Summer Film School

The Summer Film School (CDMP 999) offers the unique opportunity to learn the basics of filmmaking and earn a Certificate in Film Studies in an intensive 12-week program. The focus of the program is on production, and learners will have the opportunity to create a number of short films, discover their creative potential, and demonstrate their acquired skills and knowledge.

The advantage of this program is the continued exposure to film production technology and techniques, and the opportunity to practice those skills with a peer group that can assist with the production process. Learners are encouraged to explore and experiment.

This program represents the five required courses and three electives required for the Certificate in Film Studies. The electives are set to complement production courses in the summer program. The selected courses provide a very strong basis in a variety of subjects that are fundamental to the filmmaking process, and offer the student an excellent tool set for creative expression.

If you wish to take other courses from the electives offered in the regular program, you may do so in the Fall and Winter terms. Visit the Communication and Media courses page to see what electives are available.

If you wish to enrol in individual courses that are part of the Summer Film School (as opposed to the entire certificate program), see the individual course links listed below in ‘Certificate and Course Information’ for Spring/Summer scheduling options.

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Industry Overview

The Canadian film production industry is comprised of a very active service industry and a healthy domestic production sector, particularly servicing the television market. New media solutions are also an ever-growing sector of the industry, and the theatrical sector remains a small part of the overall production picture; however, there are several companies in Canada involved in coproductions with international partners providing content for a global market. The basic skill sets of a filmmaker are appropriate and applicable to all of these sectors, and are transferable from one sector of the industry to another.

The Summer Film School is located in the School of Image Arts, in the centre of the Ryerson University’s campus in downtown Toronto. The city of Toronto is the third largest film production centre in North America, and the largest in Canada. The Toronto-based industry currently includes production, post-production, and computer-generated imagery, as well as a variety of technicians, artists, and other related service providers. Toronto is the home of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and the English language headquarters of the National Film Board, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and other national broadcasters. Most of the busiest English-language film and television production companies are based in Toronto.

Our facilities and equipment are current and provide an opportunity to learn proven professional skills with up-to-date technology, software, and techniques. The cameras, editing software, and audio equipment employed in our productions are all of a professional standard. A full complement of cameras and lighting, as well as post-production facilities, are available for each student to complete assignments and projects.

Certificate and Course Information

The courses in the Summer Film School program include the following from our Certificate in Film Studies program:

  • CDMP 125 Film Studies: Fiction Screenwriting
  • CDMP 129 Film Studies: Motion Picture Production I
  • CDMP 229 Film Studies: Motion Picture Production II
  • CFPN 502 Film Studies: Directing Screen Performance - Basic Principles
  • CFPN 531 Film Studies: Cinematography and Lighting Design I
  • CMPF 107 Film Studies: Film Tools and Applications I
  • CMPF 300 Film Studies: Film Technology: Multi-Media
  • CMPF 423 Film Studies: Film Technology

See CDMP 999 for Summer Film School dates and fee.

Note: For those interested in enrolling in individual components of the Summer Film School (as opposed to the entire certificate program), see the individual course links listed above for Spring/Summer scheduling options.

Sample Schedule – Week One

Each week of the Summer Film School provides 26–35 hours of in-class instruction, for a total of 390 hours over 12 weeks.

Here is a snapshot of a typical week in the Summer Film School.

Monday, May 6, 20199:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.Motion Picture Production I (CDMP 129)
Tuesday, May 7, 20199:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.Tools and Applications (CDMP 107)
Wednesday, May 8, 20199:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.Motion Picture Production I (CDMP 129)
Thursday, May 9, 20199:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.Motion Picture Production I (CDMP 129)
Friday, May 10, 20199:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.Film Technology (CMPF 423)

Note: Schedule is subject to change. There will be no classes on May 20 (Victoria Day) and July 1, 2019 (Canada Day).

Not sure where to start? Have questions?

Our Program Advisor is here to help! Brigid Elmy can assist both Canadian and international students with information, advice, and next steps, and can connect you with other on-campus services and supports. Let us help you plan your Summer Film School learning experience.

Phone: 416.979.5000, ext. 6674 (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. EST)

Online chats are also available during these times. Contact Brigid to request an appointment time.


