Higher Learning Digital Resources

The Higher Learning Digital Resource Hub complements our live events by providing satellite educational programming to academic communities and to the public at large, extending the Higher Learning experience beyond the walls of TIFF Bell Lightbox. Explore our archive via the links below.



2167: Indigenous Storytelling in VR

Three artists who were commissioned to make VR projects as part of 2167 discussed the inspiration behind their work and how they utilized the evolving technology. Watch

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4th and 5th Generations of Chinese Filmmaking

In this roundtable discussion, filmmakers, film scholars and programmers explored both the connections and divergences between the 4th and 5th Generations of Chinese filmmakers. Watch

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Aboubakar Sanogo on The Lumière Brothers and Africa

Film scholar and curator Aboubakar Sanogo presented a lecture for students and faculty on the work of the Lumière brothers in and on Africa and the resulting films they produced between 1896 and 1903. Watch

Adieu Godard?

Adieu Godard?

The second half of a retrospective dedicated to the French New Wave master’s films and criticism. Watch

Annie Atkins on The Grand Budapest Hotel

Annie Atkins on The Grand Budapest Hotel

Following a screening of The Grand Budapest Hotel, Annie Atkins offered an in-depth look at her graphic design contributions to director Wes Anderson’s artistic vision. Listen


Arc Productions on Animation and Visual Effects

Arc Productions (formerly Starz Animation) is a Toronto-based CG animation and visual effects facility with a well-earned global reputation for quality, efficiency and reliability. See Resources


The Art of Foley Sound

Foley sound professionals discuss and demonstrate the process for re-creating sounds for film, television, and games. Watch

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Bart Testa on Boat People

Bart Testa examined Ann Hui's politically-engaged Boat People, and its key contribution to the emergence of the Hong Kong New Wave. Watch

Black Women in Film and Television

Black Women in Film and Television

This panel discussion highlighted some of the triumphs by black women in the film and television industry, and the challenges they face. Watch

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Breaking Free: Stories of Isolation and Struggle

Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival guests discussed the making of their films, each with strong character journeys and themes of isolation and struggle. Watch

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Buried Treasures of Chinese Silent Cinema

Screenings of three exceptionally rare Chinese silent films were accompanied by a discussion centred on the challenges of preserving China’s largely vanished silent-cinema heritage. Watch

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Canada on Screen Installations: Artists Talk

Three leading artists featured in the Canada on Screen Installations exhibition examined the physical relation of their seminal moving-image artworks to the viewer. Watch


Cannes Critics Week Panel

In celebration of Cannes' Critics Week's 50th anniversary, four film critics participated in a panel discussion focusing on the shifting definition of film criticism. Watch

Cuban Women Filmmakers in the Diaspora

Cuban Women Filmmakers in the Diaspora

This panel discussion brought together three Cuban women filmmakers to address issues of belonging and citizenship in diasporic cinema. Watch

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The C Word - What Makes A Film Canadian?

This panel discussion featured different perspectives from Canada's Top Ten Film Festival guests on what makes a film Canadian. Watch

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D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus on Kings of Pastry

Collaborative documentary duo D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus screened their latest documentary Kings of Pastry(2009) and discuss the challenges in documentary filmmaking with students and faculty. Watch

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David Bordwell on Motion Emotion: The Art of the Martial Arts Film

David Bordwell delivered a lecture on the dynamic cinematic language of the martial-arts film and its evolution throughout the genre's history. Watch

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David Cronenberg and Collaborators

Director David Cronenberg was joined in a panel discussion by his two frequent collaborators, producer Jeremy Thomas and makeup and special effects designer Stephan Dupuis. Watch

David Cronenberg and Ron Sanders on Videodrome

David Cronenberg and Ron Sanders on Videodrome

In the Higher Learning programme's inaugural event, legendary Canadian director David Cronenberg and his longtime editor Ron Sanders joined post-secondary students and faculty for a screening of the 1983 classic Videodrome. See Resources

David Cronenberg. Courtesy TIFF Film Reference Library

David Cronenberg: Virtual Exhibition

Explore the films of Canada’s pre-eminent filmmaker through behind-the-scenes images, artifacts, interviews, and academic investigations of David Cronenberg and his work. Watch


