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
Xavier Dolan's MOMMY (2014, Canada)

Diane is at first pleased to be able to bring her teenage son home from the psychiatric institution where he’s lived for the 3 years since his father’s death, but she soon has trouble coping with his violent outbursts and troubling emotional needs. Can she keep him out of the hospital or, worse, prison?

WARNING: violence and mild sex scenes.

Why we show this film:
For young filmmakers, it's remarkable to see a director so young (25 at the time of filming) already embarking on his 5th film.  This one a knockout. Film critics pulled all the stops out to rave, because there is a passion, not only a film passion but a passion for human beings, for creating astonishing individuals that pulse with life. The film has it’s own unique look (almost like it was filmed on a cell-phone) that keeps the imagestight and pure, but the brilliant camerawork and editing show a film maker who skillfully understands the use of movement and emotion, which few directors do.

About the director:
Xavier Dolan began his career as a child actor in French-Canadian films and television where he gained his passion for film. He developed much of his expertise from watching his directors work.  By his middle teens, he was busy doing voice over for Harry Potter, and many many more English speaking films being dubbing into French. This helped himfinance his first film, I Killed My Mother, at age 19.  This that first success his films have never stopped winning prizes at major film festivals. Mommy shared the 2014 Jury Prize at Cannes with Jean Luc Godard's Goodbye to Language.

Friday 9

Cine Club @ CCA
Andrei Tarkovsky's ANDREI RUBLEV (1966, Russia)

This most vivid recreation of the Middle Ages follows the life of a famous painter of religious icons as he loses his faith and searches for something of meaning. A breathtaking masterwork that was banned in Russia for being subversive, it remains the crowning achievement of this legendary director.

Warning: medieval violence.


Why we show this film:
There is probably no other film that leaves such a big impact on our students. Andrei Rublev is more complex and breathtaking, more frustrating and beautiful than anything else we show, and this is why we love introducing it to you. The film is divided into sections, each covering an important step in an artist's life: leaving one’s mentor and striking out in the world, struggling to find one’s one style, struggling with ethical decisions, battling rejection and failure, loss of faith in oneself, and finally, the reaffirming of one’s faith. The last section of the film, a breath taking evocation of the casting of a cathedral bell, uses some of the most dazzling camera techniques in the history of film. It’s a film that makes you work hard as a viewer but rewards you every step of the way.

About the director:
A select few filmmakers become legends in their own time and Tarkovsky was one. His films are often extraordinarily ambitious, epic in scope and deeply philosophical. He is the most radical and unorthodox of all Russian filmmakers at the time. How could he get away with this in a communist regime? As his films became more obtuse, difficult and haunting, his reputation rose and brought him legions of fans.    

Tarkovsky became the symbol as the filmmaker as artist: intense vision and no compromises. He didn’t make many films, Ivan's Childhood, Solaris, The Mirror, Stalker, Nostalgia and The Sacrifice are the main ones. He was the son of a well-known Russian poet and his father’s poetry is often used as voice over in his films. Andrei Rublev stands apart as a violently realistic depiction of life in the Middle Ages in Russia. It was banned by the Soviets from 1966 through 1971 (they knew it must somehow be dangerous). When in made its debut at Cannes, it caused a sensation and the film became an icon. Tarkovsky fled Russia and finished his last three films in Europe.

Saturday 10

Art Saturday @ Potrero Hill Art Galleries

10:45 Meet at Coffee Bar (corner of Mariposa and Florida).

11:00 Walking tour of Potrero Hill art galleries (
Jack Fisher, Catherine Clark, Hosfelt, Brian Gross, Wattis, etc.)

12:30 Picnic lunch in Franklin Square park (
17th and Bryant).

Friday 16

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Peter Bogdanovich's THE LAST PICTURE SHOW (1971, USA)

A group of 1950’s teenagers come of age in a bleak, isolated Texas town where the local movie theater, their only outlet for entertainment, is about the be shut down. Each struggles with frustration and apathy as adulthood approaches in this funny yet bracing film.

Why we show this film:
This fall we are showing a series for films about teenagers wrestling with the decisions that will determine the course of their lives. The young men and women seen here in 1950's Texas have very few options open to them and none of them seem particularly attractive, and yet possibilities are still possibilities. This film captures much of the emotional upheaval all young people experience—ambiguity about relationships, struggles with adults, exploring sexuality and searching for others who share your excitement and anxiety.

About the director:
Not all directors who start out as shining stars go on to have successful careers in film. Bogdanovich began as a film critic, then was one of the recruits in Roger Corman’s rough school of filmmaking (churning out B movies in record time with non-existent budgets).  With The Last Picture Show he emerged as one of the “New Hollywood” directors, which included Lucas, Coppola, and Scorsese, but his subsequent career (Paper Moon and Nickelodeon) is quite uneven. After a series of disasters he turned to writing and acting.

Friday 23

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Ermanno Olmni's IL POSTO (1961, Italy)

You’ve graduated, now what are you supposed to do? This is the problem facing young Domenico. Desperate for money, he applies for a job at a big, faceless corporation and immediately begins to regret the decision.  This is the debut feature by one of Italy’s greatest living directors.

Why we show this film:
Italian Neorealism is the style of filmmaking which dominated Italy at the end of WWII. Its films focused on poor and working class characters, made frequent use of non-professional actors and often filmed on-location. This low-budget, highly realistic style of filmmaking spread across the globe and changed film forever. Il Posto shows how these techniques can pay off wonderfully, with charming performances and a freshness that holds up to this day.  It’s indictment of corporate culture remains relevant as well.

About the director:
Ermanno Olmni spent ten years making short documentaries before Il Posto which vaulted him to international renown. He continued to make documentaries and a number of impressive films. His ambition and expertise are most evident in his masterpiece, The Tree of Wooden Clogs, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes.

Saturday 24

Art Saturday @ The Legion of Honor

10:45 Meet in the courtyard of the Palace of the Legion of Honor

11:00 Enter the museum and visit Luminous Worlds: British Works on Paper

12:30 Lunch in the patio cafe.

This show follows our September visit to the De Young's Turner exhibit. Luminous Worlds gathers about 40 works, ranging widely in subject matter and technique, that reveal the richness and versatility of British artistic production over the course of a century. The exhibition reflects the 18th-century vogue for portraiture and caricature; the rise of landscape painting, especially in watercolors; the Romantic engagement with themes from mythology and literature; and 19th-century Orientalism.