School for the Contemporary Arts
Simon Fraser University
Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in Film


The School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University invites applications for a filmmaker or filmmaker/scholar at the rank of Assistant Professor to begin July 1, 2021.

Simon Fraser University (SFU), located on unceded Coast Salish Territory, the traditional territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), q̓ic̓əy̓ (Katzie), and kwikwəƛ̓ əm (Kwikwetlem) peoples, is actively building a diverse and inclusive community.

The School for the Contemporary Arts (SCA) is situated in downtown Vancouver’s most dynamic and diverse neighborhood. A unit within the Faculty of Communication, Art, and Technology, SCA offers a unique curriculum in which studio classes are integrated with the historical and theoretical study of the arts. The SCA currently offers a BA in Art, Performance, and Cinema Studies and BFAs in Dance, Film, Music/Sound, Theatre Performance, Theatre Production & Design, and Visual Art, as well as an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and an MA in Contemporary Arts. This meeting of creative practice with academic enquiry is a core value of the School and is enhanced by our attention to critical contemporary issues as well as our commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration both within the classroom and beyond. At the SCA we pride ourselves on offering the benefits of an intimate, small art school—excellent student mentorship and faculty-student interaction, a sense of belonging and familiarity, and a shared sense of purpose—paired with all of the advantages of a large, top-ranked comprehensive university.

In the SCA, we value interdisciplinary art-making that is grounded in disciplinary training, an integration of creative and scholarly education, and maintaining a significant presence in the local, national and international arts communities. Our faculty are internationally recognized working artists, artist-scholars, and scholars: choreographers, composers, filmmakers, production designers, visual artists, performers, directors, dramaturges, historians, and theorists. The Film program exists within this collaborative and interdisciplinary ecosystem.

The BFA in Film is a four-year, student-centered, cohort-based production program with a strong emphasis on film studies. The program is rooted in a set of core project-based production courses, built around a varied education that encompasses film production, technical and collaborative labs, and studies courses in the history, aesthetics and theory of film. The program is supplemented by courses offered by other disciplines and enhanced by opportunities to create in close proximity with students in other SCA programs.

Our diverse student body is exposed to the breadth of film styles and modes, and works intensively every year to produce a number of films. Students are challenged in production and lecture courses to be versatile and articulate, to interact with new and old technology, and to understand that the collaborative process is crucial to their development as filmmakers. They are also encouraged to engage with film as an art form that is in constant dialogue with other contemporary art forms as well as with society at large. We believe in an multiskilled approach to filmmaking and, to this end, offer a well-rounded education in film that prepares students to be successful independent film artists while also allowing them to specialize in areas of their particular interest. Our students go on to become directors, producers, editors, cinematographers, screenwriters, as well as curators, programmers, and artists working in a variety of media and forms.

We seek a collaborative colleague working in non-fiction, narrative, experimental, animation, expanded and/or hybrid cinema with a substantial record of creative distinction or promise of exceptional creative output in an international context. We especially encourage applications from film artists interested in collaborating in the development of pedagogies appropriate to the plurality of cinema arts that exist today as we work to transform our curriculum in the coming years.

The successful candidate will demonstrate a strong knowledge of world cinema and film history, and is expected to supervise and advise students on projects at all levels of our program and in a variety of forms and styles. Film faculty teach comprehensive introductory and advanced film production courses with an in-depth understanding of the entire creative workflow from concept to exhibition. As our film production curriculum is grounded in project-based instruction, candidates should demonstrate experience in a broad range of technical and creative skills. These include screenwriting, production planning, directing, editing, cinematography, and sound design as well as a solid grasp of current digital production workflows. We particularly value innovative and experimental approaches to creative practice as well as pedagogy.

Faculty at the School are expected to maintain a professional art practice and/or scholarly activity. A normal academic year for tenure-track faculty in the School for the Contemporary Arts consists of two teaching terms and a research term. Faculty generally teach four courses (or the equivalent) per year. Advising, committee responsibilities, supervision of graduate students, and occasional graduate-level teaching are expected.

As our film program is situated within an interdisciplinary fine arts department, an interest in collaborating with fellow faculty in theatre, visual art, music/sound, dance, and art studies is an asset. In addition to teaching in the undergraduate BFA, the successful candidate will supervise students in our MFA program who are working in a variety of forms of moving image art. The ability to teach occasional courses in cinema and media studies is also an asset.

The successful candidate will be expected to engage in outstanding, innovative, and, as appropriate, externally funded creative practice or research. We acknowledge that within higher education in Canada, traditional or conventional academic pathways can reinforce biases in the filling of faculty posts. We encourage applications that may not fit this mold and challenge traditional notions of scholarship and research.

Requirements for the position include: an MA, MFA, or Ph.D. in a field or discipline of demonstrated relevance or equivalent experience; a record of analog and/or digital film production with a significant record of exhibition; and a vibrant and continuing artistic practice. Experience teaching at the college or university level is an asset.

How to Apply
The application must contain the following:
  • a letter of application outlining creative and scholarly background, with indication of citizenship(s) and/or Canadian residency status
  • an up-to-date, full curriculum vitae (including details of research, teaching, and service, and record of film production and exhibition, including funding sources)
  • links to 3 samples of artistic work
  • a statement of creative research
  • a statement of pedagogical philosophy
  • the names and contact information (email, telephone) for three confidential referees.



Please note that all materials submitted in non-electronic form will not be returned. Submit all applications by email to Elspeth Pratt, Director, c/o Samantha Diamond, scasec@sfu.ca

The review of applications will begin February 15, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled. To ensure full consideration, applications should be submitted by this date. The position is subject to availability of funding and final approval by the SFU Board of Governors.

Simon Fraser University’s strength is based on our shared commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the pursuit of decolonization, Indigenization, and reconciliation. Diversity is an underlying principle of our Strategic Vision, which pledges SFU to “foster a culture of inclusion and mutual respect, celebrating the diversity reflected among its students, faculty, staff, and our community.” SFU is committed to ensuring that no individual is denied access to employment opportunities for reasons unrelated to ability or qualifications. Consistent with this principle, SFU will advance the interests of underrepresented members of the work force, specifically Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, and women; embrace gender and sexual diversity; ensure that equal opportunity is afforded to all who seek employment at the University; and treat all employees equitably. Candidates that belong to underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority. Under the authority of the University Act, personal information required by the University for academic appointment competitions will be collected. For further details see: http://www.sfu.ca/vpacademic/faculty...on_notice.html

For more information about our School and our university, please visit: www.sfu.ca/sca