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The Best Film Schools in the U.S. and Canada 2017: Film Programs to Shape You Into the Next Moviemaking All-Star

The Best Film Schools in the U.S. and Canada 2017: Film Programs to Shape You Into the Next Moviemaking All-Star

Inside MM - Best Of


Outstanding Cinematography Training: Capilano University (British Columbia)

While their cinematography certificate program is on hiatus for the year, Capilano excels in the subject as one of the only schools in Canada where undergrads have access to RED and Arri cameras. Their Motion Picture Arts diploma and BA tackles practice before theory in the first two years, while juniors and seniors concentrate on their preferred craft. There’s “a heavy focus of working on film sets, set management and etiquette,” says Murray Stiller, director of Capilano’s Bosa Centre for Film and Animation. “Students shoot major team projects in the spring and smaller projects and assignments throughout the year.” 

Outstanding Animation Training: Concordia University (Quebec)

Concordia boasts close ties with the National Film Board of Canada, whose professors often teach at the school. Its well-regarded Film Animation BFA introduces students to classical, puppet, experimental, 3D and stop-motion animation, as well as storyboarding and musical composition. Facilities include a digital animation lab, animation stands, a puppet studio and 2D hand-drawn studio. Expect student expenses to be around CA$1,000 (US$750) in the first year, and $500 in subsequent years.

Outstanding Editing Training: Queen’s University (Ontario)

Top-Notch Equipment and Facilities: Red Deer College (Alberta)

Outstanding Producing Training: Simon Fraser University (British Columbia) 

Outstanding Directing Training: University of British Columbia (British Columbia) 

Outstanding Theory and Criticism Training: University of Toronto (Ontario)

Outstanding Screenwriting Training: York University (Ontario)

York’s Screenwriting BFA accepts 10 students a year, while the MFA takes in just two max. While York’s Future Cinema Lab specializes in writing content designed for new screens and technologies, “Feature Screenwriting,” “Writing for Television” and “Story Editing” are still the core skills taught by York’s seasoned faculty. An annual festival titled Intercut showcases live performances of student screenplay excerpts.

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  1. James Mayfield says:

    Nice to see some options for students not willing/can’t make the trip to high-rent neighborhoods or bustling metropolitan. Lots of people think that LA/NY are the only options for schools, but there are alternatives. Though I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who thinks these 2 areas aren’t the industry kings in NA.

  2. Jay S. says:

    With alumni that have worked on projects such as Jurassic World (visual FX), “Get On Up: The James Brown story” and “42” (main role in both cases), “Avengers Age of Ultron” (Post-production) and the highly anticipated “Black Panther” Marvel movie, as well as the upcoming Martin Scorsese movie “The Irishman”, currently in production, I’m surprised not to see Digital Film Academy included here!

    A friend of mine goes there and I’m considering it too. Their tuition is MUCH lower than New York Film Academy, they have film jobs for the students and anyone who studies there an use the school equipment afterwards for life.

    Jay Smith

  3. Adam Enaya says:

    I only needed to read their opinions of the west coast schools to see that this list is a joke. How much did National University pay to have a write-up in MovieMaker? By the way, what’s an admission fee? Do you mean tuition? Their prices must be rock bottom then.

  4. Linda says:

    Correction under Film Centers:

    Northwest Film Forum is located in Seattle, not Portland. However, Portland does have its own film center called the Northwest Film Center which not only provides a variety of workshops and classes for all ages but they host their own film screenings and festival (Portland International FF). They also have quite a great stock of reasonably priced equipment rentals for local students, amateurs and professionals. I believe they’re the only film center in the Pacific NW?

  5. David Liban says:

    I would like to point out the CU Denver is really a significant hands-on film program. Its a BFA program with 72 credit hours largely made up of production classes. Students leave with a large portfolio of films and are prepared to enter the industry. They also produce a web series each year that students write, produce, direct and edit.

  6. Cassandra says:

    Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog centered on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would appreciate your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

  7. mwebaza martin says:

    I need to join a film school through movie maker…what should I do

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