Cinema & Media Arts


CMA Program Video Description Transcript
Theatre Students


The Department of Cinema & Media Arts

Learn to understand, think and create in the language of the moving image across all media. From idea to screenplay, camera to screen, screen to critical inquiry, AMPD’s Department of Cinema and Media Arts offers exceptional theoretical and hands-on training across the evolving spectrums of cinema and media.


Top 6 reasons to apply

Fifty years of renowned leadership in filmmaking and cinema scholarship

Four acclaimed degrees, giving you the opportunity to find the right program to fit your interests and goals

World-class facilities, including AMPD’s professional sound stage at Cinespace Film Studios

Small class sizes and hands-on experience

Professional placement and internship opportunities in the film, television and media industries

Guest lectures & workshops by industry insiders and leading film scholars


Four Programs

Theatre Students


Combining technical skills with the creativity of film as a vehicle for storytelling, change-making and self-expression, this program prepares students for careers in all facets of filmmaking. The Cinema & Media Arts – Production (BFA) program offers a broad, expansive view of visual storytelling traditions, including cinema, television, current trends on the internet and hybrid forms.

Foundational courses in production and screenwriting lead to specialized courses in directing, cinematography, editing, sound, production management and production design. With extensive opportunities for collaboration and networking, including a field placement option, students work with professional actors in world-class facilities on campus and at Cinespace Film Studios to create short fiction, documentary and alternative films. Working in crews and learning how to collaborate creatively is one of the most important experiences of the 4-year program. Courses in film history and theory empower students to develop their ability not only to make moving images but to think, talk and write about them, and to understand the historical and theoretical framework in which they are produced.

Cinema & Media Arts – Production (BFA) Highlights

Immerse yourself in Cinema & Media Arts at AMPD

Access to state-of-the-art filmmaking technologies and facilities.

Opportunity to produce your own short films and to build a show reel, building the tools you need to showcase your work and develop your career.

Strong mentoring by internationally recognized and continuously productive faculty.

Small class sizes, ranging from 25 students in first-year to 10-15 students in upper years.

Hands-on learning gives you the skills needed to thrive in the highly competitive film and television industry.

Opportunities to co-create with students in other AMPD departments, such as Theatre, Design and Music, broadens your experience and collaboration skills.

Extensive opportunities for collaboration and networking, including master classes with renowned visiting artists and scholars and field placements in which you work in a professional setting


Learning Objectives

Share your STORY, find your VISION, build the FUTURE

Years 1 and 2

  • Building a solid foundation with Introduction to Filmmaking, camera work and sound recording, technical aspects of film and video production, screenwriting essentials, and production planning.
  • Understand cinema history in a cultural and economic context
  • Recognize cinema as an education in global citizenship

Years 3 and 4

  • Determine your specialization through hands-on experience in multiple genres (fiction, documentary, experimental film).
  • Acquire in-depth training as a director, cinematographer, sound recordist, production manager or picture & sound editor.
  • Apply your learning with outreach into the film and television industry with field trips, internships and guest lectures, providing a doorway to a life of reflective and productive engagement in the industry.

Interesting sample courses

Directing Actors for the Screen

This course explores the work that actors and directors do together. It includes scene study, preparation, and the recording and editing of dramatic scenes.

Documentary Workshop

This course provides an advanced exploration of a range of issues in documentary theory and practice, including the ethics of representation, ethnographic practice, the status of evidence, voice and authorship, the proliferation of documentary styles and the social implications, among others.


Provides an intensive study of the foundational elements of lighting, camera and photography, as they relate to film and video production.



Evaluation Process


Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an email containing your York reference ID. This email will be sent approximately 5-10 business days after you submit your application. Please complete step 4 once you have your York Reference ID.
  • Make sure you have your York Reference ID on hand.
  • Complete the questionnaire and upload at least one (ideally two) letter(s) of recommendation. It’s to help us get to know you a little better.
  • Pay the administration fee of: $60 CAD. You will then be able to proceed with the portfolio submission.
  • Read through the instructions below on the portfolio evaluation process. Shortlisted applicants may be invited for an interview after the portfolio submission has been evaluated.

Good luck!

  • Questionnaire: Submit a one-paragraph proposal for a short documentary or fiction film that you would like to produce and that can be made without a budget. In addition, you will also be asked to describe your favourite film or director, and one recent creative project that you were centrally involved in, and what the experience taught you.
  • Portfolio: We are also looking to see a 5-minute video (no longer) that has been directed by you. Alternatively, you can be the videographer, writer or editor (please specify your crew position). You can also submit photographs, visual art pieces or visual documentations of an artistic project that you created or developed. You may submit a compilation of projects or one single piece. Avoid demo reels cut to music.
  • Interview: Based on our evaluation of the questionnaire and portfolio submissions, short-listed applicants will be invited for an on-campus or zoom/skype interview. Interview days are generally scheduled in February and March.
  • Acceptance is based on all three elements of the supplementary evaluation – portfolio, statement and interview – in addition to your academic qualifications.

