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Intro to Vancouver Film School – VFS Vancouver

Intro to Vancouver Film School – VFS Vancouver

Vancouver is home to Hollywood North because it’s a popular place for shows and movies to film. It’s also home to one of the most renowned film schools in the world.

Why VFS 

If you’ve always been interested in the magic of movie-making, then there’s no better choice than attending Vancouver Film School. They are known across the globe and can prepare their students for their careers in a matter of twelve months. 

When you’re done with the twelve months, you can move on to other post-secondary schools through their pathways and be eligible for your PGWP. With two levels of certification under your belt, you’ll be prepared for your film career in Canada.  

Overview of Vancouver Film School

Vancouver Film School is an internationally acclaimed school, known for shaping some of the best film experts today. They cover everything from acting to costume design to directing a film. 

Their main focus is on producing results. They teach their students how to create content for film, games, animation, and the web. With a constantly updated curriculum, students who attend VFS will always have the most recent information on the film industry. 

VFS’ educational style is also unique compared to other art schools. They hold intensive programs that don’t take more than a year long. The programs include hands-on training and theory that graduates can take into their careers in film. 

Programs at VFS

There are just over 25 programs offered at VFS and they can be divided into four major categories. 

Preparatory Programs

If you don’t have a lot of creative background but are passionate and willing to learn, VFS has created three foundational programs to help students build their portfolios. 

  • Acting Essentials – Everything you need to know about acting (or to start acting) will be in this program. You’ll learn how to utilize movement and voice to communicate the story to your audience. 
  • English for Creative Arts – This is targeted more towards students who want to improve their English while getting experience in the basics of filmmaking.
  • Foundation Visual Art & Design – Taking this program is the most open-ended among the three. It’ll allow you to move forward with any of VFS’ other programs or you can take your portfolio home and start looking for your career.

Advanced Production Programs

There are many programs to choose from, each one uniquely designed to equip students in that specialization. 

  • Animation Concept Art – Explore the fundamentals of drawing, develop your skills, and finish off with a professional-level portfolio.
  • Film Production – Learn how to tell stories for the screen and learn what it takes to make a movie. 
  • Programming for Games, Web, & Mobile – Render and optimize visual graphics for games and mobile devices. 
  • Writing for Film, TV, & Games – Learn how to write not just for movies, but commercials and small-scale projects. 
  • 3D Animation & Visual Effects – This area is a significant part of movie making and it’s where you’ll get to create some of the amazing effects you see today.
  • Classical Animation – Different from 3D animation, classical animation focuses more on delivering subtle messages through characters.
  • Game Design – Coding, storytelling, and the fundamentals will be covered so you can launch your very own game.
  • Sound Design for Visual Media – Games, and shows won’t be complete without sound effects; in this program, you’ll learn how to utilize and make the right sounds for the media you work on.
  • Acting for Film & TV – Learn how to portray a character using your body and voice for the camera.
  • Digital Design – Typography, branding, and 3D graphics are all part of digital design. You’ll learn it all and come out with a beautiful portfolio.
  • Makeup Design – From doing the everyday look to prosthetics are essential skills in make-up design.
  • VR/AR Design & Development – Work with Unreal Engine to put together VR and AR experiences. 


VFS doesn’t offer PGWP to its graduates but is aware that some students are looking for that. Instead, they have pathways with partner schools that do offer PGWP. After you finish your year at VFS, you can move on to other post-secondary institutions to get degrees or diplomas that can qualify you for PGWP.

Their partner schools are:

  • Regent’s University London
  • Royal Roads University
  • University of Fraser Valley
  • BCIT
  • Wilfrid Laurier University
  • MetFilm School
  • University of the Arts London: LOC
  • Capilano University
  • Manchester Metropolitan University: SODA
  • 3iS Paris

If you do decide to take one of VFS’ pathway programs, keep in mind to select the appropriate school for your major of choice. Some offer only AR/VR development and some offer only music design. In addition, some of these schools are not in Canada and may require you to take some extra steps.

Admission Requirements & Tuition

As VFS is an art school, they focus more on creative passions and work than they do on meeting a certain grade requirement. Regardless, there are some things that you will need to provide before you can move on to the applications: 

  • High school diploma OR proof of being at least 19 years old
  • Two references (name and contact details)
  • Financial plan
  • Proof of medical coverage

For international students (in addition to the above list):

  • Study permit
  • Proof of English proficiency 

Some program-specific requirements may include providing a portfolio. However, not all programs require portfolios, like the foundational programs. Other programs, such as game design, require only an impressive pitch. 

Apply Now

The application process at VFS is a little unique because the advisors want to get to know you. They also want you to have a complete understanding of what the courses are before you move on to choose a program. 

When you have talked to an advisor about your references, financial plan, and program requirements, you are good to move forward and apply.

Sources: VFS International Admissions
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