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Sessional Teaching /Film Studies January 2015 to April 2015 (2014W Term 2).

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Theatre and Film Teaching Assistantships for 2014/2015 Academic Session.

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The University of British Columbia is accepting applications for one fulltime (100%) renewable 12 month lecturer position (1 year contract) in Film Studies, in the Department of Theatre and Film, commencing July 1 2014.

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Submit to Cinephile! Submissions for our upcoming issue of Cinephile MUSIC IN DOCUMENTARY (Issue 10.1) are due March 17.

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MA Film Alumnus Joshua M. Ferguson Earns Recognition for Whispers of Life

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FREE Lunchtime Films! Cinema Salon @ UBC Library

Watch video

Iconic Videomatica film collection available at UBC and SFU 

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Alumni Cam Cronin and Gerald Vanderwoude Take on New Roles at UBC 

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100 Cult Films? There's an app for that!

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Ernest Mathijs “takes film buffs down the rabbit hole.”

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Congratulations to Jonathan Cannon, who has been accepted to the PhD program in Screen Studies in the Department of English at Oklahoma State University. Jonathan is a graduate of the MA in Film Studies program at UBC. His master’s thesis was entitled, “Ambivalent Ambulation: Fan Pilgrimage and the Itinerantextual Cult Film.” Best of luck, Jonathan!

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Cinephile's latest issue 9.1 Reevaluating Television now available!

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The Department of Theatre & Film congratulates Ernest Mathijs on promotion to Full Professor.

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IN MEMORIAM, MARK HARRIS. Mark Harris, dedicated UBC Theatre & Film faculty member, dies at 62.

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click here Cinephile's latest issue 8.2 Contemporary Extremism now available!

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The Centre for Cinema Studies (CCS) at the University of British Columbia has launched an international audience survey on digital cinema.
click here More on project
click here Visit

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Associate Professor Ernest Mathijs Weighs in on Game of Thrones
click here More at:

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Students Seth Soulstein & Peter Lester published in SCOPE
click here Read articles at: SCOPE


Congratulations to Jessica Hughes, who has been accepted to the PhD program at the University of Queensland in Australia. Jessica is a graduate of the MA in Film Studies program at UBC. Her master's thesis was entitled, "The Good, the Bad, the Thirsty: De-Mystification in the Postmodern Vampire Film." Congrats Jessica!

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Collection Represents a Lifetime of Film Study: The family of retired UBC professor Aristides Gazetas has kindly donated a collection of 56 film books to the UBC Department of Theatre and Film's film library in the Visual Resources Centre.

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Congratulations to Associate Professor Lisa Coulthard, who has been elected Chair of the Editorial Board and Managing Editor of the Canadian Journal of Film Studies.

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Congratulations to UBC Theatre and Film Prof. Ernest Mathijs on the launch of his controversial new book "100 Cult Films".

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Film Studies prof Ernest Mathijs interviewed on Zombie love!

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"Cowboys and Aliens with Angst". Brent Stang, a former MA Film Studies' student and now a PhD student at SUNY, was interviewed by the Globe and Mail on the Western genre.

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Film Studies Professor Brian McIlroy has recently received one of the new SSHRC Insight Development Grants for a project entitled “Screens in Vancouver: Cinemagoing and the City in 1914.”

"Drunk History and Displaced Vocality"
Lisa Coulthard

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Starting as a web phenomena, making it onto HBO’s Funny or Die Presents and winning the 2010 Jury Prize for Short Film at the Sundance Film Festival, Derek Waters’ and John Konner’s Drunk History highlights the drama of American history, the convergence and transfer between media in our modern age and the hilarious potential of vocal displacement and incongruity.
>>Continue reading Professor Lisa Couthard's newest essay on FlowTV

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“Vancouver has a film festival?” Ernest Mathijs and Diane Burgess are asked what they think in the Globe and Mail.

Time Wasted
Ernest Mathijs

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"If film cultism today is only what William Bainbridge and Rodney Stark would call an ‘audience cult’ or ‘client cult’, and what Janet Staiger calls ‘visible fandom’ , if cult cinema’s current impulse is disconnected from the history of cultism, why do cult receptions of television and cinema not lose all of their appeal as a factor of resistance against the mainstreaming of culture?"
>>Continue reading Professor Ernest Mathijs' newest essay on FlowTV

Support Us

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Gifts to the Film Program at UBC ensure that today's Film students have access to the resources that give them the best education possible. With the costs of education rising and the numbers of students growing, UBC has made a commitment to students that no qualified person be denied a UBC education based on financial ability to pay. Your gift would provide Film students with the opportunity to pursue their passions, and take their achievements out into the world.


Film Studies at UBC

News & Events

Submit to Cinephile!

event imageSubmissions for our upcoming issue of Cinephile MUSIC IN DOCUMENTARY (Issue 10.1) are due March 17.

Music acts as vital connective tissue between even the most disparate forms of documentary, a filmic mode that claims closer ties to our experience of reality than any other type of filmmaking can. Although there has been a wealth of scholarship devoted to documentary’s technical innovations/limitations, its historical or sociopolitical contexts, and the visual treatment of the subject matter in question, the use of music in documentary films has been granted relatively scant attention.

In the interest of fostering a celebration of the inherent differences between the many documentary subgenres and modes that exist, Issue 10.1 of Cinephile will explore how music can both cultivate these creative differences and open up categories to wider discursive scrutiny. We look forward to receiving submissions about documentary films from all historical periods and nations, in hopes of harbouring a site where a range of scholarly interests devoted to the underdeveloped study of music in documentary may converge. Cinephile is a peer-reviewed journal edited by graduate students in the Film Studies program at the University of British Columbia.

Find out more, explore our back issues and get a subscriptions at:


MA Film Alumnus Earns Recognition for Whispers of Life

event imageKudos to UBC Film alumnus Joshua M. Ferguson whose short film, which he produced Whispers of Life, has won the Best Short Film Audience Award at the 15th Annual Reelout Queer Film + Video Festival in Kingston, Ontario. Whispers of Life (2013), was written and directed by Florian Halbedl.

The film has been selected by 15 film festivals around the world so far including those in the US, Canada, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Spain and Australia. It also been awarded both the Audience Choice and Jury Choice Awards at the 26th Reel Pride Winnipeg Film Festival.

Whispers of Life tells the magical story about the interdependence of imagination and survival of Tom, a gay teenager, who is threatened by a bully’s homophobic words. As Tom sits on his park bench, ridden with angst, a stranger named Charles suddenly appears next to him and strikes up a conversation that forever alters the teenager’s future and life.

“The short film works as an artistic intervention to challenge the societal taboo of suicide, the pervasive and damaging effects of anti-gay bullying and the fact that these issues are not discussed openly. Whispers of Life brings communication to the forefront of the discussion of suicide and anti-gay bullying. We are excited that our film resonated with audiences at Reelout, especially considering that Joshua went to high-school and lived in the city.” - Florian Halbedl

Whispers of Life was shot and produced in Vancouver last year with the support of ninety-eight Vancouver industry professionals. Halbedl and Ferguson state that they used crowd-funding company IndieGoGo to raise the modest budget for the film; “138 funders from all over the world, including significant donations from the Philippines and France, supported the project.”

