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 2

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute (800 Chestnut)
Barry Levinson's WAG THE DOG (2011, USA)

This screening is generously sponsored by Douglas Schmidt and Stephen Martin.


Shortly before an election, a spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join efforts to fabricate a war in order to cover up a Presidential sex scandal.  A funny, skewed vision of fake news!

Why we show this film:
This fanciful satire doesn’t seem so ridiculous after our recent war in Iraq, and even less ridiculous in our present political climate. It’s genuinely funny, and questions the manipulative way media can be used to further political agendas without raising the suspicion of many. Just in time for the election!

About the director:
Barry Levison is not a director we feature very frequently in Cine Club, but he stayed a fixture in Hollywood for decades with thoughtful, well directed films.  He started his career with DINER, a about a group of old friends reuniting for a wedding, and went on with other triumphs like RAINMAN.  His style is accomplished, and his films have a humanistic vein that makes them popular.  WAG THE DOG was a big surprise as a rare sucessful political satire.

Friday 9

Cine Club
Meirelles & Lund's CITY OF GOD (2002, Brazil)


This highly popular film tells the story of a Brazilian ghetto and the young people who try to survive there.  Unfortunately, drugs, sex and crime conquer almost all. 

WARNING:  Nudity, violence and suggested sex scenes.

Why we show this film:
How much are people shaped by their environment? Certainly opportunity (or lack there of) plays a major role in determining people's lives. All this comes vividly alive in this extraordinary look at the Brazilian slum outside Rio known as Cidade de Deus or City of God.

There is so much energy to this film it will probably lift you out of your seat. It’s loaded with imagination, brilliant film ideas, wonderful style, but it also portrays a stunning portrait of young people struggling to build their lives amid crushing poverty. You’ll come away with a larger sense of the world and a better appreciation of how really lucky you are. This is a film you won’t forget!

About the directors:
FERNANDO MEIRELLES studied architecture, and then became fascinated with experimental film, producing a number of works in advertising. City of God brought him international acclaim, and he continues to make thoughtful films in Hollywood. The Constant Gardener, Blindness, and 360.

KATIA LUND never received equal acclaim for her work. She moved into documentary film making and continues to work on a number of television documentaries as well as running a non-profit organization to provide filmmaking opportunities to the youth of Brazil.

Saturday 10

Art Saturday @ The Exploratorium


Another great visit to the Exploratorium to see some amazing films from their extensive media archives and to see the new show with an introduction from one of the artists, Keith Newstead. This is a special program, created for Art & Film students. Don’t miss it!

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

11:15 We’ll start in the Kanbar Forum with a selection of short films, followed by lunch.

12:30 pm We tour the new Curious Contraptions show.

Friday 16

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute (800 Chestnut)
Dee Rees'  MUDBOUND (2017, USA)

This screening is generously sponsored by Rita & Michael Laven.


This film, made in the midst of the turbulent Civil Rights Movement, is the most honest and sensitive portrait of black Americans in the 1960s and the pressures that they experienced. It’s a thoughtful and moving love story, both familiar and yet unlike any film that came before it.

Why we show this film:
How many of you really know about the Jim Crow laws that were enacted after the Civil War? They're often covered in a page or two in your history books, but do you really know how the laws worked?

This terrific film helps you understand the real effect these laws had on the people who lived under them. Beautiful to look at, filled with brilliant performances, it’s one of the new films that allows all of us to gain a valuable sense of reality about our past. Unless we know, we can never start with the job of atonement.  Most of Americans don’t even admit theirs, or are only becoming vaguely aware.  This film helps.

About the director:
DEE REESE is one of the strong women directors Hollywood has been happy to ignore until recently. She began with a short film, Pariah, about her coming out years as a teenager. She directed a few television episodes, and then in 2011, turned Pariah into a feature. It’s skilfull treatment of difficult themes brought it moderate attention which made it possible for her to film Bessie, a bio film about legendary blues performer Bessie Smith.  Mudbound finally brought her the international renown she has deserved.

Friday 30

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute (800 Chestnut)
Bernardo Bertolucci's  THE CONFORMIST (1970, Italy)

This screening is generously sponsored by Guerrino De Luca.


One of a kind! This film impacted the style of directors for generations.  A spineless Italian fascist is sent to Paris while on his honeymoon to assassinate his dissident ex-professor. Visually astounding, richly poetic with powerful set pieces—all the elements for a movie you won’t forget.

WARNING: Some violence, nudity and suggested sex scenes.

The Conformist is rather like a film encyclopedia of all the visual advances that have been made in film since the beginning: the moving camera, the dolly, the orchestration of scenes, the brilliant use of light and dark, arresting montage, the expressionist settings, the ingenious use of visual concepts bring the story brilliantly to life. There is never a moment without unusual visual ideas working to the max, and the chilling story of a brilliant student who joins the fascist undercover and is sent to kill his college mentor in Paris is strenuous indeed. When he falls in love with the wife of the victim, the film becomes operatic in its scope. It is an aesthetic masterpiece, but also doubles as a political film, etching a portrait of a fascist from the inside out. You won’t easily shake its power and beauty.

Bertolucci is an important Italian director that has produced a number of influential films. He received his training working with Pasolini (Mama Roma) and with his first films quickly gained a sturdy reputation. His 1972 film Last Tango In Paris brought him a lot of attention when Bertolucci was given a suspended prison sentence by an Italian court for obscenity, and his 1987 film The Last Emperor was celebrated throughout the world. It is, however, with The Conformist that he entered the pantheon of important directors.