Are you an international student? Come join us!

Summer Film School welcomes international learners. You do not need a study permit to enrol in this program. Contact Brigid Elmy for more information about the enrolment process.

The 2019 international student fee for Summer Film School (CDMP 999) is $17,713.52 CAD.

If you intend to continue your education beyond this program and study in Canada for more than six months, you must apply for a study permit from outside of Canada. Need information about permits and visa requirements? Contact International Student Support at

Note: All Chang School programs are considered to be part-time. International students enrolled in Chang School programs are not eligible to work during their studies and cannot apply for a postgraduate work permit when their program is complete.

Funding Opportunity: The Chang School Film Hub

The Chang School Film Hub is an initiative designed to support emerging talent in the film community. Current learners and recent graduates of the Certificate in Film Studies have the opportunity to submit short documentary film proposals and if selected, they receive funding, access to equipment, and coaching from a film industry professional.

Want to make a short documentary?

Our Students

Our learners are from a variety of backgrounds and possess a variety of knowledge and skill levels. Learners need not have prior experience in film or video production. Typically, learners are aiming to increase or develop their filmmaking skills and seeking the opportunity to actually make films. Some possess skills or skill sets in particular areas of the industry and wish to have a well-rounded knowledge of filmmaking.

Learners often come from other post-secondary-level programs that do not offer production experience or the opportunity to create films. Others have complementary skills that they bring to the filmmaking process to explore the creative potential of filmmaking techniques.


Student Testimonials

Award-winning writer and filmmaker – and Summer Film School graduate – Joanna Tsanis tells What She Said! about how Summer Film School was the key to making a meaningful career change. (interview begins at 41:04)

“Summer Film School was the experience of a lifetime and turned out to be more than I expected. The team aspect of this industry is imperative and once you are placed together in a small group six days a week (seven when you’re filming), you really start to become a community, a family, a film-ily.

I was most pleased with the quality of instruction and the facilities at Ryerson. Having had the chance to see the large LA facilities, it was hard not to compare. Ryerson had the equipment I wanted to learn to use.

Overall, equipment access and education for the dollar value reign supreme; however, what you do with it and how you do it, is really up to you.”

A.K Gabriel, CD, Canadian Forces – Captain
Creative Director, Ha-Yett Productions Inc.

“My experience with the Summer Intensive Film School changed my life on so many levels, I was able to further develop my existing skills in a challenging, but supportive, environment, and in a short period of time. It was intense, but well worth it! I walked out of the 12-week course with a better understanding of the film industry and, most, importantly with practical knowledge that I could apply in the field.”

Jules Arita Koostachin, Founder/Director of VisJuelles Productions
(Jules went on to complete her MA in Documentary Media, and she is an award-winning filmmaker and TV producer.)

Our Instructors

Our instructors include working professionals and accomplished teachers in the areas of creative content development, film and television production, and post-production. With an enrolment of just 25 learners per session, our instructors are able to work closely with students, whether they require assistance learning the skills required, completing assignments, or achieving creative goals.

Ready to enrol?

Class size is limited. Visit Summer Film School (CDMP 999) for intensive dates, fees, and enrolment.

Enrolment in this course requires department consent. Please contact Academic Coordinator James Warrack at to obtain permission to enrol. After you obtain department consent, you may enrol in person (350 Victoria Street), by mail, or online. Consult Enrolment or contact us with your enrolment queries. To gain access to priority enrolment, students should register in the certificate program in advance of the priority enrolment period.

Please note that the deadline for registering in this intensive program is April 19, 2019. You are strongly encouraged to register early. If you will be travelling from outside of Toronto to attend the program, please contact Brigid Elmy at before making any travel or accommodation arrangements so that she may confirm the program status.

Note: Summer Film School students are eligible to apply for Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) funding. Visit Government Assistance for further information.

Useful Links

The following links will assist you in planning your spring/summer studies at The Chang School:

For More Information

For further information, consult our Summer Film School FAQ or contact James Warrack, Academic Coordinator.
Phone: 416.979.5000, ext. 2237

For general information or to register, contact The Chang School.
Phone: 416.979.5035