More at


FREE Lunchtime Films!          
Cinema Salon @ UBC Library

event imageJoin us for Cinema Salon at UBC Library, where we screen a movie from the Videomatica collection during lunch hour  and then share insights about the featured film with a faculty member from the Department of Theatre and Film. 

Admission is free but seating is limited. 

Thursday, Jan. 30 
Wings of Desire (1987)
Directed by Wim Wenders | Genre: Art Cinema | Run time: 128 minutes
An angel (Bruno Ganz) wishes to become human when he falls in love with a mortal. 
In German and English with English subtitles

Thursday, Feb. 27 
Videodrome (1983)
Directed by David Cronenberg | Genre: Horror/Sci Fi | Run time: 87 minutes
A sleazy cable-TV programmer (James Woods) begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control when he acquires a new kind of programming for his station.

Thursday, Mar. 27 
Madame Satã (2002)
Directed by Karim Ainouz | Genre: Political Cinema/Rare Film | Run time: 108 minutes
Loosely based on the life of one of the most famous drag queens of the 1930s. Born to slaves in Northern Brazil and sold at the age of 7 by his mother for the price of a mule, João Francisco dos Santos (Lázaro Ramos) battles stereotypes on the mean streets of Lapa, Rio de Janeíro. 
In Portuguese with English subtitles

The first 2 films will be introduced by UBC Cult Film professor Ernest Mathijs. Mathijs has written numerous books on cult films and teaches the world’s first university course on cult film at UBC.

The next one will be introduced by Alessandra Santos, Assistant  Professor of Ibero-American Literatures and Cultures at UBC. She is interested in dialogues between literature and the other arts, new media, global issues, utopias, social justice, indigeneity, gender, and the dichotomy of public and private spaces.

All Cinema Salon events take place at noon, in UBC’s Koerner Library, 1958 Main Mall, Room 216.

Watch videoIconic Videomatica film collection available at UBC and SFU 

Film fans mourning the closure of Vancouver’s Videomatica can now access the legendary rental store’s collection from the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University libraries.

Now catalogued and available for borrowing, the unparalleled collection spans more than 35,000 titles, including feature films from more than 75 countries, documentaries, cult and art films, Canadian works and selections from the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Videomatica was a long-loved video rental store that opened in 1983 and specialized in rare and esoteric titles. The store was co-founded by Graham Peat and Brian Bosworth, former UBC students (in creative writing, and history and film, respectively).

We want to appreciate our Department of Theatre and Film faculty and staff who worked behind the scenes on the initial securing of this sensational collection.

Thanks go out to Professors Ernest Mathijs, Stephen Heatley and Jerry Wasserman as well as staff members Richard Payment, Gerald Vanderwoude and Brian McIlroy.

Also, a big nod to Jo Anne Newyear Ramirez from the library who was our major partner in this - and of course to Dean of Arts, Gage Averill.

Website for the Videomatica Collection.

Watch a 2012 video about the Videomatica collection.

GINGER SNAPS at Vancity Theatre: Jan. 24, 10:30 pm 

event imageProfessor Ernest Mathijs will introduce this special screening of the Canadian horror film Ginger Snaps at Vancity Theatre. Mathijs is the author of the recently published book "John Fawcett’s Ginger Snaps". Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC.





See Professor Mathijs’ recent interview on The Rush here:

Alumni Take on New Roles at UBC 

event imageWelcome to Alumnus Cam Cronin – Our New Department Acting Administrator:

It is our great pleasure to announce that Mr. Cam Cronin has stepped into the position of Acting Administrator for the UBC Department of Theatre and Film. Cam is a graduate of the Department (B.A. Theatre) and comes with a strong background in both Theatre and Film. 

Most recently Cam worked at the HR MacMillan Space Centre as Manager, Public Programmer and Digital Media Specialist. He also has worked independently as a Technical Director and as an Actor in Theatre, Film and Television. Of his new appointment here Cam says “I look forward to helping launch a new generation of young artists from this fine Depatment.”

Cam takes over from our former Administrator Gerald Vanderwoude who has moved over to the Dean’s office to become Assistant Dean, Faculty of Arts.

event imageAlumnus Gerald Vanderwoude Takes a New Role as Assistant Dean of Arts:

Theatre at UBC MFA Directing alumnus Gerald Vanderwoude was one of UBC’s most unusual students. While studying for his Masters degree in directing in 1988, he actually lived under his desk in the Frederic Wood Theatre for the entire first year of his degree.  “It was such a long trip from Kootenay loop to UBC and if you missed the bus at 11:00pm in those days… well you were stuck on campus. One night I fell asleep on the theatre set I was building and I kind of just kept doing that.”

A specialist in the work of Samuel Beckett, Gerald has built 42 productions, directed 53, and designed lights and sound for 12. He started in the box office of Theatre at UBC and in 2005 became the Administrator and Business Manager for the Department of Theatre and Film. On December 6th he moved on to his new position at UBC in one of our largest faculties as Assistant Dean of Arts. Gerald is the 2010 recipient of the UBC President’s Service Award for Excellence. 

We will miss him greatly and wish him all the best in his new office. 

100 Cult Films? There's an app for that!

event imageUBC professor Ernest Mathijs' popular book 100 Cult Films is now available as an app for iPhone and iPad. The app which was launched by the publisher BFI gives users complete film credits, popular quotes and links to fan sites. Add films to your own top 10 list and share!

See the app in action on YouTube

The Ubyssey newspaper recently interviewed Professor Mathijs. They report that his Cult Film class here at UBC is the first of it's kind in the world.

Read in full here:


Ernest Mathijs “takes film buffs down the rabbit hole.”

event imageUBC’s student newspaper, The Ubyssey, profiles UBC Film Professor Ernest Mathijus in it’s Our Campus feature.

The article shines a light on his cult cinema class. For Mathijs started his course on cult cinema in 2008 — the first of its kind in the world — the rabbit hole is more than just figurative.

“In most cult films, there’s an appearance of a strange rabbit,” said Mathijs as he introduced the day’s screenings: Rabbit’s Moon and Donnie Darko.

As bizarre as it may seem to the uninitiated, it does provide insight into what exactly a cult film is.

“It’s there. It’s flagrant. It’s in everybody’s face … and it makes no sense. I think that, in a very brief nutshell, is the essence of cult cinema,” said Mathijs.

Read the article here:


September 3, 2013

event imageUBC Arts and Culture District present
Tuesday, September 3rd, 10am-1pm – FREE!                                  

