Course Description

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.

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:

Program Advisor

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.

Email: belmy@ryerson.ca

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.

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.


“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

The Peter Gerretsen Film Awards is Going Virtual!

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 continuing education Film students.

Winning films in the categories of Production, Screenwriting, and Film Editing will be screened during the event, highlighting works produced by our Certificate in Film Studies students – future filmmakers who will one day lead the Canadian film industry.

This year, join us for an online celebration of our students’ achievements. Make your voice heard and vote for your favourite "Team Production" film through our new Audience Choice Award.

Celebrate the 21st Annual Peter Gerretsen Film Awards Online

Join us and celebrate the achievements of students in The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education’s Certificate in Film Studies.
DATE: Tuesday, July 28, 2020
TIME: 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Online (link will be provided with your RSVP confirmation)

This event is free.

How Does This Online Event Work?

  • Click the RSVP link to reserve your spot. The RSVP closes on Monday, July 13.
  • After the RSVP closes, you will receive an email confirmation that contains a link to the nominated Audience Choice Award films and a link to a voting form. View the selections and choose your favourite film. Voting closes on Friday, July 24.
  • Your RSVP confirmation will also contain a link to the event. Log in to the event on Tuesday, July 28 to attend the celebration and view all of this year’s winning films.

RSVP and save your spot



Visit ryerson.ca/ce/filmawards for more information, including a list of this year’s nominees and award categories.

The Chang School Photography Exhibition

The Chang School's Photography Exhibition, organized by instructor Joël Bénard, gives our creative Image Arts students an opportunity to display their strongest work in a juried show. 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 exhibition will take place September 16–26, 2020*. Visit ryerson.ca/ce/photoexhibit for information on attending this year's 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


Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, this course currently isn't available.

Please browse our courses for more options or check back later for updated scheduling.