We strongly encourage all our short-listed applicants to attend the on-campus interview as it offers you the most extensive and engaged experience. However, if extenuating circumstances preclude you from coming to campus, you may arrange for a distance interview via Skype/zoom.


Theatre Students


In this era of multiple screens competing for our attention, strong storytelling is necessary for success. In Canada’s only undergraduate Screenwriting Degree Program, students receive intensive training across genres and in many platforms from film to television to emerging media. Screenwriting students will also learn how to develop and pitch their screenplays and in some cases, see them brought to life on screen.

Graduates of the BFA in Screenwriting are thriving as professional screenwriters, story editors, producers and directors in the film, television and media industries, bringing with them a deep understanding of moving image storytelling and the expertise they developed in the program’s intensive and collaborative workshop environment. First and foremost, they have developed their voice and explored many kinds of screenwriting taught by leading industry professionals in our intensive 4-year programme.

Cinema & Media Arts – Screenwriting Highlights

Immerse yourself in Cinema & Media Arts at AMPD

The Screenwriting program at York is named among a handful of the top programs anywhere in North America

Screenwriting students collaborate with peers, workshop their writing, meet industry professionals and develop a creative portfolio of written work.

Master classes offered by renowned screenwriters such as Emmy Award winning David Shore (“House”), Karen Walton (“Ginger Snaps,” “Orphan Black,” “The Listener,” “Queer as Folk”) and many others

Interesting sample courses

Screenwriting Fundamentals

This course provides a broad introduction to the art and craft of screenwriting. Writing for film is very specific, both an art and a technical document. Students, through the examination of films, will discuss how film stories are told and the fundamental requirements to writing a script.

Feature Screenwriting I

Focuses on the initial stages of writing a feature-length screenplay. Explores idea of development, story groundwork and principles of story structure. Leads students through craft challenges in the creation of a fully developed story outline.

Transmedia Storytelling

This course provides students who have completed first- and second- year screenwriting courses with a focus on strategies for developing complex stories that can be told across multiple media platforms (film, television, web, mobile, etc.) incorporating elements of interactivity.



Theatre Students


We experience stories through a diversity of media platforms that are constantly evolving. In this ecology of media, we simultaneously become viewers, users, players, and participants. This innovative program combines current and future forms of digital experience and content creation with critical, curatorial and applied studies in media culture. Your BFA in Media Arts will offer you a broad, expansive view of media practices including interactive, immersive and mobile media, gaming, augmented and virtual reality, interactive cinema, social media, sound arts and artificial intelligence storytelling. As a creator in the BFA in Media Arts you will use new camera systems, game engines, interactive environments and social platforms to build narrative and experimental content and experiences.

In this program, you could create a virtual reality murder mystery, produce a community-based interactive documentary, design a transmedia project spanning film and gaming platforms, or combine live animation with high end special effects and 3D environments, or anything else that challenges genres and conventional ways of telling stories. Drawing on the powerful legacy of cinema history, criticism and theory, you will actively create in the expanded field of the media cultures and creative industries, in which cinema is an integrated element.

This program is framed around a series of flexible Media Practice courses taken concurrently with media history, theory and criticism, culminating in a capstone project and a field placement in the media industries that will include content creation on site at Cinespace Film Studios. You will graduate with the ability to blend hands on media-making with the critical analysis of contemporary and emerging media, developing your creative practice using wide range of digital tools and software. You will expand your knowledge of how media can shape social issues, produce new insights, and advance political agendas. You will graduate with the creative, technical and critical skills necessary to prepare you for careers in a fast-changing media landscape.

Cinema & Media Arts – Media Arts (BFA) Highlights

Immerse yourself in Cinema & Media Arts at AMPD

Master classes with renowned visiting artists and theorists

Access to state-of-the-art technologies that are defining new directions in screen art

Make work in virtual and augmented reality using game engines

Outstanding access to Media Professionals and creative industries

Field placement opportunities

An opportunity to develop your creative vision through diverse media

Interesting sample courses

The Interactive Documentary

This course studies the theory and practice of interactive web documentaries, participatory online projects, and docu-games which are reshaping the way we tell, produce and distribute documentary experience in the digital age.

Field Placement for Media Art

This course provides an experiential education field placement. Students undertake field placements in moving image media industry sites, supervised and guided by AMPD faculty and staff.

Games and Media

Examines the history of expanded forms of cinematic narrative and interactivity within an intermedial context that includes games, environments and computers. Explores the relation between cinema and games, including non-linear modes of storytelling in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.



Evaluation Process

Admission to the BFA in Media Arts is based on academic achievement. A portfolio review is not required.

