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

Pixiescope, Dominic Angerame

Dominic Angerame: A Complete Retrospective (Program 3: SEX, DEATH, PASSION)
Saturday, March 25, 2023
Admission: $10 (discount for members)

This is the third 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 third screening we will present a compelling program of mid-career work that wrestles with the adverse forces of desire and death. All (but one) of them shot and shown on 16mm film. The program includes Anaconda Targets (2004), Consume (2003), The Waifen Maiden (2003), Pixiescope (2003), Battlestations: A Naval Adventure (2002), Phone/Film Portraits (1985), Voyeuristic Tendencies (1984), Hit the Turnpike (1984), Honeymoon in Reno (1984), I’d Rather be in Paris (1983) and The Mystery of Life (as Discovered in Los Angeles) (1982).

Amphoterism, Keith Evans

You Could Be with Us: Rae Diamond, Keith Evans and Suki O’Kane
Friday, April 7, 2023
7pm - food, community + outdoor projections/8pm - show
Admission: $10 (discount for members)

und o’r mountain ov r bay v river eostre

You might be somewhere else. Following the sounds of revival and worms, desiccants and drains to egg sulphur and sardine salt, the trio will create a river the audience will float down in an array of mammatus salmon ripples and low tide highs, measuring the fences of cattail vapors and gradients of unseen script: A sentence made of breath, drum wash, and stridulations blurred on walls, luminous with projections. There is something akin to blossoms opening here. You could be with us.

with Rae Diamond (movement, voice, viola), Keith Evans (moving image, electronics), and Suki O’Kane (percussion, electronics, handheld projection)

Image: Amphoterism (2021) by Keith Evans, Photo by Kevin Corcoran

The Cadence, by Luca Dipierro

Animated Shorts by Lydia Greer & Luca Dipierro
Friday, April 14, 2023
Admission: $10 (discount for members)

Join us for this moving image feast featuring two west coast artists who use puppets, non-linear narrative and stop motion animation to delight and unsettle. East Bay artist Lydia Greer will show a selection of recent short pieces, including two animated music videos—Absentee and Unproud Warrior—both made, in collaboration with Caryl Kientz and Facing West Shadows, for singer-songwriter Cass McCombs and Anti- Records. She will also be sharing excerpts from recent pieces made using puppets, props and performing objects in collaboration with Facing West Shadows. Portland-based artist Luca Dipierro, will present his latest film, The Cadence - A Tale of Paper and Cloth, a 33-minute animation shot in stop motion, using marionettes made with paper, bookcloth, and thread. Five years in the making, The Cadence tells the story of a boy, lover of silence, and the journey toward his own beginning. The program will also include a selection of Dipierro’s short films made between 2012 and 2018 that dive into themes of loneliness, death and violence through the playfulness and symbolic resonance of the puppet theater.

The Last Forever, Scott Stark and Kamila Kuc

The Simulacrum Is True: Scott Stark & 99 Hooker
Friday, May 12, 2023
Admission: $10 (discount for members)

Join us for an enthralling evening of hyperreal channel-surfing with media artists Scott Stark and 99 Hooker who will re-arrange before our very eyes the deck chairs on the sinking cultural ship of planet Earth using an assortment of old and new media that they will extract from their respective technological satchels.

The Last Forever is a multi-media live performance composed by Scott Stark and Kamila Kuc. During the pandemic, these two artists independently perused hundreds of discarded 35mm family slides from diverse sources and then proceeded to exchange images and captions in a series of on-line “exquisite corpse” tennis sets allowing mysterious characters and spontaneous plot twists to evolve into a playful narrative about a spouse who's gone missing. In many of these seemingly mundane images, the artists discovered subtle indicators of interpersonal family dynamics captured by the camera during dinners, parties and travels which provided clues to the artists’ playful ruminations on the complexities of human and more-than-human relations as mediated by technology.

Mixing audio and visual information for real time media, "h9sh" by 99 Hooker is equal parts prose poem, music video, extended cinema and hallucinatory TV, involving 4D portraits, chaos poetry, surreal soundtracks, art history lectures by Stan Brakhage, Bruce Conner multiplied (15,000 frames), Marie Menken's handheld genius and so much more, all culled from an endless archive of material aquired and created over the years. h9sh - ACTION: 1a.) to chop into small pieces b.) confuse, meddle; 2.) to talk about, review as in "h9sh over"; 3.) #media link. THING 1.) delicious with Bomba sauce 2.) restatement (remix) of the previously "known," 3.) Hodgepodge. 4.) Intoxicant. Free with purchase.

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


Experimental Film Marbling & Perma-Dip Creative Film Loops - SOLD OUT!
Instructor: Lori Varga
Sunday, April 16, 2023
In-person at Shapeshifters Cinema
Admission: $45
(Discount for Shapeshifters members)

Experimental filmmaker and expanded cinema artist Lori Varga will lead participants through the ancient Japanese craft of suminagashi—or the process of using ink and water to make liquid marble patterns—combined with low-budget household objects to be captured on 16mm film strips. These will then be dried and turned into film loops that can be used in film projects or projector performances. Participants will also have the opportunity to create single frame 35mm slides. All materials will be provided.

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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