SIRT partners with OYA Media and the City of Toronto to offer Virtual Production training to under-represented communities


December 2, 2021 - Sheridan’s Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) has teamed up with OYA Media Emerging Filmmakers Program and the City of Toronto's xoTO Screen Industry Pathways to provide industry-leading virtual production training workshops to young filmmakers who identify as Black, Indigenous or People of Colour. The workshops begin on December 2, 2021. 

OYA Emerging filmmakers' program, now in its fourth year, is an initiative to kickstart the careers of Black youth living in the Greater Toronto Area who are between the ages of 18-35 and graduates of post-secondary film, television, and digital media programs. Selected participants of the SIRT/OYA training program will learn about virtual production and receive a diverse training experience that includes the unique opportunity to work on a virtual production shoot. 

The new academic offerings will leverage SIRT’s Virtual Production Innovation Hub and training facility, a highly-sought resource for Toronto’s screen industry launched earlier in 2021. As virtual production has become a key component of content creation across platforms, SIRT regularly provides external partners with the required upskilling and training to be competitive in an evolving industry. The Virtual Production Innovation Hub, will serve as the meeting place and training centre for industry leaders, partners, members, and students to innovate, access, and share all aspects of virtual production. Participants will learn more about using cutting-edge technology such as LED Walls and game engines and develop a proof of concept.  Utilizing this knowledge, they will co-direct and manage a virtual production shoot, allowing them to take away scenes for their portfolios.

Participants in the program will learn about using cutting-edge virtual production technology such as LED walls and game engines, and develop a proof of concept.  Utilizing this knowledge, they will co-direct and manage a virtual production shoot, allowing them to bring to life key scenes for their portfolios.

“SIRT is committed to the expansion of screen industry education and training programs for under-represented communities and is able to provide this thanks to our partnership with the City of Toronto. xoTO Screen Industry Pathways initiatives bring industry training to key local organizations to bolster their curricula and bridge the gap between participants' program training and eventual industry employment.” - David Dexter, Director of SIRT.

"OYA Emerging Filmmakers is supporting the careers of young Black filmmakers by providing access to opportunities that were not previously available to them due to anti-Black racism in our sector. By creating a space for professional mentorship, networking, and community building, we are seeing our alumni get work and thrive in this industry.” - Michelle Berry, Program Coordinator, OYA Emerging Filmmakers.

“Toronto’s film and TV sector has been growing and thriving and a big part of that is our diverse and talented workforce. We see the value in having a workforce that not only addresses the high demand for talent but reflects the diversity of our growing city. This new program and partnership with SIRT allows us to train new and young filmmakers who are eager to learn more. I want to thank SIRT for their partnership and commitment to advancing our workforce – they have been a leader in the development, testing and launch of new technologies and a strong partner for our city. We know that bringing this type of future-forward training to emerging talent is a key component of Toronto's booming screen sector.” - Toronto Mayor John Tory. 

About Sheridan’s Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) 

One of Sheridan’s six research and incubation centres, the SIRT Centre, located in a 10,000 sq. ft. sound stage at Pinewood Toronto Studios, is an internationally recognized and nationally funded research space focused on technical and creative research as well as the incubation of talent and content within the creative and cultural industries. SIRT plays a key role as a research and development and innovation support hub for the cinema, television, and gaming sectors in one of North America’s leading production and post-production regions.
To learn more visit and follow us on YouTube and Twitter.

About OYA Emerging Filmmakers Program 

The OYA Emerging Filmmakers Program is an initiative by OYA Media Group to kick start the careers of Black youth who are graduates of post-secondary film, television and digital media programs. The program's goal is to support Black youth in these industries by providing mentoring, networking and portfolio creation opportunities as well as on-site training with film department heads. Currently in its fourth year, the program now boasts of over 60 alumni members who are constantly being placed in jobs, internships and other forms of professional experiences.  For more information, please visit: 

Get In Touch With Us

Contact Us Today

We Proudly Recognize Funding Assistance From

Skip to content