Sub-series F-109-14-2 - Student film workshop productions

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Student film workshop productions

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  • Source of title proper: Title is based on the contents of the sub-series.

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  • [ca 1964] - 1989 (Creation)

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Physical description

20 cm of textual records
211 moving images

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The Simon Fraser University Film Workshop began in May 1967 when the university first obtained 16mm production facilities. The Film Workshop was a non-credit, production-orientated program coordinated through the Centre for Communication and the Arts that became the foundation for the SFU Film Minor program.

Under supervision of the University Resident in Film, students learned directing, filming, lighting, and sound technique, and served as cast and crew for each other's films. Students worked in 8mm, 16mm and videotape formats and produced films for educational rather than commercial purposes. At the end of each year, the films were screened on campus. Many of the films went on to win prizes in local and international student film festivals and have been screened all over North America and at European film festivals.

The film mentors leading the workshop in the early years included Shiela Reljic (1967 - 1969); Stan Fox, from CBC Vancouver (1969-1971); Luke Bennett, a New York film editor (1971-1972); Vincent Vaitiekunus (1972-1974); and Guy Bergeron, a filmmaker from Quebec (1974-1976). In 1979 Robert Nicholl, Jo Kirpatrick and Rick Patton, all filmmakers from the National Film Board (NFB) came to the workshop. That same year two more additional NFB filmmakers Tony Westman and Mark Smith joined the program along with Al Razutis (an independent experimental film maker from Vancouver). Staffing increases were met with an expansion in the Centre for the Arts and the creation of the film minor program that included courses in production and theory. This was supported by the growing curriculum of the Centre for the Arts that included a wide range of courses in theatre, sound, dance and studio art.

In 1987 SFU professors Patricia Gruben and Colin Browne conceived of Praxis, a national film writing and production workshop housed at the university. This program, along with SFU's four-year film program has enabled budding filmmakers to direct and produce their first feature films with renowned directors, writers, and editors.

The collection consists of textual records and 16mm films created by students who participated in the SFU Film Workshop program. For most of the film titles there are multiple reels which represent the individual production elements (i.e., A Roll, B Roll, Magnetic Track, Optical Track, Work Print) that were used to produce the final film version. Some films have related textual records that document the director's production notes used when editing the film.

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Immediate source of acquisition

The University Archives began acquiring student films in the early 1970s. A committee from the Library and the Arts Centre selected films for the Archives based on content, technical ability, innovative technique and the future potential of the individual film maker. The films are in the collection by permission of the individual film makers.


As of October 2007, all accessions (films and production records) had been processed into F-232, the Simon Fraser University student film collection. The accessions were arranged alphabetically by the archivist into two series, F-232-1 (SFU Student Film Workshop films) and F-232-2 (Film production records). No further accruals were expected.

In 2010, the SFU student film collection was transferred to F-109. The records were transferred by the archivist into sub-series F-109-14-2 (Student film workshop productions), and arranged chronologically into sub-sub-series F-109-14-2-1 (Student films) and F-109-14-2-2 (Student film production records). Over the course of the project, ten additional film elements were located within the archives' audio-visual holdings and added to F-109-14-2-1.

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For other material relating to the history of SFU's film program, please see files located within the following series and sub-series:

  • F-109-5-5, Departmental correspondence - Film program
  • F-109-6-2, Course files
  • F-109-6-3, Workshop files
  • F-109-7, Public programming files

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Further accruals are expected.

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Physical description: 211 moving images include 902 16mm film reels.

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