Norman Mackenzie Fine Arts Plaza (beside Belkin Gallery, 1825 Main Mall) A free performing & visual arts event held as part of UBC’s campus-wide Imagine Day

Enjoy outdoor mini performances and get your hands dirty with interactive art installations. Visit advising tables to learn about UBC’s remarkable study options in the performing, creative and visual arts. Find out how to get low and no-cost student tickets to amazing cultural events on campus. Want to get in on the arts scene at UBC? Our student clubs are open to all, so come meet our cool club reps. Rub elbows with our returning students over free coffee, tea and snacks in our Artists Cafés. Don’t miss our Dean of Arts, Gage Averill, who performs at 11 am. 


  • 10:00 
    School of Music & Chan Centre: South Korean Traditional Percussion played by students, followed by a drumming procession. All led by Dr. Nathan Hesselink
  • 10:15 
    Theatre at UBC: Traditional Poi performed by BFA Acting alumna Barbara Kozicki 
  • 10:30 
    Theatre at UBC: BFA Acting students musical preview of season opener Bertolt Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle 
  • 10:45 
    School of Music: UBC Saxophonics led by Dr. Julia Nolan
  • 11:00 
    Faculty of Arts: Dean of Arts Gage Averill performs songs of social change on guitar
  • 11:15 
    Art History, Visual Art and Theory: Assistant Professor Dana Claxton raises awareness about the West Coast National Event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission with an original performance piece
  • 11:30 
    UBC Opera: Flash Mob performs Libiamo from La Traviata & Fugue from Falstaff directed by Vancouver Opera’s Leslie Dalia
  • 11:45 
    Theatre at UBC: UBC Improv Club
  • 12:00 UBC Player’s Club: An original stage adaptation of the cult classic videogame “The Legend of Zelda”
  • 12:15 
  • 12:30 
    School of Music: UBC Saxophonics led by Dr. Julia Nolan
  • 12:45 
    UBC Opera: Opera flash mob performs Libiamo from La Traviata & Fugue from Falstaff directed by Leslie Dalia 

OTHER ACTIVITIES INCLUDE: Interactive Painting Installation on Main Mall with the Visual Art Students’ Association | Advising: UBC Theatre & Film, School of Music, UBC Opera as well as Art History, Visual Art and Theory | More Student Clubs: CINEPHILE (Film Studies), Player’s Club (UBC’s Drama Club), UBC Theatre & Film Graduate Student Society | Info. Booth/Ticket contests: Museum of Anthropology, Belkin Gallery and Chan Centre 

THE SCENE: Join us outdoors in the Norman Mackenzie Fine Arts Plaza, beside the Belkin Gallery at 1825 Main Mall

Map: | WHEN: Tue. Sept. 3, 2013 10:00 am to 1:00 pm |More at

Media Contact: Deb Pickman | 604.319.7656


September 6, 2013

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(Photo from the UBC Archives: Official opening of new Frederic Wood Theatre, 19 Sept. 1963 -- L-R: Frederic Wood, UBC Chancellor Phyllis Ross, Dorothy Somerset, UBC President Norman Mackenzie)

UBC Theatre & Film Grad Student Meet & Greet
Friday, Sept. 6
3pm – 5pm
Onstage at the Frederic Wood Theatre

Grad students as well as faculty and staff of Theatre & Film at UBC are invited to a meet and greet on September 6th from 3-5pm on the stage of the Frederic Wood Theatre. The meeting will mark the official launch of the TFGSS (Theatre & Film Graduate Student Society) and will be a chance for grad students from the different programs in our department to get to know one another one another and mingle.

Location: Onstage stage at Frederic Wood Theatre, 6354 Crescent Rd. *Please enter through the lobby.


More info: Kelsey Blair


event imageCall for Papers: Cinephile 9.2 The Superhero Film

The comic book medium has evidenced a profound growth in legitimacy and cultural currency in the past twenty years. Such a shift has been echoed in filmic adaptations of comic books, particularly through the recent popularity of the superhero film in Hollywood. We welcome papers that explore themes such as the adaption of the comic book superhero to the cinematic form, the pivotal role the superhero film plays within Hollywood currently, and other prevalent ideologies and representations within the superhero narrative.

click here More details on the call at




event imageCinephile's latest issue 9.1 Reevaluating Television now available!

Cinephile, UBC's very own graduate-run film studies journal, has just published its latest issue! Reevaluating Television is the title and it features an articles by Assistant Professor Rachel Talalay and Jason Mittell. Grab one at the following fine Vancouver retailers: 

Zulu Records (1972 W 4th Ave), Tanglewood Books (2306 W. Broadway), Pulp Fiction Books (2422 Main St), UBC Bookstore (6200 University Blvd), and Mayfair News (1535 W. Broadway). 

If you prefer to have the issue delivered directly to your door, subscribe to the journal and receive the most recent issue and three forthcoming issues, plus a complimentary back issue of your choice, for $30 CDN.

click here For more information, please see


event imageUBC Department of Theatre & Film congratulates Ernest Mathijs on promotion to Full Professor

Professor Mathijs' research interests include the reception of alternative, cult and digital cinema, and of film and stage performance. He is the editor or co-editor of 10 books, author of a few dozen journal articles and book chapters, co-author of Cult Cinema and 100 Cult Films, and the author of The Cinema of David Cronenberg: from Baron of Blood to Cultural Hero

Mathijs heads the Department's Centre for Cinema Studies and is the series editor of "Contemporary Cinema" and "Cultographies." ( He is currently engaged in a large number of projects, including the reception of The Hobbit trilogy, a history of New Line Cinema, an analysis of actress Delphine Seyrig's films, and an Insight Development SSHRC grant entitled Digital Cinema in Transition ( 

His next book, on the Canadian horror gem Ginger Snaps will appear this coming September, from University of Toronto Press: 

Few studies of Canadian cinema to date have engaged deeply with genre cinema and its connection to Canadian culture. Ernest Mathijs does just that in this volume entitled John Fawcett’s Ginger Snaps, which traces the inception, production, and reception of Canada’s internationally renowned horror film,Ginger Snaps (2000). This tongue-in-cheek Gothic film, which centres on two death-obsessed teenage sisters, draws a provocative connection between werewolf monstrosity and female adolescence and boasts a dedicated world-wide fan base.

The first book-length study of this popular film, John Fawcett’s Ginger Snaps is based on the author’s privileged access to most of its cast and crew and to its enthusiasts around the world. Examining themes of genre, feminism, identity, and adolescent belonging, Mathijs concludes that Ginger Snapsdeserves to be recognized as part of the Canadian canon, and that it is a model example of the kind of crossover cult film that remains unjustly undervalued by film scholars.

click here Full bio for Ernest Mathijs at faculty_staff.shtml

Media Contact: Deb Pickman 604.319.7656 |


event imageMark Harris, dedicated UBC Theatre & Film faculty member, dies at 62.

