Welcome to the BIG IDEAS with Film Program


Film and video are powerful media for expression, especially for young people in the age of Youtube and smartphones. In this era of screen-culture, we believe film offers young people rich opportunities to look closer, ask questions, think critically, and find their voice.


With BIG IDEAS with Film, we bring together globally celebrated films that expand upon our Biennale themes and artworks, while offering diverse perspectives and ways of understanding or responding to our world. We present a carefully curated selection of award-winning films that teachers are invited to screen for free. Then take learning further, by showing students ways to question, create and expand upon what they learn with our BIG IDEAS with Film unit plans and project ideas.


Films can be thought-provoking catalysts for learning and social engagement in the classroom. With BIG IDEAS with Film, bring these inspiring films and new ideas to your students, anywhere.


New this year, we bring you a selection of films by Alanis Obomsawin of the Waban-Aki First Nation. She is one of the most internationally celebrated Indigenous directors in the world today. With a career spanning over 50 years, she has made over 50 films exploring past, present, and alternative narratives about Indigenous histories and experiences. Her films have become cinematic forces for change. Teachers and students have the opportunity to screen these at school or at home, then use our unit plans to create projects that dive deeper and explore these filmmakers’ works in new ways.


Listen, question, explore and engage with the ideas of our time, through BIG IDEAS with Film.



How it Works

BIG IDEAS with Film offers free resources for teachers and students to learn about the world through thought-provoking, eye-opening documentaries by top filmmakers. Choose a film that connects with your grade or subject of choice, watch in school or at home, then dive deeper into the filmmaker’s themes and ideas with our unit plans and project prompts.


Email us at learning@vancouverbiennale.com to join our educator mailing list to receive email updates as BIG IDEAS with Film grows to include filmmaker workshops, news on films, and our other education programs.