About Us

photo of the Toronto skyline taken from Centre island at night

As Canada’s oldest and most respected graduate MFA degree, the Film Program has recently revitalized its celebrated interdisciplinary curriculum to confront the challenges posed by the fast-changing worlds of digital cinema and transmedia platforms. Each student creates an individually tailored program from our dynamic production, screenwriting and studies courses, and from our diverse workshops, partnerships, internships, and research labs. Together students study evolving theories and practices of global and local cinemas, including new directions in post-colonial, feminist, queer, indigenous and underground expression. The program culminates in the creation of an original thesis project, expertly guided by chosen faculty.

Degrees
York’s Graduate Program in Film offers degrees in Cinema and Media Studies (MA and PhD), Film (MFA), and the joint MBA/MFA & MBA/MA degrees with the Schulich School of Business: schulich.yorku.ca/programs/mba-mfa-ma

Schulich offers Canada’s only English language MBA with a specialization in Arts, Media and Entertainment Management. The program provides deep and current understanding of management practices across the creative industries including broadcasting, digital and social media, not-for-profit arts and social enterprise organizations.

Alumni of the program hold senior management positions in the arts, creative industries and government, nationally and internationally. Program faculty are distinguished leaders in their fields and students have regular access to industry experts and senior executives in the classroom and in extra-curricular programming.

Focusing on the Canadian experience in a globalized environment, the program is also designed to support the educational objectives of exchange and foreign students.
The Graduate Program in Film has over 20 internationally recognized faculty with a wide range of research areas covering the breadth of the discipline, and we are proud of the many career paths, both academic and professional, that our graduates have taken. To learn more about the research our faculty does, please go to our faculty profile webpage.

Equipment, Facilities and Research Labs
York’s Film Program offers Grad students a full state-of-the-art slate of digital and celluloid camera options, including the Sony FS-7, Canon 300, Red Camera, DSLR, Bolex, SRII Super 16 and Black Magic, plus a full spectrum of professional sound, lighting and grip equipment. From April to September, grads have exclusive access to our three in-house sound stages—from 800 to 2000 square feet—dedicated grad edit suites, and two foley/mix theatres. In addition, grads have year-round access to a 8500 square feet studio, located at Cinespace, Toronto’s largest television/film soundstage complex.

MFA’s are encouraged to get involved in York's four cinema research labs: the Future Cinema Lab specializes in creating new stories for new screens, testing the possibilities of immersive installations; the Alice Lab for Computational Worldmaking explores the possibilities of AR/VR expression and transmedia; the Stereoscopic 3-D Lab@York is a workshop for artistic innovation and vision research in 3-D cinema; and AMPD's Sensorium—a collective umbrella for interdisciplinary transmedia creation and exchange. Partnerships with colleagues and students from fine arts departments and other disciplines (environmental studies, gender and women’s studies, political science, education) are encouraged, especially in the exploration of new digital content.

Depth of Field & Downtown Events
We curate irregular downtown grad screenings and events at the Art Gallery of Ontario, TIFF, Cinecycle, Pleasuredome and other Toronto venues, encouraging exchange and collaboration between 1st and 2nd year MFAs, alumni, undergrads, MAs and PhDs in our programs. Regular screenings of thesis, faculty and alumni films are animated by faculty and MA/PhD student introductions and dialogues. In addition, special workshops, masters classes, free tickets and meetings with visiting filmmakers are offered in collaboration with our many Toronto festival partners, including Hot Docs, Images, TIFF, Inside Out, Regent Park Film Festival, Planet in Focus, Imaginative, Toronto Palestinian Film Festival, CineIran, Planet in Focus, Reelworld, Alucine and Reelasian. Graduate students are provided with in-kind equipment/services grants from a wide range of Toronto co-ops, equipment houses and post-production facilities (PS, Sim, Alterego, LIFT, Technicolor), production grants from donors, and travel/research funding from the University.

Situated in Toronto as Canada’s most important media industry infrastructure makes York University’s graduate film program the number one choice. Beyond our courses, facilities, and partnerships, our MFA in Film delivers best to students is a profound community of cinema. Their five terms will be spent in an intense, immersive environment of creativity and critical debate, sharing skills, visions and passions with fifteen other film artists from distinctly diverse backgrounds. Typically, our applicants have been active out in the world making work for at least five years beyond their undergraduate training. When they enter our MFA, they bring these diverse documentary, dramatic, experimental and writing experiences with them. York’s profound ties to Toronto’s independent film scene ensures that our MFAs become full members of this extraordinary community, going on to exciting careers in directing, teaching, producing, creating, writing -- but even more, pursuing their voices and visions with this new network of trusted collaborators.

The submission deadline for our next available start in the fall semester will be Januaryth, although applications may be considered after that date.