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. 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


The Shapeshifters Cinema Membership Program is a critical way for us to continue as a sustainable, creative, arts-focused venue in Oakland. For questions about membership, or to sign up, 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


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!

found sound with Cheryl Leonard

Found Sound
Instructor: Cheryl Leonard
March 14th, 1-4pm PST and March 21st, 2-4pm PST
Meeting via live video

Explore techniques for making and recording unusual sounds in this two-day workshop led by composer/instrument-builder/field recordist Cheryl E. Leonard. On Day One participants will learn about different types of microphones, and conventional and unconventional ways to use them. Next, we’ll experiment with producing sounds from natural and manmade found objects. Together we’ll investigate a range of playing techniques, use microphones to access sounds that are normally inaudible, and consider strategies for playing materials in situ and assembling objects into “instruments.” The day concludes with a discussion of field recording tips and techniques, and a Q&A session. Participants are encouraged to continue their sonic explorations between classes and return with something to share on Day Two. We’ll also have time then to discuss specific challenges, concerns, and eureka moments that participants encountered. Register now!

experimental cyanotype workshop with Kate Lain

Experimental Cyanotypes on Fabric and Paper
Instructor: Kate Lain
April 18th, 11-1:30pm PST and April 25th, 11am-1pm PST
Meeting via live video

Cyanotype is a blue-and-white photographic process dating back to the 1840s. In this at-a-distance introductory workshop, we will explore creating cyanotypes on both paper and cotton fabric using sunlight, water, plant matter, and found objects. You’ll get a kit in the mail containing pre-treated paper and fabric, along with some other goodies, and artist Kate Lain will walk you through the process of exposing and developing cyanotypes via Zoom. The emphasis of the workshop will be on experimentation and playing with materials, rather than on precision. Register 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

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 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.

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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