About Us

Shapeshifters Cinema is an experimental microcinema located in Oakland, CA. Our mission is to provide a venue and support for contemporary artists working with experimental and artist-made film, video, sound, music and other types of mediated performance. We host regular, live events, offer workshops on experimental moving image and sound production and operate a storefront shop specializing in print publications, sound recordings and other artist-made media.

We also serve our own hand-crafted beer, brewed on-site, at our events. Visit the brewery at ShapeshiftersBrewery.com


Gilbert Guerrero - Co-director
Kathleen Quillian - Co-director
Ellie Vanderlip - Workshop Coordinator/Administration Assistant


567 5th Street
Oakland, CA 94607

Shapeshifters Cinema sits on the historic territory of Huichin, the ancestral and unceded land of the Chochenyo Muwekma Ohlone, successors of the sovereign Verona Band of Alameda County.

Our building is wheelchair-accessible and has one wheelchair-accessible bathroom.


Show nights only, currently. Doors open 30 minutes before showtime, unless otherwise noted.

Show Your Support

Make a donation to support Shapeshifters Cinema

Donations are tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor, San Francisco Cinematheque, a 501(c)3 nonprofit.


Upcoming Programs & Events

Who Uses Graphs

Street Poems: The Films of Mark Street
Friday, February 17, 2023
Admission: $10 (discount for members)

For this program NY-based filmmaker Mark Street will present five films rooted in the tradition of street photography, as well as one short made from 35mm educational film strips. The films wander from city to city and corner to corner pondering ephemeral visual moments, revealing diaristic musings on the pandemic and surveying human connection in a time of cultural and political change. As a group they are a testament to the ethos of always carrying a camera even when you don’t know exactly why.

In the Course of Human Events, Dominic Angerame

Dominic Angerame: A Complete Retrospective (Program 2, The City Symphony Series)
Saturday, February 25, 2023
Admission: $10 (discount for members)

This is the second in a series of monthly screenings comprising a complete retrospective of the work of Dominic Angerame. Since 1968 Angerame has produced more than 30 films on 16mm and several newer works in digital format. Some of these films have never had a public screening. Many of Angerame’s films show San Francisco, the city he has lived and worked in since 1979, and its varying cityscape as it looks and changes over time. He has also created short comedies, short-form documentaries and many diary films. Angerame has taught film in many schools and universities in the Bay Area as well as at the University of Nevada, Reno. He was Executive Director of Canyon Cinema from 1980-2012. For this second program we will present the five original films of the highly-acclaimed City Symphony series, made between 1984-1997, projected in their original 16mm film format, including: Continuum (1987) with live guitar accompaniment by Kevin Barnard, Deconstruction Sight (1990), Premonition (1995), In the Course of Human Events (1995) and Line of Fire (1996). TRT: 75 mins.

Je Ne Sais Plus by Kristin Reeves

Bodies for Strength and Power: experimental films and projector performances by Kristin Reeves
Sunday, March 12, 2023
Mosswood Chapel, 3630 Telegraph Ave., Oakland
Admission: $10 (discount for members)

Still and moving media have doubled for the human body since its invention. By following through on the logic that media is body/human/person/material: outdated found footage becomes media cadaver to exhume, examine, and reanimate; video synthesizers model brain signal overload; 9X16mm grid performs a real-time exercise in crafting a personal narrative within the limitations of our physical selves. With both found and original media, visiting filmmaker Kristin Reeves pursues material of resiliency, loss, and control. This program will include: What Is Nothing (After What Is Nothing) (2017, 9X16mm projector performance), CSP Closings & Delays (2017, 16mm Film to HD video & HD video), &Human (2011, SD video), Threadbare (2010/14, 16mm film to HD video), Body Contours (2015, 16mm film to analog video synthesis), The White Coat Phenomenon (2012, VHS to HD video), The White Coat Phenomenon (2012, VHS to HD video), Music of Desire (2017, 16mm film to video using analog video synthesizers), Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling] (2012-present, 9X16mm projector performance). PLEASE NOTE: This program will be happening at the Mosswood Chapel in North Oakland not at Shapeshifters.

About Our Cinema

Our intimate, 40-seat cinema is able to host a range of performances and events by contemporary artists working in film, video, sound, music, multimedia and performance. Along with screenings and performances, you will also find workshops, salons, artist talks and lectures. Our focus is primarily on experimental and artist-made.


Tickets for all events are available (on-line) pre-show as well as at the door. Information and links are posted under each program event listing.

Venue Specs

Find out more about our venue.