The Department of Theatre and Film is deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Mark Harris, a UBC alumnus, long-time faculty member, and wonderful colleague.

click here View Memoriam details and eulogies


event imageAssociate Professor Ernest Mathijs Weighs in on Game of Thrones

ArtsWIRE spoke with UBC Film Studies' Associate Professor Ernest Mathijs about the reasons behind the popularity of the TV series Game of Thrones and whether it can continue its momentum. The show is the most expensive, most elaborate and most pirated TV show of all time, and it recently returned for a third season to HBO. Along with television's biggest cast, an assortment of dragons, dire wolves, shadowcats and krakens should make season three of Game of Thrones one of its most popular yet.

click here Read more at:


event imageStudents Published in SCOPE

UBC students Seth Soulstein, Theatre MA and Peter Lester, Film Studies postdoc are published in the new SCOPE issue. SCOPE is an online journal of film and television studies that is edited by staff and students in the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK.

It's Not the Size (of the Screen) that Matters: IMAX, LIEMAX and the "Meaning" of a Brand, by Peter Lester


Concrete Irrationality: Surrealist Spectators and the Cult of Harry Langdon, By Seth Soulstein

click here Both can be read online at


Cinephile's latest issue 8.2 Contemporary Extremism now available!

event imageCinephile, UBC's very own graduate-run film studies journal, has just published its latest issue, Vol. 8.2, on the topic of Contemporary Extremism. Featuring original articles by Tanya Horeck and Tina Kendall (The New Extremism in Cinema: From France to Europe), Tim Palmer (Brutal Intimacy: Analyzing Contemporary French Cinema), and Dave Alexander (Editor-in-Chief of Rue Morgue Magazine), the issue seeks to expand the discourse around extremist cinema beyond its traditionally European borders. You can pick it up in Vancouver at Brigid's BooksMayfair News, Pulp Fiction Books,Tanglewood BooksUBC Bookstore, and Zulu Records. If you prefer to have the issue delivered directly to your door, subscribe to the journal and receive the most recent issue and three forthcoming issues, plus a complimentary back issue of your choice, for $30 CDN. To subscribe please click here, or download the subscription form and send it in!

To view past issues, which cover a variety of topics, please visit

Any questions can be directed to Audience Study

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The Centre for Cinema Studies (CCS) at the University of British Columbia will launch an international audience survey on digital cinema in January 2013. The survey is addressed to audiences and interactive media users of digital films like Cosmopolis, The Hobbit, and American Mary.

The survey will allow the research team at CCS to evaluate the perceptions, engagement and interactions of audiences with regards to digital films, their formats, mobile content and accessibility. The information gathered will enable us to provide feedback to media scholars and professionals on the inherent opportunities and challenges of digital media and Canada’s film industry in transition.

Your participation in this anonymous survey is important to the Centre for Cinema Studies. You can access the surveys at It will take you about 10 minutes to complete one of the questionnaires.

We thank you in advance for taking the time to participate in this important audience study.


November 28, 2012

event imageLove or Desire in Shakespeare?

David Schalkwyk, English, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Director of Research, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington D.C.
Coach House, Green College, UBC
November 28 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

The title of this talk addresses the tendency from Plato onward to reduce love to the conceptual features of desire. Love conceived as necessarily of something that is lacked becomes a relationship without reciprocity. In Lacan's terms, it runs along an endless metonymic chain in which the fulfillment of its essential lack is impossible. Schalkwyk argues that while some of Shakespeare's work endorses this definition of love, Shakespeare also moves beyond the diabolical logic of love as desire. Using Stanley Cavell's notion of "passionate utterance", Schalkwyk demonstrates a Shakespearean concept of love that is both dialogical and inconceivable in purely emotional terms. In this view love is not an emotion but rather a set of dispositions and actions negotiated through performative speech acts.

David Schalkwyk is Director of Research at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC and editor of the Shakespeare Quarterly. He also holds a Professorship in English at the University of Cape Town. He is the author of Speech and Performance in Shakespeare's Sonnets and Plays (Cambridge, 2002), Literature and the Touch of the Real (Delaware, 2004), andShakespeare, Love and Service (Cambridge, 2008). His latest book, Hamlet's Dreams: The Robben Island Shakespeare is in press with Arden as part of the Shakespeare Now! series.  He is currently working on a monograph on love in Shakespeare.

Also scheduled to speak at this talk is Film Studies Sessional Instructor Christine Evans.


November 2-4, 2012

event imageTime to get your GRIND on, Vancouver!

Vancouver’s Rio Theatre is thrilled to announce the first installment of their new genre film festival, The Rio Grind, taking place November 2-4, 2012. 

The Rio Grind Film Festival is currently accepting for submissions of independent horror, action, grindhouse, erotica, fantasy, documentary, animation as well as science fiction shorts and features from both Canada and around the world.

Theatre owner and operator Corinne Lea, herself a “huge fan” of genre films, has made a point of regularly programming obscure and cult features into the theatre’s schedule for years (Friday’s late-night movies are one of the city’s most popular regular events), in addition to hosting local competitive film festivals like the Dead On Film Zombie Short Film Competition.

Following the ongoing success of the Rio’s Horror Nights film series, hosted monthly by identical twin directors Jen and Sylvia Soska of Dead Hooker in a Trunk and the upcoming American Mary fame, a festival celebrating the best of genre seemed like a no-brainer.

“We always have such amazing, enthusiastic response from our audiences with everything from Dead on Film and Horror Nights that we knew it was time to bring them something bigger. This festival is going to be all about the fans. This is our chance for us to bring them the best of the best from around the world,” says Lea.

Vancouver’s own Soska sisters will be on hand as consultants and judges for The Rio Grind. “Vancouver has long been a town that focused on the different, from acclaimed television series like The X-Files to our diverse multicultural and multi-subculture mix of population, we have an identity that suits and thrives in our often grey and rainy city scape,” explains Sylvia.

“A town that lives and breathes genre so wholly has been only missing one thing - a film festival that celebrates this romance with the unusual and unique. I am thrilled that a theatre that so embraces the soul of the community, the Rio Theatre, will be the ones ushering in this new and needed festival that counter balances the mainstream and puts the focus on the independent artists.”

Lea agrees. “Dark, edgy films are often excluded from mainstream film festivals and genre filmmakers need an outlet to get their films out to fans like ours, who are hungry for it. The Rio Theatre wants to bring these fans and film makers together. We want to give them the best of the best indie films we can find, and we’re going to do that with The Rio Grind Film Festival.”

Prizes (TBD) will be awarded by both a judging panel and the festival’s audience in several categories. In addition to current and emerging talent, there are plans to screen classic retrospective titles rarely seen in the big screen, opportunities for director and talent appearances as well as Q&A sessions.

For additional information on how to submit your production for consideration into The Rio Grind Film Festival, stay up to date by visiting our Facebook Page and

Important Dates: Submission Cut-off Date: October 15 (12:00 am PST) Festival Date: November 2-4


September 24, October 24, November 28, January 28, February 27, and March 27

CinephileLove: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Ethics and Emotion of Love, hosted by Green College at UBC Vancouver.