DJ Spooky on Rebirth of a Nation

Multimedia artist DJ Spooky examined his 2008 film Rebirth of a Nation, a retelling and rescoring of D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915), to emphasize the importance of sampling and remix in contemporary popular culture. Watch

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Master Class with Douglas Trumbull

Douglas Trumbull, the industry pioneer behind the special effects of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Blade Runner discusses his remarkable career in visual effects and his own directorial projects. Watch

Douglas Wilson on Us and the Game Industry

Douglas Wilson on Us and the Game Industry

Following a screening of Stephanie Beth's documentary Us and the Game Industry, game developer Douglas Wilson discussed the design principles in contemporary computer game development. Watch

Emerging Filmmakers Talk Spiritual and Cultural Identity

Emerging Filmmakers Talk Spiritual and Cultural Identity

Emerging filmmakers discussed a series of short films on the topic of spiritual and cultural identity. Watch

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Master Class with Erin Sarofsky

Throughout the onstage conversation, Sarofsky discussed the life cycle of a project, the qualities of good title design, and her ongoing collaborations with the Russo brothers and Marvel Studio. Watch

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First Things First: Coming of Age in Canadian Film

Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival guests discussed the making of their coming-of-age films. Watch


FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement

A panel of scholars discussed the future of assistive technologies, following a screening of FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement (13). Watch

Gender, Comedy and Film History

Gender, Comedy and Film History

Feminist film historians were brought together for a panel discussion that examined the politics of laughter, race, class, gender, and sexuality in silent cinema. Watch

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Gena Rowlands on Opening Night

Legendary, award-winning actress Gena Rowlands joined the students and faculty for a Q&A following a screening of the John Cassavetes-directed Opening Night. Watch

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George A. Romero on Night of the Living Dead

The "Godfather of Zombiedom", George A. Romero joined post-secondary students and faculty to discuss his immeasurable contributions to the horror film genre and popular culture. Watch

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Geraldine Moriba on CNN's In America

Geraldine Moriba, the Emmy Award–winning executive producer of CNN's In America, discussed her role in producing socially engaged documentaries for television. Watch

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Master Class with George R.R. Martin

Bestselling author of the A Song of Ice and Fire cycle, George R.R. Martin, joined students and faculty to discuss his celebrated novels' adaptation to the small screen as HBO's Game of Thrones. Watch


Guy Maddin on My Winnipeg

Prior to a screening of his film My Winnipeg, Guy Maddin discussed a desire to mythologize his prairie hometown through a blurring of fact and fiction. Watch.

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Master Class with Henry Hobson

Director Henry Hobson gives and in-depth look at the evolution of his career as a film titles designer up to his directorial debut, Maggie. Watch

Hou Hsiao-hsien Panel

Hou Hsiao-hsien Panel

This roundtable discussion examined the influential work of Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien and his masterful film Dust in the Wind. Watch


Ingrid Veninger on Modra

Following a screening of her film Modra, independent Canadian filmmaker, producer, writer, and actor Ingrid Veninger joined post-secondary students and faculty for a Q&A. Watch

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International Conflict, Journalism, and Mental Health

Martyn Burke's documentary Under Fire: Journalists in Combat frames this discussion about mental health and the psychological impact of combat on journalists. Watch

Jacqueline Stewart on the Politics of Film Preservation

Jacqueline Stewart on the Politics of Film Preservation

Film scholar Jacqueline Stewart delivered a lecture on the "Politics of Film Preservation", focusing on Spencer William's The Blood of Jesus, the films of Oscar Micheaux, and the Tyler Texas Black Film Collection. Watch

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Jay Baruchel on Goon

Following a screening of Goon, Jay Baruchel discussed screenwriting, acting, hockey and his Canadian heroes. Watch


Jacob Tierney on Good Neighbours

After a screening of his film, Good Neighbours, Canadian filmmaker Jacob Tierney participates in a Q&A with the Higher Learning audience and addresses issues in Canadian and Québécois cinema. Watch

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Master Class with Andrea Martin