View Past Programs


Upcoming Workshops

Laundry Alley

The Devil is in the Details: Microcosmic Street Photography.
Instructor: Mark Street
Friday, February 17, 2023
In-person at Shapeshifters Cinema
Admission: $40
(Discount for Shapeshifters members)

Visiting experimental documentary filmmaker Mark Street (Brooklyn, NY) will discuss looking at urban locations IN CLOSE UP and how to represent a place IN DETAIL using video in this hands-on workshop. With a glancing nod to the tradition of street photography (Dziga Vertov, Rudy Burkhardt, Helen Levitt, etc.) participants will prowl the streets around Shapeshifters looking to find beauty, truth and poetic resonance in taking the short view: a tree shadow on a bodega wall, a piece of trash floating across lanes of traffic, a wisp of an anecdote from a longtime resident. Eschewing the panoramic, we will attempt to uncover an exalted way of seeing through active and engaged observation of forgotten moments culled from the minutia of daily life. Participants are asked to bring a device capable of recording video (cell phone or DSLR) + small image (photographic still or a few minutes of video) and/or a short (2-3 minute) snippet of audio that they feel represents some aspect of their urban surroundings. We will use this material as a jumping off spot to gather more images and sounds in the neighborhood.


16mm Film Tic Tac Toe: Performance, Collaboration, Play
Instructor: Kristin Reeves
Sunday, March 12, 2023
In-person at Mosswood Chapel, 3630 Telegraph Ave., Oakland
Admission: $40
(Discount for Shapeshifters members)

This workshop, led by visiting filmmaker Kristin Reeves, will give participants access to 16mm film projectors and skills to start staging expanded cinema performances of various duration and approach. It will begin with practical and inventive application of light, film loops, film cores, and the projectors themselves through hands-on activities. At the end of the workshop the group will stage a short collaborative film composition in the spirit of improvisation and play. Materials will be available for students to use found footage and simple direct film animation techniques. The workshop will support all student participants regardless of skill level. PLEASE NOTE: This program will be happening at the Mosswood Chapel in North Oakland not at Shapeshifters.

About Our Workshops

Our workshops emphasize a DIY approach to art-making. Each one is taught by a different guest artist who shares practical, hands-on lessons in a variety of media and creative practices using materials and resources you probably already have, or are otherwise easy to acquire. Learn something new or enhance your own established art practice. Everyone is welcome!


View Past Workshops


The Shapeshifters shop features an eclectic range of DVDs, books, CDs and other artist-made items. Browse the selection here

Browse the full selection

Suki O'Kane 2020

Suki O'Kane, August 16 2020, at Shapeshifters Cinema

John Davis 2020

John Davis, September 20, 2020, at Shapeshifters Cinema

Killer Banshee 2020

Killer Banshee, September 13, 2020, at Shapeshifters Cinema

Ether Ship 2020

Ether Ship, January 11, 2020 at Shapeshifters Cinema


Elena Pardo, December 6, 2019 at Shapeshifters Cinema


Lynne Sachs, November 10, 2019 at Shapeshifters Cinema


Minoosh Zomorodinia, October 13, 2019 at Shapeshifters Cinema


Jeremy Rourke, September 20, 2019 at Shapeshifters Cinema



Shapeshifters In the News

KQED article

In the wake of SFMOMA's announcement to cut its historically-significant and beloved film program, KQED journalist Sarah Hotchkiss wrote a great article looking at how this affects the over-all ecology of the Bay Area film culture and the film programs and microcinemas (including Shapeshifters) that continue to cultivate it. Read the article here.

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Jack London Improvement District awards funds to Shapeshifters for our merch expansion!
Due to restrictions brought on by the global pandemic and for the safety of our community, we shut down for over a year... but we did not stop! In addition to livestreaming artists' work and hosting artist-led workshops, we opened a retail shop online. We are expanding and building out a shop at our venue with the help of funds provided by the Jack London Improvement District (BID). The funds will go towards building a wall of shelves and stocking up on artists books, records, DVDS, CDs, unique works of art, and handmade goods. Check out the announcement and the full list of award winners.

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Shapeshifters receives an Oakland CARES grant!
We are very grateful to have received a grant through the Oakland CARES Fund for Artists and Arts Non-Profits, made possible by the city of Oakland Economic & Workforce Development Department, Cultural Affairs Division and administered by Center for Cultural Innovation. These funds ensure that we can continue our (modified) operations during these challenging and uncertain times.

Thank you to all of our donors & funders
We rely on individual donations to support artists and operate our cinema. We are immensely grateful for their contributions. View the list of donors

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