Vancouver Film School signs groundbreaking agreements with Beijing Film Academy and Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts

November 17, 2015

Vancouver Film School signs groundbreaking agreements with Beijing Film Academy and Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts

Strategic partnerships with two of China’s leading educational institutions launched during Premier of BC’s trade mission.

Beijing, China and Vancouver, BC – One of the world’s leading schools in the creative industries, Vancouver Film School (VFS) signed two groundbreaking partnership agreements with Chinese educational institutions this November. Representatives from VFS, including the school’s President James Griffin, signed a memorandum of understanding with Beijing Film Academy on November 2, and Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts on November 5.

Both the Ambassador of China, Guy Saint-Jacques, and Premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark, were present at the signings that took place as part of the Premier’s trade mission to China.

The delegation visit came at a key time during both the province, and China’s, economic development. Chinese leaders recently committed to doubling the size of the country’s economy by 2020, while B.C.’s creative economy continues to grow, supplying 85,000 jobs and $4 billion in annual GDP.

"British Columbia's flourishing creative industries are a key component of our growing relationship with China,” said B.C. Premier Christy Clark. “Vancouver Film School's collaborations in China demonstrate how forward-thinking B.C. organizations can play a leadership role in the world economy, and provide a compelling example of how B.C.'s and China’s creative industries can continue to support one another in innovative ways."

The memorandums of understanding are just one of the ways Vancouver Film School is building long-lasting relationships with the film industry and innovative post-secondary institutions in China, the world’s largest domestic film market. The announcement occurs one year after VFS’ successful launch of the Shanghai Vancouver Film School in October 2014 – a multi-million dollar initiative in partnership with The University of Shanghai.

"China's dedication to excellence, commitment to technology, and passion for ideas, make it a remarkable place for the film and entertainment industry to thrive. We see this not only in the growth of the market in China – which this year surpassed the US as the world’s largest domestic box office – but in the knowledge and talent of students in our partner institutions," explained James Griffin, President and Co-Founder of Vancouver Film School.

"We are honoured to begin relationships with Beijing Film Academy and Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts," he continued.

These relationships will promote the development of joint academic courses and programs, allow for cross-accreditation for multiple institutions, the transfer of academic credits across institutions, and enable student exchanges and major collaborations in training and research.

Founded in 1950, Beijing Film Academy is the only professional film academy in Chinese higher art education, and has produced a rich alumni of award-winning directors and producers: more than 90 percent of directors and producers in Chinese TV and cinema are BFA graduates.

Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts is the only art university in South China, while Guangdong province is one of the leading animation and game industry incubators in the country.

"As we build relationships with such venerable institutions in China, we will continue to strengthen Vancouver Film School's reputation – and position – as a world leader in education," commented Diwakar Gandhi, Director of International Business Development at Vancouver Film School.

About Vancouver Film School
Based on the certainty it was possible to learn film production skills much faster than taught by traditional university programs, Vancouver Film School opened in 1987 with 12 students as the world's first full-time immersion film program dedicated to comprehensive skill development. Building on this model, VFS has introduced 'first in the world' production programs in classical animation, 3D animation, new media, sound design and camera based acting and now offers 13 fulltime media related programs.

VFS alumni earned credits on approximately half of total world box-office (18 billion) in 2014 alone, and have credits on 28 of the 30 all-time highest grossing films. The Pathway program provides another avenue to support, and engage with, the entertainment arts industry in Canada and beyond.



Media Enquiries

For media enquiries, including interviews with President of Vancouver Film School, James Griffin, please contact:

Zoe Grams, ZG Communications,, T: +1 604 336 3822, C: +1 604 500 3822