This lecture series will interrogate the discourses, emotions and ethics of love. Embracing the ambiguity of love as a conceptual springboard for discussion and debate, this series addresses a topic that is ever-present in the public consciousness. In order to facilitate this dynamic understanding of love and its vicissitudes, an interdisciplinary array of speakers who have all written extensively on love in various scholarly and popular contexts have been brought together.

Talks will take place on September 24, October 24, November 28, January 28, February 27, and March 27.

The second scheduled speaker is Christine Evans, who will be speaking on Wednesday October 24 at 5:00 PM in the Green College Coach House. Her paper is entitled, "Love is Colder Than Death: The Work of Love & Meaning."

Participants are invited to a complimentary coffee and tea service in the Green College piano lounge before the talk begins at 5:00 PM in the Green College Coach House.

The talk is free and no registration is required, and everyone is welcome to attend. A map showing the location of Green College is here:

Our November 28 speaker will be Prof. David Schalkwyk, author of Shakespeare, Love and Service (Cambridge UP, 2008). More information on past, present, and future talks will be made available on our Tumblr,


CinephileCongratulations to Jessica Hughes, who has been accepted to the PhD program at the University of Queensland in Australia.

Jessica is a graduate of the MA in Film Studies program at UBC. Her master's thesis was entitled, "The Good, the Bad, the Thirsty: De-Mystification in the Postmodern Vampire Film." Congrats Jessica!


CinephileUBC Film Studies Professor Ernest Mathijs Awarded 63K SSHRC Insight Development Grant for "Digital Cinema in Transition." 

Vancouver B.C., Canada/July 10, 2012: Digital Cinema in Transition is the latest project undertaken by UBC Film Studies Professor Ernest Mathijs, through which he aims to map the value chain of film production and reception in Canada's digital economy. The project will identify how Canadian film producers apply digital media in their creation of cultural works for theatrical and on-line distribution. It will seek to define how Canadian audiences engage with digital media texts, especially through interacting with other viewers in on-line environments. 

Digital Cinema in Transition will also assess audience responses to cultural works in digital domains, from on-line and mobile communication forums to amateur production, in order to ascertain how current policies impact on popular engagement with digital content. One of the desired outcomes of this work, is to provide the basis for a larger, multi-year research project that includes a comprehensive study of emerging media ecologies and collaborations across industries between Canada and the rest of the world. 

Canada's film and multimedia are facing change across the entire entertainment value chain. Under pressure of digital technologies that transform conditions of production and reception alike, Canadian producers increasingly create cultural works that transcend traditional forms of artistic expression. 

They make feature films under difficult environmental conditions (e.g. the High Arctic) and circumvent traditional distribution channels by using the Internet as a platform. At the same time, Canadian audiences today engage actively with media through affiliations to cultural works via social media, or through productions of their own (e.g. fan fiction). 

This rapid adoption of digital production tools and on-line communication begs for insight into how Canadian film producers can best take advantage of the opportunities digital media represent for creating cultural works. What is their relationship with audiences' interactions with media, and where do producers and consumers alike face their greatest challenges? 

The case studies which Digital Cinema in Transition will assess include:

1) Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg 2012) - Cronenberg's newest, currently in theatres, with Robert Pattinson. This film is an example of contemporary art cinema in the digital era.

2) Riese (Kaleena Kiff, Ryan Copple, 2009) - A series, created by students and alumni of the UBC Film Production program, and shot in Vancouver. Riese is a web series, shot digitally and watched exclusively on the web.

3) The Journals of Knud Rasmussen (Zacharias Kunuk, 2006) - An indigenous film in which traditional storytelling was combined with digital production technology. 

4) Ginger Snaps: Unleashed (Brett Sullivan 2004) and Ginger Snaps Back (Grant Harvey 2004): a sequel and a prequel to the cult hit Ginger Snaps. Both films never really made it into theatres but were hits on the digital circuit (DVD, internet, fan sites).

All these case studies are Canadian productions (or co-productions), which will provide a wealth of information on how Canadian filmmakers are seizing opportunities through the logistics, aesthetics, distribution, marketing, and viewership that the digital era offers. 

The goal of Digital Cinema in Transition is to build a valuable knowledge base for future filmmakers, and viewers. The project has recently received the support of a 63K “Insight Development Grant” from Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.


CinephileCollection Represents a Lifetime of Film Study:

The family of retired UBC professor Aristides Gazetas has kindly donated a collection of 56 film books to the UBC Department of Theatre and Film's film library in the Visual Resources Centre.

The books, both academic and general interest, embrace a wide range of film interests. From Hollywood history to the cubist avant-garde, from Andre Bazin to Cecille B. DeMille, the donation brings a lifetime of film study to our shelves.

In addition to the books, the Gazetas family has also given us 22 rare and valuable programs from the Vancouver Film Festival, ranging from 1988 to 2006 and representing years of film-going and appreciation ­ with pages and films flagged and noted for attention.

Aristides taught both film studies and theatre design courses at UBC in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as creating and teaching a distance education course in film history in partnership with the Knowledge Network. He authored several books including "An Introduction to World Cinema" and "Imagining Selves."


CinephileCongratulations to Associate Professor Lisa Coulthard, who has been elected Chair of the Editorial Board and Managing Editor of the Canadian Journal of Film Studies.

The Canadian Journal of Film Studies/Revue Canadienne d'etudes cinematographiques is Canada's leading academic peer-reviewed film journal and it has been published in both English and French bi-annually since launching in 1990. The CJFS/RCEC covers innovated research on film, television, and other moving image media studies as well as book reviews and review-essays. 

In 2011 the journal celebrated 20 years of publishing with the release of its complete archive online. The Canadian Journal of Film Studies archive includes work by over 250 authors, 200 academic peer-reviewed articles on film and media studies, 130 scholarly book reviews, and almost two dozen rare and previously unpublished historical documents, including writings by Roland Barthes, John Grierson, André Bazin, and Arthur Lipsett. 

All of these documents are available for download and accessible to full-text search. Despite the move online, the journal is not abandoning traditional printed publication. It has instituted a two-year lag between paper publication and online publication. 

CJFS/RCEC is funded by the Film Studies Association of Canada/Association canadienne des études cinématographiques, SSHRC/CRSH, and Concordia University. Complete guidelines for contributors can be found in each issue of the journal, as well as on their website at


CinephileCinephile Vol. 8 No. 1, “The Voice Over” hits the stands!

CINEPHILE Vol. 8 No. 1, 
Editor: Babak Tabarraee, Artwork: Soroosh Roohbakhsh

Cinephile Vol. 8 No. 1, "The Voice Over" studies the various potentials of the voice-over in global cinema and features original articles by Sarah KozloffStephen TeoLaura BeadlingAlexander Fisher, and Carl Laamanen.

During the past three decades, studying the voice has intrigued many film theorists and thinkers. Arguing that the cinematic image is an audiovisual space largely structured according to human body and voice, some scholars (Mary Ann Doane, Sarah Kozloff, and Michel Chion, among others) have been drawn to the various manifestations and mysterious connotations of the non-visualized voice.