Theatre Students


Focusing on cinema and media history, theory, criticism, and other media-rich arts such as gaming and social media forms, this BA program prepares students for careers in a world increasingly interconnected through modes of communication and interaction involving moving images. Students develop specialized knowledge of genre, authorship, national and transnational cinemas, moving image technologies, history and cultural theory. They may also pursue field placements in the areas of producing, marketing, the cultural industries, film festivals, media distribution, art galleries and cine magazines.

In the Cinema and Media Studies Program, you will learn about film studies, television and other media rich moving image forms. You will examine cinematic cultures through the lens of history, visual culture, technology, industry, sexuality and race as well as aesthetics. You will learn how to understand cinematic practices and diverse forms of representation from around the world. Our students learn how to carry out research both in the creative fields of Canada’s exciting media landscape and through concrete, close analysis of cinematic and media works.

Students can expect opportunities for placements and internships with organizations such as TIFF and Hot Docs Festival, independent distribution companies, the National Film Board of Canada, the Ontario Art Gallery, film magazines and journals, independent production companies, provincial and national archives, and many more.

Cinema and Media Studies Highlights

Immerse yourself in Cinema & Media Arts at AMPD

Master classes with renowned visiting artists and theorists

Field placements with a broad array of organizations, local film and media festivals

Engaged learning in the areas of producing, marketing, media curating, media journalism and social media production.

As skilled critical thinkers, students learn how to make sense of diverse cultural expressions that define the cinema and media arts landscape

Learn how to carry out high level research that will help you to see, explore and interrogate trends in the media industries

Interesting sample courses

Studies in Genre: Horror

This course investigates the concept of genre through the study of the horror film or television series as a genre crossing distinctive national, institutional and historical categories. The cultural significance and social/historical determinants of the horror film are central to the course as well as the conventions, evolution and iconography of this popular genre.

Studies in the Documentary

This course explores the creative interpretation of actuality in film, from Flaherty to the present day. A study of changing forms, techniques and theories of documentary.

Women and Film I

This course examines the feminist perspective of the ways in which women have been represented in mainstream Hollywood and classical film traditions. Discussion of formative texts of feminist film theory on issues of body representation, the look, the place of women in mainstream narrative, the construction of gendered positions of spectatorship in Hollywood and popular culture.



Evaluation Process

Admission to the BFA in Media Arts is based on academic achievement. A portfolio review is not required.


Two degrees in one


CMA students interested in pursuing a teaching career are invited to consider the Concurrent and Consecutive programs offered by York’s Faculty of Education.

Experience AMPD 24/7, 365 from anywhere around the world.

Have Questions?


Answer Yes, they are required to. Screenwriting students will also make films in their first year.
Every year approximately 175 undergraduate student works are produced in our department.

BFA graduates are known and respected throughout the Canadian industry for their technical and creative proficiency. As active professional filmmakers and media creators, the faculty are involved in the industry, allowing us to bring that experience and understanding into the classroom. The size of the department, its extensive facilities, its broad curriculum, the scale of student productions and perhaps most of all the extraordinary talent and dedication of our student body, all combine to create an accelerated learning experience like no other. York is located in the heart of the GTA, one of Canada’s primary film centres, and our Department is actively involved in the Canadian film, television and media industries. Professionals from all sectors of the industry regularly make their way up to visit our students. Upper level students may participate in a summer internship program that gives them on-the-job experience. For a significant number of students, their internship has led directly to employment with prominent companies in the film and television industry. Every year the Toronto International Film Festival includes York talent, with features and short films produced by alumni, faculty and often also current students. A university is very different from a training program which focuses solely on technical instruction.

York faculty are not only active in the industry but have chosen to work within the university setting because we like to think about what we do. The university experience is about much more than finding a job. At the same time, we believe the all-around experience York offers makes our graduates employable in a wider range of positions. This is demonstrated by the successes of our alumni, who include not only prominent directors, cinematographers, producers and editors, but also industry executives, casting directors, special effects designers etc. Our BA/Cinema and Media Studies graduates have gone on to positions as film critics, publicists, curators, educators, film festival organizers, book and magazine editors, teachers and professors. They have found a variety of jobs in the cultural industries working for film production houses, museums and galleries, in the broadcasting sector (TVO, History Channel, VisionTV, CBC etc) and (in two recent cases) setting up their own publishing company devoted to independent cinema. Some of our students have received prestigious scholarships to go on to graduate school to train as cutting-edge media researchers and film scholars.

Screenwriting students take the first year production course. Outside of class they are encouraged to work on the shoots of upper level production students to become more familiar with the production process.
Immerse yourself as much as you can in thought and activity related to film and media! Watch films outside the mainstream. Learn about the Canadian film industry and film communities. The students who do best in our admissions process tend to be those who have tested their own interest and discovered that it is a passion.
BA applicants are admitted based on their GPA. Once BFA applications have been reviewed and assessed, we invite a portion of the applicants to the campus for an in-person interview. The interview day also includes a tour of our facilities and screenings of students’ films. If you are invited for an interview but live more than 300 km away and are unable to come, we will arrange a phone or Skype interview.