Film Production

Since 1969, the BFA Film Production program at UBC has provided courses and workshops for students who have become industry leaders, screening their work at internationally-recognized film festivals including Cannes, Berlinale, SXSW, Sundance, Toronto, IDFA and Hot Docs

Program Overview

The Film Production program has two accreditation streams: the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and a Diploma in Film Production. BFA Film Production students go through four years of concentrated studies compared to three years in the Diploma stream.

Curriculum

Students will learn theory and techniques of motion picture production with options to study more deeply in areas of documentary filmmaking, alternative cinema, screenwriting and producing. Additionally, students are expected to work collaboratively and create their own short films in their final year.

The department will have production equipment and post-production platforms available for our students, however, accepted students should have their own consumer-level camera and computer with an editing platform.

Due to the immersive and hands-on design of the program, students must be prepared to cover the costs of their productions required in certain classes. Specific costs for each production are dependent on the complexity of each students’ project. However, students must contribute a minimum of $2500 to their FIPR 333 project and $3500 for FIPR 433.

Admissions

Students applying directly from secondary school or transferring from another institution to the BFA Film Production program must complete the online UBC application by Jan 15 as well as submit the supplemental materials by Feb 1.

If you are applying directly from secondary school or transferring from another institution, you must list the Bachelor of Fine Arts Film Production program as your first or second choice degree program in the online UBC application.

If you are already enrolled in the Faculty of Arts at UBC, you do not need to complete the online UBC application but must submit the supplemental application material by Feb 1. Students from UBC Vancouver who are enrolled in another faculty or enrolled at UBC Okanagan must apply to transfer to the UBC Faculty of Arts by Jan 15, prior to completing the Film Production supplemental application.

Students should also note that if you are applying for another program, you must complete a separate supplemental application for each program.

BFA Film Production Submission Process:

1. SHORT CREATIVE WRITING SAMPLE (2/4 pages max):

Our program aims to find fresh and upcoming storytellers.  Please submit a creative writing sample, either a short story or a film script.

FORMAT:

  • For prose, 250-500 words, double spaced, 12-point font.
  • For a screenplay, scriptwriting format, FOUR PAGES MAX, 12-point font.

Save as a PDF and name the file: LastName_FirstName_CreativeWriting.

2. SELF-PORTRAIT VIDEO (1-2 min max)

Provide a 1-2 minute creative self-portrait where you show and tell us about yourself and what's important to you.

We encourage you to share information that we cannot get from other aspects of your portfolio submission. Your video should be in your own voice, in your own format, and not a reiteration of why you want to be admitted to UBC’s film program. Be creative and have fun! What you choose to say and how you say it is up to you.

We will not be judging the production value of this film. We encourage applicants to use what is readily available to them (i.e. cellphones or computers). We are not looking for polished/edited videos. This short video allows you to show and tell us something more about you than we would learn from the rest of your application.

FORMAT: Submit a link to the video via URL on Vimeo, YouTube or other platforms. Please note these should be easily accessible to us, so provide any login details and/or passwords.

3. SHORT FILM or VIDEO (5 min max)

Please include a link to your film or video, ideally a complete work. This should be a film/video in which you were a key creative (i.e. the director, writer, editor, or cinematographer), and which you believe best represents you creatively. We will accept a scene from a longer film, but these should not be cut into a trailer or a reel, but shown as they are presented as they were in the film itself. Maximum length is 5 minutes.

Please note:

  • Scenes should not be cut into a trailer or reel, but shown as they are presented in the film itself.
  • Longer films, clips or projects will not be reviewed.
  • No music videos.
  • No travel vlogs or travel videos unless there is a storyline.
  • We strongly discourage you from submitting co-directed or co-written projects, however if you choose to submit a co-created work, you must clearly state your specific contribution to the project.

FORMAT: Please provide an online link. These should be easily accessible to us, so make sure the video does not need to be downloaded, and please provide any login details and/or passwords with your link.  Be sure to test your video prior to submission.

4. BACKGROUND STATEMENT ON VIDEOS (250 words max)

Please provide pertinent information, including the credits for the film, and anything else you would feel would be interesting to share with us. This might be things such as where you made the film, or why you made it. You can also include here elements you think worked well, and features you would like to improve.

FORMAT: Half page max (250 words), double spaced, 12-point font

Save as a PDF and name the file: LastName_FirstName_Statement

5. ONE-PAGE RESUME

We want to get to know more about your background and how you’ve spent your time. You can include:

  • Social and/or community work
  • Creative and filmmaking projects
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Outside employment, whether it’s paid, voluntary, or family responsibilities
  • Anything else you spend a significant amount of free time on

Must also include:

  • your full name
  • home address
  • date of birth

FORMAT: One page. Save as a PDF and name the file:: LastName_FirstName_Resume

PLEASE NOTE: For all Creative Submissions, the exact credits must be specified. Please send the requested items only; no substitutions, variations, or extra materials. Failure to comply with these guidelines will be grounds for automatic disqualification.

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I remember being in film school and having an epiphany: I’m going to pursue my life as a filmmaker. I want to tell stories.

Mina Shum
Award-winning Filmmaker, Writer, Director
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