If off-screen voices foster a need to categorize and perhaps control their elusive nature, then the voice-over raises some challenging questions about its uncanny attributes and powers. Defined by a paradoxical present-absence, the voice-over adds layers to the narrative discourse of film that require further and closer analyses.

Cinephile is a peer-reviewed journal edited by graduate students in the Film Studies program at the University of British Columbia, Canada and is supported by the Centre for Cinema Studies. The journal aims to provide a forum to discuss aspects of film theory, history, and criticism, and is intended to provide a platform to share research papers, book reviews, and reports that engage with debates appropriate to film, media, and cultural studies. 

The UBC Film Studies program is committed to the academic investigation of critical theory in visual culture, and aims to place its student body and faculty at the forefront of advancing cinema and visual studies as a rigorous academic discipline — particularly as an interdisciplinary phenomenon, which explores cinema from varied perspectives. 

What's Next? We’ve posted a call for papers to be considered for inclusion in Cinephile 8.2, which focuses on " Contemporary Extremism."

Cinephile is published biannually and is available in Vancouver at Pulp Fiction Books, Zulu Records, Mayfair News, and the UBC Bookstore at a cost of $10 per issue. Subscribe to the journal and receive the most recent issue and three forthcoming issues, plus a complimentary back issue of your choice, for $30 CDN. For more information, and all the latest updates, please visit our website at



Students only $9! Regular admission $11

Kurosawa's transposition of Shakespeare's Macbeth is set in the Edo era, with Toshiro Mifune as a samurai usurper coming to a grisly fate in Cobweb Castle. Freed from the constraints of verse, Kurosawa makes the play his own, creating a rich, dense and compelling work that is at once familiar and strange. The stylized, expressionist mise-en-scene is influenced by Noh theatre, though the film also makes brilliant use of the natural world: the rain and perpetual mist that fogs the slopes of Mount Fuji. Or course the poetry is all in the picture-making ­ but that didn't stop TS Eliot from proclaiming this is favourite film.

Event Details:


event imageTHE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REALITY AND REELITY? (or, the Different Systems that Apply to the World Outside the Cinema and the World Inside.)
A talk with Dr. Mark Harris.

Thursday, May 10 2012
Royal Bank Room
733 Beatty Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 2M4
Tix: $5 at






event imageThe UBC Film Studies program is proud to announce the release of Cinephile 7.2, "Contemporary Realism." 

Launched in conjunction with the Film Studies Association of Canada's 2012 Graduate Colloquium, this issue resituates the notion of filmic realism for a post-film era, and was helmed by M.A. candidate Shaun Inouye and an editorial team comprised of graduate students, post doctorates, and faculty 
from the Film Studies department. 

Cinephile continues its pursuit toward fresh perspectives and “cutting edge” innovations in film studies research  and scholarship. By devoting this entire issue to Contemporary Realism, Cinephile once again hopes to present new debates,  developments, and interpretations regarding contemporary visual culture.

What's Next? We’ve posted a call for papers to be considered for inclusion in Cinephile 8.1 which focuses on “The Voice-Over”, Editor Babak Tabarraee. 

For more information and all the latest updates, please visit our website at


March 5, 6, 7, & 8, 2012

MARCH 5-9.

Alanis Obomsawin is a member of the Abenaki Nation, She began her career as a singer, writer and storyteller, but dove into filmmaking in 1967 with Christmas at Moose Factory.  Her early films include Incident at Restigouche (1984), a powerful depiction of the Quebec police raid of a Micmac reserve; Richard Cardinal: Cry from a Diary of a Métis Child (1986), the disturbing examination of an adolescent suicide; and No Address (1988), a look at Montreal’s homeless.  

Ms. Obomsawin is best known for her feature-length film on the 1990 Mohawk uprising in Kanehsatake and Oka: Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (1993), which won 18 international awards.

Most recently, Ms. Obomsawin directed the 2007 National Film Board of Canada documentary Gene Boy Came Home, about Vietnam War veteran Eugene "Gene Boy" Benedict, from her home community of Odanak.

“Alanis Obomsawin is the first lady of First Nations film,” - The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

We hope you will be able to join us on MONDAY, MARCH 5, from 5-7 pm
First Nations House of Learning, UBC.

TUESDAY MARCH 6, 2012 / 7 - 9pm 
Emily Carr University, Aboriginal Gathering Place, 1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island
This master class led by Alanis Obomsawin is open to the public. 
Hosted by Emily Carr University and the Department of Theatre and Film at UBC. Admission FREE!

WEDNESDAY MARCH 7, 2012 / 7:30 - 9pm
St. John’s College, UBC, 2111 Lower Mall Map:  
Engage in a casual conversation with award winning filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin. 
Hosted by St. John’s College and the Department of Theatre and Film at UBC. Admission FREE!

IN CONVERSATION: International Women’s Day 
THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 2012 / 12 noon - 1pm
Dorothy Somerset Studio Theatre, UBC, 6361 University Boulevard Map:

Celebrate International Women’s Day with Alanis Obomsawin as she discusses her life-long career as a filmmaker, artist and activist. Hosted by UBC Department of Theatre and Film Admission. FREE! 
~ Bring your lunch!

DISCUSSION & FILM: Educational Possibilities of Film
FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2012 / 2 pm – 3 pm
Neville Scarfe Building Room 310, UBC Map:

Discuss the educational possibilities of film with one of our country’s foremost filmmakers Alanis Obomsawin and see her short documentary When All the Leaves Are Gone (2010). This film is a deeply moving story about the power of dreams for the only First Nations student in an all-white 1940s school, as she deals with Canadian history education,  bullies, and the contrast between her school and the loving reserve environment. With Dr. Jo-ann Archibald, and Elder Mary Charles. Light snack & refreshments provided. Event is free of charge, but please RSVP:  CCFI Graduate Program Assistant
Hosted by UBC Centre for Cross Faculty Inquiry in Education

Ms. Obomsawin is engaging in these lectures and appearances in her role as the UBC Film Production Program’s Phil Lind Multicultural Artist in Residence, part of the UBC Rogers Multicultural Film Production Project. For more information see

Media Contact: Deb Pickman 604.319.7656


February 8, 2012

UBC FILM STUDIES presents a talk 
by Dr Jenna Ng, University of Cambridge, UK

event imageMachinima and the Transcending of Mortality, or, Machinima and the
Cinema-World of Latent Realities

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 | 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Frederic Wood Theatre, Room 112
6354 Crescent Rd., UBC – Free Admission

Abstract for the talk: It is common to find fantasy worlds shown in films - Pandora, Narnia, the wizarding world, Middle-earth, and Toontown are a few of the more prominent examples. It is perhaps less common to find films shown in fantasy worlds, yet, as I will argue, machinima achieves precisely that. 

