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. 

Cine Club

San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut St.


September though March
7 pm Reception, 7:30 Screening

On Fridays throughout the school year we offer our students free screenings of classic, foreign and art films.

Each screening kicks off with a classic cartoon and a short film, followed by an introduction from one of our guest speakers and finally the feature. We finish with a group discussion facilitated by Ronald Chase. We invite students, their parents, mentors, filmmakers and critics to join us. A wider mix of attendance makes the discussions that much more interesting!


Films are selected to provide students with an understanding of the history of serious film, but also to thrill and excite them with the scope and breath of great filmmaking. The discussion helps students develop their ideas about the film as well as build a vocabulary with which to share their personal observations, likes and dislikes.

The short films at accompany the feature explore other aspects of the arts students might not otherwise discover: imaginative dance films and the avant-garde films of the 1920’s are examples. Other times, the short film is chosen to provide context or a counterpoint to the feature.

Cine Club was begun with the help of Dolby Labs and Tom Bruchs in 1997.

I was hesitant to come to Art & Film, but looking back I can now see how much the film screenings have impacted me, both as an artist and as a critical thinker. I feel so proud when someone mentions La Dolce Vita or Tarkovsky in conversation and I understand the reference. To imagine that this opportunity was offered to me free of charge! I am so grateful to you for having started my film education.

Art Saturday

Meeting Points:
Yerba Buena Gardens, 750 Howard St (Downtown)
Coffee Bar, Mariposa St at 17th St (Potrero Hill)

Saturdays, twice a month
September through April
11 am Gallery Walk, 1 pm Lunch

Twice a month on Saturday mornings we offer a gallery walk or museum tour. We generally meet at Yerba Buena Gardens near the downtown art galleries or at Coffee Bar on Mariposa St. near the emerging Potrero Hill art scene.

Art Saturday offers a perfect way for students, especially those from outside San Francisco, to become more familiar and relaxed about moving around the city.  It is also an opportunity for students from different schools to meet and make friendships through shared interest in art.

Program director Ronald Chase, along with volunteer mentors, take the students to visit art galleries or museum shows where mentors encourage students to discuss their responses to the art, helping students to develop a knowledge of contemporary art, art history and criticism while developing a vocabulary, critical judgment and ability to conceptualize. Often galleries invite their exhibiting artists to speak with Art & Film students.

Every Art Saturday is finished off with a free picnic lunch, which allows students the opportunity to review the shows they've seen that day and to work on their social skills.


Free Tickets

SF Symphony, SF Opera, ACT, Cutting Ball Theater, Crowded Fire Theater,  SF Film Society and many more!

Nearly every week Art & Film is able to offer free seats to a variety of cultural events. All middle school, high school and college students are eligible.

These seats are donated by the cultural institutions, many of which have worked with us since our inception in 1993.

Sometimes we are offered seats only a few days in advance which is why we work on an email reservation system. To get on our email list, click the JOIN button to the left.

When an event appeals to you, simply reply to the email to request a seat. Seats are given on a first-come-first-served basis, but some preference is given to students with regular attendance.

Students may bring their parents, but parents must understand that students always have priority and that they cannot be seated until all students have received their tickets. Events with very limited seats are listed in our emails as “for students only”.

Popular events can fill up in just a few hours after the announcement's been sent out so students have to keep on top of their email inbox and respond quickly.

You will usually be sent an answer about whether you have a seat or not, but sometimes we are overtaxed. If you RSVP and do not hear from us, presume you have a ticket and show up.  All events are overbooked. We want to be sure we use all the tickets given to us, so students must show up on time in order to be guaranteed a ticket.


Film Workshop

October through June
11 am - 6 pm

Our Film Workshop is offered annually is open to all Bay Area students, from late middle school through college. Each year, new students are introduced to the fundamentals of professional filmmaking while returning students refine and deepen their skills.

The workshop acts as producer, helping students to build a portfolio of work that will help them get into film schools and develop a foundation of skills – looking, seeing, thinking, doing - that will serve them throughout their careers.

The Film Workshop is offered for a fee of $2,000, non-refundable. Students who demonstrate skill and dedication can apply for scholarships. Students must have a digital camera with a manual adjustment option, though a cell phone camera can be used for the first few assignments.

To apply, contact program director Ronald Chase at with your name, age, school and any past experience in film.

A Summer Film Intensive is offered in July. This 9-day program encapsulates the first 3 months of our Film Workshop instruction, including an overview of film history and a group film production, beginning with developing ideas and writing scripts through production and editing. 

Ronald Chase has created teaching tools that include a series of excellent videos that teach filmmaking in the context of film history. He’s enthusiastic, very knowledgeable and a fine teacher — I highly recommend his classes.
— Eleanor Coppola, Director