The Filmmakers in Indigenous Leadership Management & Business Affairs (FILMBA) training program is designed to develop the skills of Indigenous producers who own their own film production company.

CapU student in the Indigenous Digital Filmmaking program operating a camera.

The FILMBA program focuses on demystifying the business and technological sides of film production and will cover a range of essential areas.

This includes everything from funding models, contract negotiation and financial management to the possibilities of working with AI, production proposals, intellectual property law and distribution.

Representing a bridge between the classroom and the film industry, the program is designed to broaden opportunities for Indigenous-led film production companies to make an impact on the digital, creative and cultural sectors of Western Canada.

Program overview

The program offers 20 sponsored seats and will be delivered entirely online. It consists of eleven two-day workshops that take place over two terms.

There will also be mentorship sessions between workshops (up to four hours per participant) to provide participants with one-on-one opportunities to delve deeper into their project development with industry professionals.

  • Open to emerging Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) film producers ready to produce their first or second projects.
  • Tuition is sponsored by the Indigenous Digital Accelerator, Indigenous Screen Office and PacifiCan for all participants accepted into the program.
  • Delivered entirely online.
  • Duration: Eleven two-day workshops taking place on weekends over two terms.
    • Term 1: April 6 - June 2, 2024
    • Term 2: Sept. 14 - Nov. 24, 2024
  • Led by film industry professionals.

On successful completion of the program, you will be able to:

  1. Describe core production workflows for human resources, production resources, unions and guilds, and accounting.
  2. Prepare industry-standard production budgets for budgets up to a million dollars.
  3. Determine the legal risks and responsibilities of various business structures and the industry necessity for incorporation as a preferred structure.
  4. Develop and negotiate industry agreements to produce and distribute projects.
  5. Distinguish the varied approaches to developing, producing, and distributing projects for film, television and new media.
  6. Apply market analysis to identify the appropriate markets and distribution channels for your own projects.
  7. Develop a five-year plan for your professional development and career goals.

The program specifically seeks Indigenous producers who have demonstrated management experience in producing.

To apply, you must:

  • Have Indigenous ancestry.
  • Have at least two years' film training from a recognized film studies program or equivalent.
  • Have been out of film school for at least one year.
  • Have produced at least one short film in which you managed a budget of at least $10,000.
  • Have qualified for development funds from a recognized source (e.g., federal or provincial Arts Council, Telus STORYHIVE, APTN, CBC Shorts, ISO Development Funds, Telefilm Talent Development funds or verifiable private funds).
  • Have a production you wish to develop.
  • Commit to attend all workshops and mentorship sessions and complete all assignments.
  • Competent with essential software, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and online video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Blue Jeans, etc.
    • Note: out of courtesy to our instructors, we ask our participants to leave their cameras on during workshops. 
  • Have access to a computer with a high-speed internet connection, equipped with a camera and microphone.


Applying is a two-step process: 

  • Download the FILMBA 2024 Application Form (pdf)
  • Submit the completed application and all supporting materials outlined in the application to the program coordinator: filmba@capilanou.ca.
  • The application deadline is March 8, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. (PST). 

Instructors & advisors

The instructors and advisors for the program are all industry professionals with proven expertise and years of experience working in essential areas of film, from producing, fundraising and negotiation to marketing, distribution and more.

Check back soon for more information on the film industry leaders who will be joining us!

FILMBA alumni

Several of our 2021 FILMBA program participants who completed the program had the opportunity to attend the 2022 Cannes Festival in France, thanks in part to sponsorship from Warner Media and Creative BC.

FILMBA participants were also supported to attend the 2022 Banff World Media Festival in Banff, Alberta. Telefilm, the Indigenous Screen Office and Screen Siren Pictures also supported the trips. 

Meet the alumni of our inaugural FILMBA program. 

FILMBA sponsorship

We would like to thank our generous sponsors for their support: 

2024 Emerging FILMBA Program Sponsors

2022 Cannes Indigenous FILMBA Delegation Sponsors

2022 Advanced FILMBA Program Sponsors

FILMBA management

Doreen ManuelDoreen Manuel (Secwepemc/Ktunaxa) is the director of the Bosa Centre for Film and Animation at Capilano University and Inclusive Community Projects. She is the first Indigenous woman to direct a major film centre in Canada and to hold a position on the board of directors of Knowledge Network.

She holds many advisory positions with industry organizations and major industry funders. She was the 2019 Woman of the Year for Women in Film and TV Vancouver and is the recipient of the Leadership in Education award and many other film industry and education leadership awards both provincially and nationally.

Doreen has worked on television and film productions in a wide variety of roles, and as a news reporter and producer of corporate video. She comes from a long line of oral historians and factual story gatherers and is the daughter of renowned international leader, the late George Manuel and spiritual leader Marceline Manuel.

CapU Indigenous Digital Accelerator coordinator Shaelyn Johnston.Shaelyn Johnston is an award-winning Ojibwe and Irish-Canadian writer from Vancouver, B.C.

She is a recipient of the Governor General’s History Award and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.

Shaelyn was selected for both editions of Telus STORYHIVE’s Indigenous Storytellers Edition and has participated in the Netflix/BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative, and Whistler Film Festival’s Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship and Screenwriters Lab.

Her animated short film, The Healing Dance, has screened at numerous festivals across Canada and the United States, won Best Short Film at the Weengushk International Film Festival, and recently surpassed over 13,000 views on YouTube.

She coordinates professional development programs for Indigenous filmmakers through Capilano University’s Indigenous Digital Accelerator, and she also sits on the board of the Gender Equity in Media Society (previously WIFT Vancouver), where she manages and co-facilitates the Tricksters & Writers Screenwriting Program

More information

If you would like to learn more about the FILMBA program, you can like the FILMBA Facebook page or contact flimba@capilanou.ca.


Have questions?

Indigenous Digital Accelerator

604 983 7549

To donate to the IDA, please contact:

Doreen Manuel
604 837 3663