Using the rendering game engines in video games or social virtual worlds, machinima presents recorded images of objects made within the 3D graphical environments of those media, effectively creating machinima as what I will call a cinema of latent realities -- media in a world generated in the physics, ontology and existence of virtual game world realities, not quite taking place in either the physical world (as in live action) or computer-generated imagery (as in animation), not quite in presence or absence, but, instead, suspended in not-quite-formed realities between game, image, avatar and our selves. 

In this latency, how then may we locate machinima between animation, digital imagery and film cinema, and how does that challenge our definitions of cinema and object? What are the implications for our understanding of media and representation as machinima elides between different realities and ontological hybridities? Does this create new ways of seeing (images) and being (in our physical and virtual realities)? 

As I consider these questions in the talk, I also want to think about this: what happens if we can cut through the binaries - here/there; actual/speculative; dying/being; is/is not? What if this - *wave hands* - is neither (and yet both) is nor (and) isn't?

Biography: Jenna Ng holds a PhD in Film Studies from University College London (UCL) and is currently a Newton Trust/Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) at the University of Cambridge, where she is writing up a book project on presence and embodiment in digital media. She is currently editing a collection of essays on machinima, titled Understanding Machinima: essays on filmmaking in virtual worlds (Continuum Press, 2012).

Media Contact: Deb Pickman 604.319.7656


January, 2012

event imageProfessor Ernest Mathijs publishes 100 CULT FILMS

Congratulations to UBC Theatre and Film Prof. Ernest Mathijs on the launch of his controversial new book "100 Cult Films".

Some films should never have been made. They are too unsettling, too dangerous, too challenging, too outrageous and even too badly made to be let loose on unsuspecting audiences.

Yet these films, from the shocking Cannibal Holocaust to the apocalyptic Donnie Darko, from the destructive Tetsuo to the awfully bad The Room, from the hilarious This Is Spinal Tap to the campy Showgirls, from the asylum of Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari to The Circus of Freaks, from the gangs of The Warriors to the gangsters of In Bruges and from the flamboyant Rocky Horror Picture Show to the ultimate cool of The Big Lebowski, have all garnered passionate fan followings.

Cult cinema has made tragic misfits, monsters and cyborgs, such as Edward Scissorhands or Blade Runner's replicants, heroes of our times. 100 Cult Films explains why these figures continue to inspire fans around the globe. Cult film experts Ernest Mathijs and Xavier Mendik round up the most cultish of giallo, blaxploitation, anime, sexploitation, zombie, vampire and werewolf films, exploring both the cults that live hidden inside the underground (Nekromantik, Café Flesh) and the cult side of the mainstream (Dirty Dancing, The Lord of the Rings, and even The Sound of Music).

100 Cult Films is a true trip around the world, providing a lively and illuminating guide to films from more than a dozen countries, across nine decades, representing a wide range of genres and key cult directors such as David Cronenberg, Terry Gilliam and David Lynch. 

Drawing on exclusive interviews with some of the world's most iconic cult creators and performers, including Dario Argento, Pupi Avati, Alex Cox, Ruggero Deodato, Jesús Franco, Lloyd Kaufman, Harry Kümel, H. G. Lewis, Christina Lindberg, Takashi Miike, Franco Nero, George A. Romero and Brian Yuzna, and featuring a foreword by cult director Joe Dante, 100 Cult Films is your ultimate ticket to the midnight movie show. 100 Cult Films is published by the British Film Institute in their ‘Screen Guides series’ and distributed in North America by Palgrave Macmillan. Palgrave Macmillan is a global cross market publisher of trade non-fiction and scholarly titles. 

Mathijs, who is our professor of Theatre & Film Studies here in UBC's Department of Theater and Film, is the principal investigator in the SSHRC funded survey project “Cult Movie Research”. It proposes to find out how films get to be called ‘cult’. This project is part of a series of efforts to chart cult film, fandom, and their impacts on and importance for the outlook and status of popular culture today. Find out more about Mathijs’ research and participate in the surveys at the links below and hear him interviewed with co-authorXavier Mendik on National Public Radio here:


November, 2011


During the November graduation ceremonies Dr. Adlai Fisher, Sauder School of Business, will receive the 2011 mid-career award while the 2011 senior award is given jointly to Dr. Michael Fryzuk, Department of Chemistry and Dr. Brian McIlroy of the Department of Film and Theatre. These three outstanding graduate student mentors receive their awards along with the reading of a citation regarding their many contributions to the university and the lives of graduate students.

View Press Release


October 24-27, 2011

event poster imageINVITATION TO OPEN UBC EVENTS - October 24 - 27, 2011. The full program is listed at:

UBC is once again participating in the International Open Access Week event, where the research and academic community worldwide come together to share and learn about open access and other connected global open scholarship initiatives locally and worldwide. UBC’s own event – Open UBC – showcases four days of topical forums, lectures and workshops about open scholarship by invited Guest Lecturers and UBC’s own community of faculty, students & staff.

Highlights include:

  • Opening Up Education – Creative Alternatives to Access Copyright – keynote - Paul Stacey, Director, Communications, Stakeholder & Academic Relations at BCcampus
  • A Course on Reproducible Research in Computational and Data Science: What should it be? Dr. Ian Mitchell & Dr. Dhavide Arulia
  • Transitioning a journal to an open access business model: a Canadian perspective - Lesley Andres, Professor, Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia and Editor of Canadian Journal of Higher Education
  • Open Access – What problems are we trying to fix? – keynote from - Dr. David Rosenthal, Chief Scientist, LOCKSS
  • OpenMedia and its Push for Internet Openness – What Canadian Citizens Should Know. – keynote Reilly Yeo, Managing Director,
  • Publishers from Public Library of Science & Springer Publishing will talk about their Open Access Business models –
  • Opening Up Worldwide Access to key BC Historical Documents: Chinese Canadian Stories, BC Historical Newspapers and more
  • UBC Faculty will share and exchange their innovative approaches to the dissemination of their research in a showcase and exchange of ideas event. – Dr. Anne-Marie Nicols,  Dr. Paul Evans, Dr. Rosie Redfield, Dr. Erin Michalak, Dr. Harry Brumer Dr. Wyeth W. Wasserman and  Dimas Yusuf

All of these events are FREE and open to the public, students, faculty, staff and schools. No registration necessary.

Location:  All events in Lillooet (301) Room in the Chapman Learning Commons, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall, UBC Vancouver Campus unless indicated otherwise.

All of these events are FREE and open to the public, students, faculty, staff and schools. For more information about the event contact:


Film Studies prof Ernest Mathijs interviewed on Zombie love!

event imageZombie love a no-brainer
Move over, vampires  Zombies are everywhere and rising in popularity  Soon to be king of the undead

Sparkly vampires are all the rage right now, but zombies are stumbling their way toward knocking their fellow legions of the undead from their pedestal.

From the zombie walks being held in cities across the world to the television shows, video games and numerous books hitting the stores, people’s fascination with zombies is spreading like a plague.

“Zombies have the upper hand,” says University of B.C. film studies professor Ernest Mathijs, whose specialities include horror and fantasy film.

