Course Description

Note: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 Summer Film School will be offered using a hybrid model of instruction. Three courses will be offered in-person as allowed by government and public health guidelines, while adhering to mandatory mask requirements, physical distancing and capacity limitations in each instructional space. The other five courses will be delivered through virtual instruction.

Want to find out more or ask a question about Summer Film School? Express interest to connect with this program and receive updates.

Express interest

The Summer Film School 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.

Permission to enrol in the Summer Film School program must be granted prior to enrolment. To request permission, send your resume and a letter of intent which indicates your learning goals and why you want to attend Summer Film School to James Warrack, Academic Coordinator, at jwarrack@ryerson.ca.

Equipment/Facilities Use

Please note that equipment and facilities use outside of class time will not be provided. All course work requiring use of Ryerson equipment and facilities must be done during class time only.

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.

What's Included?

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


International Students

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

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 issask@ryerson.ca.

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.


“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.)

Peter Gerretsen Film Awards

Congratulations to the 2020 Nominees and Winners!

The Peter Gerretsen Film Awards have been honouring excellence in student filmmaking since 1999. Created by the late Peter Gerretsen – a passionate filmmaker and dedicated instructor, and a former coordinator of The Chang School’s Film Studies program – these awards showcase the talents and skills of our Certificate in Film Studies students.

The Chang School was proud to honour this year’s outstanding award nominees and winners. Winning films in the categories of Production, Screenwriting, and Film Editing were screened during our virtual event. Audience members were able to make their voices heard by voting for their favourite "Team Production" film through our new Audience Choice Award.

Visit ryerson.ca/ce/filmawards to view this year’s award categories, nominees, and winners.

The Chang School Photography Exhibition

The Chang School's Photography Exhibition, organized by instructor Joël Bénard, gives students an opportunity to display their strongest photographic work in a juried show. Students enrolled in visual studies courses – including Photography Studies, Film Studies, Image Arts, and Digital Art Production – are eligible to submit their images. Each year, leading professionals from the photography community select several works for their particular merit. The winning artists receive valuable awards that include gifts from photography-supply outlets and arts organizations.

Exhibitors are welcome to invite guests to the opening reception, where they can mingle with their colleagues and gallery visitors.

Our 2020/21 exhibition will take place May 1–14, 2021*. Visit ryerson.ca/ce/photoexhibit for information on attending the exhibit or volunteering your time, and view our past winners, awards, and sponsors.

*Dates and guidelines for attending the exhibit and opening reception are subject to change. Visit ryerson.ca/ce/photoexhibit for updates.

Questions? Contact photoex@ryerson.ca.

Contact Us

For more information on The Chang School’s Film Studies program, contact James Warrack, Academic Coordinator.

Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 2237
Email: jwarrack@ryerson.ca

Course Sections
Class Number
May 02, 2022 to Aug 04, 2022
Delivery Options
Domestic Fee non-credit $6,522.08 Click here to get more information
International Fee non-credit $0.00 Click here to get more information