Award-winning actress and comedy legend Andrea Martin discussed her expansive and diverse career: from the zaniness of SCTV's improv to her performances in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Breaking Upwards. Watch

Julie Dash

Master Class with Julie Dash

Julie Dash, director of the landmark independent film Daughters of the Dust, discusses her enduring cinematic legacy as a screenwriter, director, and producer of socially engaged film and television. Watch

Juliette Lewis

Master Class with Juliette Lewis

Golden Globe and Academy-Award®-nominated actor Juliette Lewis joined students and faculty for a look back at her diverse career and entry into the music industry. Watch

Karon Fong Master Class

Master Class with Film Title Designer Karin Fong

A master class and behinds-the-scenes talk with Karin Fong, film title designer for HBO's Boardwalk Empire. Watch

Krzysztof Zanussi on European East of West

Krzysztof Zanussi on European East of West

Renowned Polish filmmaker, screenwriter, producer and scholar, Krzysztof Zanussi lectured on the politics and cultural history of Central Europe. Watch

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Martin Katz on Hotel Rwanda & International Film Financing

Martin Katz, the Canadian producer of Hotel Rwanda, delivered a talk on international film financing, focusing on independent co-productions and socially engaged storytelling. Watch

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Migration and Health in Fire at Sea

Following a screening of TIFF ’16 official selection Fire at Sea, subject experts discussed the refugee experience from a global health perspective. Watch

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Master Class with Costume Designer Monique Prudhomme

Academy Award-Nominated® Canadian costume designer Monique Prudhomme discussed her creations for the Terry Gilliam-directed The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus with students and faculty. Watch


Mya Taylor on Tangerine

The actress, singer, and advocate discussed the making of the film and the employment issues facing the transgender community. Listen

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Master Class with Paul Haggis

The Canadian Academy-Award®-winning writer, producer, and director Paul Haggis joined Higher Learning for a screening of his film In the Valley of Elah, followed by a Q&A. See Resources

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A Tribute to Peter Harcourt

This memorial event in celebration of the late Peter Harcourt, the founder of Canadian film studies, featured filmmakers and friends who described Harcourt's legacy and showed clips from films that he championed. Watch

The Past, Present & Future of Visualization

The Past, Present & Future of Visualization

CEO of The Third Floor Chris Edwards discussed the key role previsualization plays in the future of filmmaking. Watch


Master Class with Mimi Valdés

Award-winning visionary and multi-hyphenate creative director Mimi Valdés discussed how her love of magazines and hip hop prepared her for a collaborative career in storytelling as Chief Creative Officer at i am OTHER. Watch


Reconstructing the 1938 Amateur Movie Show

Prior to a screening of short films from the 1938 International Amateur Movie Show, film scholar Charles Tepperman considered the exhibition and international circulation of amateur cinema. Learn more


Reel Heritage: Bill Morrison on Dawson City: Frozen Time

Following a screening of Dawson City: Frozen Time, director Bill Morrison and film conservator Paul Gordon discussed the making of the documentary and the challenges of preserving and archiving film.


Reel Heritage: Film Archives and Scholarship

Featuring leading figures in the field of libraries, archives, film and new media, this panel discussion examined how moving image–based collections are utilized in the creation of new scholarship and media projects.

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Reel Heritage: Film Ephemera and Collections Management

Film archive experts discussed curatorial strategies around moving-image–related artifacts and ephemera.

APPARATUS exhibit at EYE Filmmuseum. Photo by Mike Bink.

Reel Heritage: Giovanna Fossati on Exploring Film Heritage

Giovanna Fossati, Chief Curator at the EYE Filmmuseum, discussed her extensive research in film preservation and heritage prior to a screening of rare silent short films.


Reel Heritage: Jessica Berman-Bogdan on Jane

Following a screening of Brett Morgen’s documentary Jane, the film's archival producer discusses its use of archival footage. Watch


Reel Heritage: The Materiality of Cinema

Media archivist Christina Stewart details the material history of the film medium, including the various tools of the motion-picture handlers.

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Reel Heritage: Project and Protect

Expert guests shared the skills and best practices they have gained from their experiences in the projection booths of film festivals and art house cinemas in North America and beyond.