“Zombies are a kind of ingredient you can add to any cultural product and make it look slightly different,” he said. “It will turn it into a funny parody of contemporary cultures, and somehow that appeals to cultures across the globe.” More:


event imageFilm Studies Professor Brian McIlroy has recently received one of the new SSHRC Insight Development Grants for a project entitled “Screens in Vancouver: Cinemagoing and the City in 1914.”

“The research, “says McIlroy, “is an intense follow-up to modest endeavours supported by a 2009 Faculty of Arts AURA Grant and a 2010 Hampton Grant. The discipline of film studies has many strands, and one of these is the effort to understand the social and economic reality of film viewing practices. I’ve chosen 1914 as a case study as it is a moment of plenitude (some forty venues in the city exhibited films at this time) before a recession took hold and the huge demographic and economic impact of the First World War. I hope this microhistory will add to our knowledge about the social and cultural development of Vancouver.  In 1914, the city had a population of around 120,000 people, with a large seasonal influx from the logging, fishing and mining industries. Issues of race, class, gender and social status are reflected and mediated by cinemagoing practices. To some extent, to understand the way cinema was experienced is to understand the social life of the city.”

“Film viewing is too often assumed to be a universal, passive activity, but this is not borne out by similar microhistories of other cities in the world. It will be interesting to see, as the research unfolds, how unique the Vancouver experience actually was compared to Eastern Canada and the United States.”

The research grant will allow a number of film studies graduate and postdoctoral students to be hired, providing training and experience as they further their careers.


event imageProfessor Ernest Mathijs publishes new Cult Cinema primer

Congratulations to UBC Theatre and Film Prof. Ernest Mathijs on the launch of his new book "Cult Cinema"

"Cult Cinema: an Introduction" presents the first in-depth academic examination of all aspects of the field of cult cinema, including audiences, genres, and theoretical perspectives.It represents the first exhaustive introduction to cult cinema and a scholarly treatment of a hotly contested topic at the center of current academic debate. This important new work covers audience reactions, aesthetics, genres, theories of cult cinema, as well as historical insights into the topic

From the back cover: “At once subversive, strange, and wondrous, the world of cult cinema is a wildly popular culture that blurs genres, crosses boundaries, and defies easy categorization. So what exactly do we mean, then, by the term "cult cinema"? Cult Cinema presents the first in-depth academic examination of all aspects of the field of cult cinema, including its primary audiences, myriad genres, and the theoretical perspectives that inform a film's "cult" status. Cult Cinema addresses the well-known aspects of cult cinema -- midnight movies, exploitation films, fans of various cult sub-genres, issues of censorship, cult-film festivals, and fanzines – but it also unravels many of cult cinema's deeper mysteries, tackling such issues as representations of gender, transgression, subcultures, religious cultism, music, and meta-cults (cult movies about cult movies). 

Topics are presented in sections that are organized thematically around issues relating to reception, aesthetics, and theories. Among the films discussed are such cult classics as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Donnie Darko, Blade Runner, Plan 9 From Outer Space, El Topo, Eraserhead, Freaks, Casablanca, Suspiria, The Room, and many others. For cinephiles and scholars alike, Cult Cinema is the ticket to the most complete source of information about a fascinating phenomenon in the history of film.”

About the Authors

Ernest Mathijs is Associate Professor in Film Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada. His books include The Cult Film Reader (co-editor), three books on the reception of The Lord of the Rings, and The Cinema of David Cronenberg: From Baron of Blood to Cultural Hero.

Jamie Sexton is Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies, Northumbria University, UK. He is the author of Alternative Film Culture in Inter-War Britain (2008), editor of Music, Sound and Multimedia: From the Live to the Virtual (2007), and co-editor (with Laura Mulvey) of Experimental British Television (2007).



event imageDr. Mark Harris
“Maciste vs.
Alexandre Dumas Grand-père”

Thursday, February 3, 2011
Dorothy Somerset Studios,
6361 University Boulevard

Join Dr. Mark Harris as he shares insights from a book that he is currently co-writing with Guy Buchholzer on the under-appreciated modernism buried in the words of the man who created The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

Mark Harris has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and an M.A. in Film Studies from UBC, where he currently teaches. He is co-author of Wild at Heart: The Films of Nettie Wild and sole author of the prize-winning one-act play Endserious.

Although he has published approximately 4,000 articles, essays and reviews in more than 50 periodicals (including Wired, Film Comment and Canadian Literature), he is probably best known locally as a long-time film critic for The Georgia Straight.

>>Download Event Flyer


At Vancouver’s film fest, everyone can get tickets

event imageMarsha Lederman
Vancouver— From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Sep. 24, 2010 2:08PM EDT

Exerpts from the Globe and Mail article:

“Vancouver has a film festival?”

This question in the run-up to film festival season came from a worldly recent transplant from Toronto.

Yes, Vancouver has a film festival. But despite its highly regarded programming and huge slate of films (about 375 this year), on the national scene it resides quietly in the shadows of the Toronto International Film Festival.

“It’s a big, buzzing marketplace,” says Ernest Mathijs, an associate professor of film studies at UBC. “It’s all about the circus of cinema… and the fact that it appears to be unmanageable I would say appears to be part of the excitement.”


“Toronto very early on embraced an identity as a public festival, but has increasingly gone behind a bit of a velvet rope,” says Diane Burgess, who teaches film studies at the University of British Columbia and wrote her dissertation in 2008 comparing the two festivals.

“TIFF is, like, fanatical. There are people who line up overnight for tickets,” adds Leah Mallen, an independent producer who has shown films at both TIFF and VIFF. “I was just there this past year and had a couple of friends with films and I couldn’t even go because they were sold out already. In Vancouver, there’s easier access.”

>>Read complete article


October 6, 2010

event imageFilm Symposium on Migration, Multiculturalism and Misunderstandings

>>Click here to view Symposium flyer (coming soon)

Join us for a screening and discussion of two controversial European films about the chances and challenges of demographic changes in society.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

2.00 till 5.30 pm in the Royal Bank Cinema at the Chan Centre, 6265 Crescent Road, UBC, Room 290.

FREE, but due to limited seating, please reserve a seat by calling 604.822.2697

More details:


Time Wasted
Ernest Mathijs

event image"If film cultism today is only what William Bainbridge and Rodney Stark would call an ‘audience cult’ or ‘client cult’, and what Janet Staiger calls ‘visible fandom’ , if cult cinema’s current impulse is disconnected from the history of cultism, why do cult receptions of television and cinema not lose all of their appeal as a factor of resistance against the mainstreaming of culture?"

>>Continue reading Professor Ernest Mathijs' newest essay on FlowTV





April 1, 2010

event imageDr. Mark Harris: “The Dragon is the Blog”. A talk about the infamous ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ sequence from Apocalypse Now, cinematic ‘scene studies’, and the importance of print publication. Thursday, April 1 - 12:00-1:00pm, Dorothy Somerset Studios, 6361 University Boulevard.