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


Experimental Animation Workshop with Lydia Greer
August 1, 2 & 29, 2020
1:00-3:30pm, each day
Meeting via live video

This 2-day on-line workshop (with an optional 3rd day), led by experimental animator and educator Lydia Greer, is an introductory overview of experimental animation, including the history, methods, and techniques used by artists working with non-linear and experimental animation methods. Resources will be provided so that you can get started on your own research and inquiry. [SOLD OUT!]

Suki drum

Live from Shapeshifters: Suki O'Kane and Tim Perkis
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

Suki O'Kane returns to Shapeshifters to present two new pieces for bass drum, electronics, and performative projection. Hard to Read is a new work directed by (and featuring the electronics and coding of) Tim Perkis. Together Suki and Tim animate and sonify his disarming and mysterious archive of human expression. Surprised by Sin is a new work for for bass drum, liberation texts, and hand-held projections. Viewers are invited to watch this live performance by tuning in on August 16th from 7-8pm to Watch it live, online.

Cato postcards

Art + Action Post Card Writing Happy Hour with Kristin Cato
Saturday, August 22, 2020
Meeting via live video

Join us for the 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!

Suki drum

Live from Shapeshifters: Lori Varga, Dennis Keefe & Kit Young
Sunday, August 30, 2020
Live broadcast via our streaming channel

Paying homage to the historic Vortex Planetarium sessions of 1959, Bay Area artists Lori Varga, Dennis Keefe and Kit Young will combine their massive arsenal of A/V systems to perform three distinct pieces celebrating the art of synesthesia. Pairing early electronic soundscapes with modular and semi-modular visual systems made from 16mm film projectors, vintage lumia equipment + state of the art digital and hand-built A/V systems, the trio will forge new pathways into alternate realities sculpted from cosmic light and sound in five dimensions! Watch it live, online.

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!


Expanded Cinema


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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