Reel Heritage: Rick Prelinger on The Future of Memory

Founder of the Prelinger Archives, Rick Prelinger delivered a lecture on the future of archives in the digital era and the innovations that cultural heritage institutions are experimenting with today.

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Master Class with Film Titles Designer Richard Morrison

Richard Morrison, one of the world's leading film titles designers, joined post-secondary students and faculty for a Master Class, in which he discussed his creative methods and experiences working on over 150 title sequences. Watch


Rithy Panh on The Missing Picture

Following a screening of his Cannes-winning film The Missing Picture (2013), Rithy Panh discussed his approach to the representation of suffering under the Khmer Rouge regime. Watch

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Roberto Benigni and Nicoletta Braschi on Johnny Stecchino

Following a screening of Johnny Stecchino, Roberto Benigni and Nicoletta Braschi discussed their shared lifetime of work. Watch

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Master Class with Roger Avary

Academy Award®-winning screenwriter, Roger Avary discussed the craft of screenwriting and his adaptation of author Bret Easton Ellis's The Rules of Attraction. Watch


The Rules of Engagement: Documentary Filmmaking in Canada

This panel discussion on documentary filmmaking featured different perspectives from select Canada's Top Ten Film Festival directors. Watch

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Master Class with Pixar Film Title Designer Susan Bradley

Susan Bradley, Film Title Designer for Pixar Animation Studios, joined post-secondary students and faculty to discuss her experiences working on live action films and those for Pixar, such as the Toy Story trilogy, Ratatouille, WALL•E, and Up. Watch

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Slavoj Žižek on the Desert of Post-Ideology

Slavoj Žižek, the internationally renowned philosopher and cultural critic featured in the Sophie Fiennes-directed The Pervert's Guide to Ideology, delivered a lecture entitled "Welcome to the Desert of Post-Ideology" for students and faculty. Watch

Snow Scene: Michael Snow in Context

Snow Scene: Michael Snow in Context

Leading Michael Snow scholars discussed the artist’s lasting impact on the fields of film, sound, expanded cinema, and the visuals arts. Watch


Spotlight on the Trades

Presented with the Ontario College of Trades, two trades’ professionals shared how they applied their training to working in the film and television industry.

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Steve James on Hoop Dreams

Critically acclaimed director and producer Steve James answers questions from post-secondary students and faculty about the production and reception of his award-winning documentary Hoop Dreams. Watch

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Master Class with Tim Burton

Director, producer, writer, animator, and artist Tim Burton joined post-secondary students and faculty to offer feedback on the work of animation students and to celebrate the medium of stop-motion animation. Watch

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Trek Talks: Bridging Science and the Arts

As part of TIFF’s Trek Talks, this panel discussion considers how science can inspire art and vice versa, and how film and television projects like Star Trek can inspire careers in space, technology, math, arts, and engineering fields. Watch

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Master Class with Vilmos Zsigmond

Vilmos Zsigmond, the Academy Award-winning cinematographer, joined the Higher Learning audience for an in-depth look at his 50-year career at the forefront of the industry. Watch


Uncovering Warhol

Curators from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York discussed the cataloguing and digitizing of Andy Warhol’s films. See resources


Ways of Seeing (in) African Cinema Panel

Trends in contemporary African film production, film programming, and popular visual culture are examined through a panel discussion and screening of the short film Mwansa the Great. Watch

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Wendy Chun on Habitual New Media

Media theorist Wendy Chun explored how technologies matter most not when they are new, but once their use becomes habitual. Watch

William Uricchio on the Stories That Algorithms Tell

William Uricchio on the Stories That Algorithms Tell

American media scholar and MIT Professor, William Uricchio discusses how programs – not people – author an increasing number of stories in our newspapers and documentaries. Watch

Women's Cinema and Film History

Women's Cinema and Film History

Scholars, media experts and festival programmers considered the legacy of the 1973 Toronto Women & Film International Film Festival, and the significance of women's film festivals in the transnational exhibition circuit. Watch

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Five media experts discuss the role of women as both content creators and subjects of representation in the film, television and media industries. Watch