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 3

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute (800 Chestnut)
Marius Holst's KING OF DEVIL'S ISLAND (2011, Norway)


This stunning tale of a boy’s prison, its cruel staff and desperate inmates is based on true events. As conditions in the island prison deteriorate, the boys are left with little choice but to rise up against their captors. It’s absorbing, honest and ultimately moving.

Warning: Graphic Violence

Why we show this film:
There are not very many genuinely realistic films about prisons and reformatories. The most popular ones are usual filled with souped-up melodrama.  The King of Devil’s Island  does a sensational job of not only giving you an overall sense of a punishing system, it puts you in the shoes of its two protagonists and what they feel. It keeps you on the edge of your seat as conditions on the island become increasingly alarming. You often can’t predict what’s coming, and the powerful images, the strong actors, and the atmosphere make this one of the finest modern classics about young people. You may not have heard of the film, but we can almost guarantee you’ll remember it.

About the director:
The Norwegian film director Marius Holst is not a familiar name in the USA, though he has been making thoughtful and powerful films for almost 10 years. He studied film in England, and now produces his own. His films often champion outsiders who defy the system, including Dragonfly, Bastard and Mirush.

Friday 10

Cine Club @ Location TBA
Ernst Lubitsch's TROUBLE IN PARADISE (1932, USA)

A high-class thief and a beautiful pickpocket team up to great success, but their plans hit a snag when love becomes a factor. This is early Hollywood at its suave and sophisticated best. They don’t write dialogue like this anymore!

Why we show this film:
Great comedies are hard to come by; we consider this one of the best. Ernst Lubitsch had considerable success with his light frothy romances in Germany. They were so popular he was invited to Hollywood and from that moment on he set a standard for high, sophisticated fare. His impeccable sense of timing, his use of language as a comic element (some of the film makes great fun of Italian); the unorthodox values his characters hold on to and their wild, often realistic modern take on life and love make the plot surprising and delightful at every turn!

About the director:
Lubitsch began his film career as an actor, appearing in thirty films before 1920. He came to America as a director contracted to Mary Pickford, the reigning movie queen. After one film of discord with her, he was left a free agent and established his reputation for stylish comedies. He thrived with the first sound films, making The Love Parade, Monte Carlo and the Smiling Lieutenant. Trouble in Paradise was made just before the draconian Production Code censorship was enacted, and was pulled from circulation afterward, due to its scandalous themes Lubitsch continued to make films until his heart attack in 1947, but none of his later films had the critical acclaim of his earlier work.

Saturday 11

Art Saturday @ Potrero Hill Art Galleries

11 am Meet outside Coffee Bar at Mariposa and Florida Streets.

11:15 Walking tour of downtown art galleries (Jack Fisher, Catherine Clark, Hosfelt)

1 pm Picnic lunch at Franklin Square Park

Friday 17

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute (800 Chestnut)
Michael Roemer's NOTHING BUT A MAN (1964, USA)


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:
This film is made 25 years earlier than Do The Right Thing, shows a different side of the African American experience. This film is about everyday life in the best sense, and it’s amazing to see a film so authentic and fresh. It touches on the injustice experienced and the anger felt by its characters but is focused primarily on their aspirations and their daily struggles. 

About the director:
Roemer was Jewish and born in Germany during the rise of the Nazi party. At 11 was transported out of Germany in what was called the Kindertransports, where Jewish children were educated as refugees in England. He emigrated to the US in 1945 and received his degree from Harvard where he also produced his first film, A Touch of the Times.

Nothing But A Man won two awards at the Venice Film Festival but had spotty distribution in the US and left his film career dormant. He only produced two more films, though he spent much of his time directing a series of educational films for the Ford Foundation. He later taught film at Yale.