy workshops combine games, discussions, and exercises that encourage participants to expand their visual, cultural, and critical literacy. The Cinematheque recognizes the increasing role of audio-visual communications in our daily lives, and encourages participants to connect big ideas about identity, culture and media, to their everyday experiences. We present exciting and contemporary clips and images for participants to analyze, in order to discuss many different forms of media: from film, television, and YouTube to news, websites, and advertising.

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Hidden Messages

Everyday we are making decisions about what kinds of media we’re going to consume – what YouTube videos, Instagram accounts, ads we’re going to watch. But what messages are we being fed in our media diet, and how do they impact us? By considering key explorations of our hyper consumer environment, this workshop engages participants to reflect upon the role media plays in influencing perceptions of ourselves, and the world around us.

Fake News!

What information is real, and what is fake? In a constantly changing and aggressive media landscape, it is increasingly difficult to decide which information is trustworthy. This workshop provides participants with the tools necessary to tackle information, journalism, and media in the contemporary Digital Age.

Gender in Media

From cinema screens to tablets and phones, gender and sexuality dominate the screens around us, promoting stereotypes that carry with them cultural meanings and expectations. But male and female are complex – even overlapping – categories, and we need to be able to deconstruct these simplistic pop culture representations, which can lead to sexism and discrimination.

When Numbers Lie

Science is consistently present in the media, and this should not be a surprise: science is one of the most pervasive and influential forces in our societies. However, there is a distance between science, and its representations in the media. The final aim is to promote a critical approach to the role that science plays in the media, while providing the participants with practical tools to reveal when numbers lie.

Social Media and the Self

What are the merits and drawbacks of a life interfaced with the web? How does the digital world affect our identity, self-image, experiences, and relationships? Through the analysis of clips and real data, this workshop explores the complexity of the relationship between social media and reality, and foster in the participants a critical approach to the definition of their identity.

Kinesthetic Learning

Learning by doing is a great way to understand new ideas. The Cinematheque uses some of the first animation devices (zoetrope, thaumatrope, etc.) to help young students in exploring key concepts linked with moving images. The participants draw their own animation paper stripes, and discover what works best to create a one second animation. Highly interactive and fun, these workshops are the ideal starting point to foster a critical approach to visual culture.

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Professional Development

“It is the first Pro-D in years where I didn't even look at my watch or fall asleep ... I couldn't believe we were still there after 3pm, and wanted to stay for more! It was so worthwhile; we'd love to have you again!" Elementary Teacher, Vancouver School Board

Trying to figure out ways to implement the new B.C. curriculum? The Cinematheque offers professional development for teachers and child- or youth-care workers with a variety of stimulating workshops.

Film Camps

Want to be a director? A cameraperson? A performer? Collaborate with young artists like yourself to create a participant-led video project! Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, our camps take you from a simple idea to a short film, while you’re supported by experienced educators and filmmakers using top equipment and software. We offer Film Camps throughout the year, and will be updating this page with upcoming Camps soon.



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Constructed Canadiana Part 1
Canada on Screen Study Guide

Focusing on the nature of Canadian identity in film and media, Constructed Canadiana Part 1 provides an interactive, and collaborative resource for anyone wishing to develop critical thinking skills in the classroom, and beyond. Access the accompanying workshop materials here.

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Constructed Canadiana Part 2
Canada on Screen Study Guide

The second part of the Constructed Canadiana study guide explores themes of "cultural comedy" and the variety of filmmaking within this vast country. Access the accompanying workshop materials here.

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Female Voices
Canada on Screen Study Guide

Focusing primarily on the representations of Canadian female filmmakers, Female Voices explores the female perspective and representation within Canadian cinema.

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Indigenous Voices
Canada on Screen Study Guide

Indigenous Voices explores the representation of Canadian Indigenous voices in film and media, and the accompanying workshop materials provides links to a wide range of resources to further your knowledge and understanding in this area.