San Francisco Art & Film for Teens


Free cultural programs for teens, including Friday night film screenings, Saturdays art walks and free seats to cultural events. Open to all Bay Area students, middle school through college. Established 1993. 


Friday 1

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute (800 Chestnut Street)
Claire Denis's WHITE MATERIAL (2009, France)


Amidst civil war in an unnamed African state, a French woman fights to protect her coffee crop and her family.  A dynamic look at the horror of colonialism and its violent end.

WARNING: Graphic violence, some nudity.

Why we show this film:
So far this year we have shown I Am Not Your Negro, Mudbound, and Detroit to illustrate the tragic persistence of racism in our country.  But the racism that allowed Europeans to colonize most of Africa has been equally as corrosive.  The country in this film is fictional, but the chaos that overtakes it as the government falls apart and each person becomes an enemy of everyone else, is frightening and absorbing.

About this director:
Claire Denis was born in Paris but raised in Africa where her father was a civil servant.  He traveled around bringing his family with him.  At fourteen she moved to Paris with her mother and eventually finished her studies at film school.  Her first film, Chocolate, deal with lingering effects of colonialism, a theme that continues to resonate through her films. She has produced and directed a number of strong films, include The Intruder, 35 Shots of Rum and Beau Travail, based on Billy Budd of Herman Melville.

Friday 8

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute (800 Chestnut Street)
Jean-Peirre Melville's LE SAMOURAI (1967, France)


A professional hit man carries out a contract only to find himself in trouble with his employer as well as the cops.  As he crisscrosses the city trying to shore up his alibi, the hunter becomes the hunted!  This neo-noir film turns the genre on its head.

Why we show this film:
From the very beginning, this film separates itself from it’s rivals. With little dialogue it creates the world of back-alley Paris through imagery, througha myriad of sounds, tiny details, empty atmospheres.  It’s themes and atmosphere make it one of the most unusual of film noir films.  

About the director:
Melville was born Jean-Pierre Grumbach, but changed his name during his period in the French Resistance, as a tribute to his favorite American author. When he returned from the war, he applied for a license to become an assistant director but was refused. He decided to direct his films by his own means, sometimes using money he made as an actor.  He appears in many of the most famous films of the 50’s Cocteau’s Orphee, Bresson’s Les Dames de le Bois de Boulogne, and Godard’s Breathless. He became well known for his tragic, minimalist  film noir crime dramas, such as), Le Samourai  and Le Circle Rouge. His masterpiece, The Army of Shadows, has been shown at Cine/Club numerous times. It was inspired by his experiences in the French Resistance.

Saturday 9

Art Saturday: In Silhouette at The Exploratorium

The media department at the Exploratorium will take us though their new exhibit! In Silhouette invites you to experience remarkably complex and inventive works of shadow play. Upon entering the darkened Black Box, you encounter what appear to be mundane blank surfaces. However, hidden within each piece are unforeseen images that are revealed only under a flashlight’s beam.

11 am
Meet outside the main Exploratorium entrance on Pier 15.

11:15 Gather in the Kanbar Forum for the exhibit. Lunch will be provided.

Friday 15

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Francois Truffaut's JULES AND JIM (1962, France)

This screening is generously sponsored by Daniela De Luca.


This jewel of the French “new wave” changed the face of film. The tale of three friends trapped in a classic love triangle whose initially carefree relationships are periled by jealousy. 


Why we show this film:
We show 400 Blows often, but we thought it was time you got to see another Truffault masterwork.  Truffault is a master at developing emotionally complex women characters with which audiences can empathize and in this film he has a brilliant actress, Jean Moreau.  We thought you should see an example of the French New Wave that made the ‘60’s such an exciting decade in film.

About the director:
Truffault’s early life was filled with the same sort of unhappiness  he shows in his first film 400 Blows—a broken home, misery at school, and a bout in jail (on account of he couldn’t pay the bills for the Cine Club he founded in high school!)  He was bailed out by a film critic, Jacques Barzin, who published a small but influential film journal called, CAHIERS DE CINEMA.  It was under the mentorship of Barzin that Truffault developed his ideas about film, and it was his generation of young critics (Godard, Renais, Chabrol) who launched the phenomena we refer to as “the new wave”—films from the early sixties made on minimal budgets by men in their twenties which changed the world of film as much as “neo-realism” from Italy did.

Truffaut’s first films The 400 Blows and Shoot the Piano Player were critical successes, though the second was a financial dud.   Jules & Jim gave him a wide international audience, but his later films were never as successful as his first efforts. He continued to make films, including The Wild Child, and Day for Night which won him numerous awards.

Friday 22

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Emanuele Crialese's GOLDEN DOOR (2006, Italy)


A family of Italian Immigrants make the tremendous journey from Sicily to the New World. This film is a one-of-a-kind look at the building of America filled with beauty, hardship and wonder.

Why we show this film:
Immigration is an issue that once again divides the country, so it’s especially important when a film reminds us all the trials that families undertake in order to arrive here.  Golden Door etches a realistic portrait of leaving your home and striking out for parts unknown. This Italian family is wracked with superstition and old world customs. The father is determined, the grandmother frightened and inconsolable. The film is filled with imaginative energy, and fine performances. The scenes when they arrive at Ellis Island are both funny and outrageous, many right out of Kafka.

About the director:
Emanuele Crialese was born in Rome to Sicilian parents. He, however, studied filmmaking at eh Tisch School of the Arts.  Two years later, he was able to make Heartless for a producer who had followed his progress at Tisch.  His next film was shot in Sicily, Respiro, which won several prizes for him.  Golden Door was called Nuovomundo in Italy, and won Best Film in the  Venice Film Festival. His latest film is called Terrafirma.

Saturday 23

Art Saturday @ SFMOMA


We've had so many great shows at SFMOMA this year we haven't had time to take you through their excellent permanent collection! Join us for a refresher on the history of modern art, plus a pair of new works on display in the contemporary art wing.

11 am
Meet inside SFMOMA (the Howard Street entrance by the Richard Serra sculpture)

11:15 Tour the permanent collection and new shows at SFMOMA.

1:00 pm Picnic lunch in Yerba Buena Gardens

Friday 29

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Terrence Malick's THE TREE OF LIFE (2011, USA)


One of the most visionary films of the past decade – the story of a Texas family, battered by life’s forces – is presented in the context of the history of life on earth. This stunningly epic film reveals the ties that bind all of us together, from the birth of the universe straight through to the mysterious end that awaits.

Why we show this film:
We’re happy to end this season’s Cine|Club with a film that is as visionary as they come.  Doesn’t deal with a plot, or any of the conventional development in film, but does tell a huge sweeping story, one about growing up in a small town, anywhere in America, in a troubled family, about the disappointments, trials, joys, etc. that come with that life. Then it adds the beginning of life on earth and winds up with a vision of heaven! It asks you to stay on your toes to take in all the mind shifts and points of views, which move very quickly in and out of the film.  It simply is like no other film, and that’s really hard to say these days.

About the director:
Terrance Malick is one of the most unusual of American directors. He was born in Illinois, studied philosophy at Harvard, and began his graduate work in Oxford, England.  He then taught philosophy at MIT where his interests turned towards film and he wound up getting his MFA at the American Film Institute. He directed his first film, Badlands, in 1973 and his second, Days of Heaven, in ‘78.  After many projects, he simply vanished from the film scene, moved to Paris and did not produce another film for 20 years.  The Thin Red Line was produced in the late ‘90’s followed by The New World in 2005.  Since then he has been one of the most active directors in the last decade with The Tree of Life, To The Wonder, Knight of Cups, Song to Song and The Voyage of Time.