About Us

Shapeshifters Cinema is a 40-seat 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. In addition to regular, live events, we offer workshops on experimental moving image and sound production and a storefront shop specializing in print publications, sound recordings and other artist-made media. 


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


We are excited to launch the new Shapeshifters Cinema Membership Program! Our membership program is a critical way for us to continue as a sustainable, creative, arts-focused venue in Oakland. If you signed up for a membership during our recent Indiegogo campaign, your membership privileges start immediately, but the timeline won't officially begin until we are able to safely open our doors for live events again. For anyone still interested in signing up to become a member, please contact us directly.


567 5th Street
Oakland, CA 94607

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


Our building is temporarily closed to the public, except for special pop-up events. You will find our programming for the foreseeable future on-line.

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.


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.

Upcoming Programs & Events

still by Ellie Vanderlip

Virtual Material Cinema Happy Hour with Ellie Vanderlip
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Meeting via live video

Join filmmaker Ellie Vanderlip and Shapeshifters Cinema for a Virtual Material Cinema Happy Hour! This 3-hour workshop will cover a plethora of techniques for physically manipulating 16mm film, from bleaching to scratch animation. Attendees will be provided with a small packet of special tools and 16mm found footage clippings to play with. Sign up to participate now!

Charles Woodman

Live from Shapeshifters: viDEO sAVant vs Φ4 performs The City and the Stars
Sunday, September 27, 2020
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

Musicians Maurizio Rinaldi and Fabrizio Saiu (based in Italy) react to the morphing flow of images created by viDEO sAVant (Charles Woodman, based in California), the sound changing in response to the visual score. Simultaneously the images are shifting, composed in reaction to alterations in sound and mood. Disparate images and sounds blur together and fuse to become a new kind of organism. The mix evolves as a push-pull between music and image, an active dialogue that constitutes a new, experimental film and soundtrack--one composed live. Viewers are invited to watch this by tuning in on September 27th from 7-8pm to watch the livestream.

Cato postcards

Art + Action Postcard Writing Happy Hour with Kristin Cato
Saturday, October 3, 2020
Meeting via live video

Join us for our second Art + Action Postcard Writing Happy Hour led by artist and activist Kristin Cato where we will learn a bit about the history of mail art, then apply some aesthetic efforts toward swinging and swaying voters with our own collective action! Sign up to participate now!


Shapeshifters' store is now open for business (on-line only, currently)! Our store features an eclectic range of DVDs, books, CDs and other artist-made items. Browse the selection here

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


Jeremy Rourke, September 20, 2019 at Shapeshifters Cinema



Summer Solstice Pop-up / Guillermo Galindo live webcast / Sunday, June 21st
We have been working behind the scenes to re-configure the model of how we plan to continue operating, given the circumstances of the current state of the world. Visit us on Sunday, June 21st for a special popup event followed by a live performance streamed online. Read the announcement

Thank you to all of our donors
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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