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 opportunities for learners of all ages to deepen their understanding of film culture. Since 1995, we have offered school programs and day camps in filmmaking and film appreciation to children and youth. We take a hands-on, active approach to film education, and students in our programs have creative freedom to use cinema as a tool of self-discovery and exploration. We also deliver outreach programs for the general public, including interactive lectures and filmmaking workshops. Additionally, we offer professional development opportunities and resources for educators looking for accessible ways to incorporate filmmaking and media literacy projects in the classroom. We value diversity and inclusion in our outreach work, and we believe that everyone should have access to filmmaking as a means of self-expression. Bringing more than 25 years of experience to our practice, our team of knowledgeable filmmakers and educators offer programs in Metro Vancouver and throughout British Columbia.

See the programs below for more information, or contact us at learn@​thecinematheque.​ca for additional inquiries.

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For Youth (Aged 8–19) & Parents
Annual programs

We offer a variety of spring break and summer programs including our flagship program Cinelab, and two programs provided in partnership with UBC Camps. The Cinematheque’s monthly Film Club series also provides opportunities for youth to watch family-friendly programming—and maybe see their films on the big screen!

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For Educators

The Cinematheque offers workshops in filmmaking, film studies, and media literacy to students of all ages. Our Learning & Outreach team travels to schools to teach skills in narrative, documentary, or stop-motion filmmaking. We also host field trips where students can delve into topics related to media and society, followed by a relevant screening in our state-of-the-art theatre venue.

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For the Public

Don’t worry—kids don’t get all the fun! We host occasional evening and weekend filmmaking programs for busy adults, as well as our regular “Deep Focus” events, which explore Cinematheque programming through interactive lectures with film experts. See a list of recent events.

Upcoming Events

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UBC Summer Filmmaking Camps
July 8–August 16, 2024

The Cinematheque is offering six weekly summer film camps for kids at Cambrian Hall (215 E 17th Ave). Artists aged 8–10 can participate in our Animazing! Stop Motion Animation camp, in which they learn the basics of movie making through different techniques such as claymation and pixilation. Aspiring filmmakers aged 11–13 can join our Action! Filmmaking camp, which empowers youth to create short films over five days. Details and registration on the UBC Camps website.

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Cinelab 2024
July 8–August 2, 2024

Cinelab is a two-weeklong summer filmmaking program for aspiring artists aged 14–19 presented by The Cinematheque in partnership with the SFU School for the Contemporary Arts. Registration is now open at cinelab.ca.

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Summer Film Scoring with the VSO School of Music
July 3–August 7, 2024

The Cinematheque is teaming up with acclaimed composer Noah Franche-Nolan and the VSO to offer a brand new online course for teenagers who want to get supported, real-life experience writing music for film. Participants will collaborate with Cinelab filmmakers to compose original scores for their three-to-five-minute short films. Details and registration available through the VSO School of Music website.

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Deep Focus: Film Noir
August 10, 2024

This summer noir season, we invite audiences to go behind the scenes at The Cinematheque’s 2024 Open House! The day will offer many interactive learning opportunities—including a kid-friendly green-screen activity, a 30-minute “Deep Focus” presentation, and a free screening of Anthony Mann’s T-Men.

The Future is Queer: Youth Programs at the VQFF
September 19, 2024

For the first time ever, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival’s dates will fall within the school year! “The Future is Queer,” co-presented by Out in Schools and The Cinematheque, features two free screenings for school groups followed by Q&A discussions. Educators can reserve tickets now through the VQFF website.


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Creative OUTlets
Free Online Resource

A free online resource for artists aged 13–18 interested in making projects focused on 2SLGBTQIA+ identities, issues, and themes. Created by The Cinematheque in partnership with Out In Schools.

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Adobe Premiere Pro Tutorials
A Beginner’s Guide

This tutorial covers the basic steps involved in editing a simple video, from importing footage to arranging your timeline to exporting. Premiere Pro editing software is available with a paid Adobe subscription, or free with your library card through the Vancouver Public Library and other libraries in the Lower Mainland.

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Stop Motion Studio
App Tutorial

An all-ages guide to the free Stop Motion Studio app for Android and iPhone. This tutorial includes instructions for setting frame rate, exposure, camera timer, and more. The Stop Motion Studio app offers an excellent introduction to the principles of filmmaking, no video editing software or computer required!

Learning & Outreach Staff

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Chelsea Birks
Learning & Outreach Director

Chelsea runs the administrative side of the Learning & Outreach team. She handles budgeting, scheduling, fundraising, hiring, planning, and training, in addition to helping the rest of the team with program delivery. Her background is in film studies, meaning that she studied film history and theory rather than film production—though she has picked up plenty of production skills since starting the job in 2020! She has a PhD in Film and Television Studies from the University of Glasgow and has taught film courses at UBC, SFU, ECUAD, and Glasgow.

Ask her about: Potential jobs or mentorships, advice on university applications, nerdy questions about cinema history.

Projects: Her book Limit Cinema was published by Bloomsbury in 2021 and won the SCMS Best First Book Award in 2023.

Favourite L&O program or film: The shot-by-shot recreation of George Michael’s Careless Whisper with Pemberton Secondary students in 2022!

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Thea Loo
Learning & Outreach Coordinator

Thea (she/her) has worked with The Cinematheque for over five years as a Learning & Outreach coordinator, facilitating a variety of filmmaking workshops and educational programs for people of all ages. She is involved in the local filmmaking community as a producer, and has recently produced and directed her first feature documentary Inay (Mama) for the Knowledge Network. In her spare time she makes films with her friends that often centers her “volun-told” family.

Ask her about: Cameras, grant writing, film festivals, the Vancouver indie film community.

Creative projects: She recently completed her feature documentary Inay (Mama), and is currently producing the short film Toe Pick by director Teresa Alfeld.

Favourite L&O program or film: North Vancouver City Library Teen Filmmaking Camp because it attracts fun, motivated, and diverse young filmmakers!

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Sam Mason
Learning & Outreach Coordinator

Sam’s (he/him) love of writing, producing, and pre-production has helped him produce hundreds of student films since he began working at The Cinematheque in 2020. When he’s not in the office, you can find him watching more movies than is healthy and collaborating with dancers and musicians as the projection designer and videographer for the Clala Project arts collective. It's his hope that he can pass on his interdisciplinary awareness to the emerging filmmakers he teaches.

Ask him about: Board games—his other burning passion besides filmmaking.

Creative projects: uchi, a work-in-progress dance piece from 2023; birth days, a short documentary screened at the Polygon Gallery in 2022; Small Spaces Big Places, a short dance film screened at the 2019 F-O-R-M Festival; Moth Music, winner of Best Student Film at the 2021 Chilliwack International Film Festival and now streaming on NoBudge; and The Shallows, a board game passion project currently in development.

Favourite L&O program or film: While there are countless films he could name, our recent collaboration with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation yielded an incredible horror anthology: Terrifying Tales of Saliwat!