JFilm’s Teen Screen Program

JFilm’s Teen Screen program offers free film screenings for school groups at a commercial theater inA-Film-Unfinished Pittsburgh. Over 20,000 students and teachers have attended the program since it began in 2005.

About the Program

• Teen Screen films complement your Holocaust education curriculum, offering new perspectives on the topic. Discussion concepts include culture, diversity, heroism, friendship, loyalty, bullying, propaganda, tolerance, teamwork and persistence. When available, JFilm also offers films that have historical and/or social relevance that are not Holocaust-related.

• JFilm offers pre-selected screening dates throughout the school year, but is able to schedule school groups of 100 or more on almost any date. Contact us for information about dates, to select your own date, and to schedule your field trip.

• The program usually runs from 10 a.m. until noon depending on the length of the selected film(s). We are able to start earlier or later under certain circumstances.

• Reservations must be made in advance. Seating is limited.

• A Teacher Guide is available for each film to help you prepare your students for your screening. It will be sent to you after you register.

• An in-classroom, pre-screening session, led by a JFilm educator, is available by request.

• A JFilm educator leads a post-screening discussion at the theater.

• Teen Screen serves all students, including those who may have had limited exposure to the topics presented due to socioeconomic, behavioral, or learning differences. Many students benefit from information presented via film as an alternative or supplemental teaching strategy.

• There is no charge for Teen Screen. Free bus parking is available. Please contact us for more information about bus transportation subsidies.

2014 Film Descriptions 
(Additional titles added as they become available)

As Seen Through These Eyes (recommended for grades 11-12, especially art students)—Back by Popular Demand! 
Documentary, 70 minutes, English
Maya Angelou narrates this absorbing Holocaust documentary about the experiences of artists in the concentration camps. In addition to interviews with survivors, the film displays images the artists created during a time of unbelievable horror. A moving testimonial to the resiliency of the human spirit. Themes: artists, Maya Angelou, poetry, persistence, survival, tolerance

Blood Brother (winner of the Sundance 2013 Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award; recommended for grades 9-12)— New in 2014!
Documentary, 92 minutes, English
Rocky Braat, a young man from a fractured family and troubled past, left his life, friends, and career to travel through India without a plan. There he met a group of HIV positive children living in an orphanage—a meeting that changed everything for him. In an effort to find out what compelled Rocky to reject his life in Pittsburgh, PA for a life of unspeakable hardship in India, his best friend decided to trace Rocky’s story, resulting in this beautiful film. Themes: altruism, coming of age, friendship, belonging, abandonment, survival

Inside Hana’s Suitcase (recommended for grades 6–8)
Documentary, 60 minutes, Czech, English and Japanese with subtitles
The delivery of a battered suitcase to the director of the Holocaust Museum in Tokyo begins the true-life mystery that became the subject of the best-selling book Hana’s Suitcase. The suitcase came from the Auschwitz Museum and had Hana Brady’s name painted on it. The film follows the director and her students search to discover the details of Hana’s life, which leads to the discovery of her brother George in Toronto. As small children they had been sent to Theresienstadt for being Jewish after the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939. Children from Japan, Canada, and the Czech Republic describe Hana’s story creating a film of astonishing power and hope. Themes: bullying, children and children’s rights, Japanese culture, persistence, teamwork, tolerance
Shown with:
Toyland (winner of the 2009 Academy Award for Best Short Film)
Narrative, 14 minutes, German with subtitles
During WWll, a mother, not wanting to tell her young son the truth, tells him that his best friend’s Jewish family is going away to “Toyland.” Little does she realize the power of their bond. Themes: bullying, friendship, trust

Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald (recommended for grades 10-12) 
Documentary, 90 minutes, English, Czech, Hebrew & French with subtitles
In late 1944, even as World War II appeared to be ending, the Nazis persisted in their efforts to exterminate the Jews of Europe by forcing tens of thousands of them westward on death marches. Transports arrived at the Buchenwald concentration camp from Auschwitz in the winter of 1944/45. Upon seeing this influx of new prisoners, the Communist-led underground at Buchenwald made a conscious decision to protect the youths who were among the newest inmates. They established a children’s block, block 66, led by Antonin Kalina, a Czech Communist and his deputy, Gustav Schiller, a Polish Jew. On April 11, 1945, Buchenwald was liberated. Nearly 1,000 boys survived. On April 11, 2010, 65 years later, several of the surviving boys from block 66 returned to Buchenwald. Outfitted with cameras, they filmed their story. Themes: heroism, determination, survival

La Rafle / The Roundup (recommended for grades 10-12)—New!
Narrative, 124 minutes, French, German, and Yiddish with English subtitles
This acclaimed French epic depicts the true story of the mass arrest and detainment of the Jews of Paris in the summer of 1942, later known as the Vel d’Hiv Roundup. “La Rafle” is a sensitive exploration of this long taboo subject in France and its effects on the French authorities, Jewish victims, and city of Paris. The exquisite beauty of Paris during war time is brought to stirring life by French stars Mélanie Laurent and Jean Reno. Themes: altruism, tolerance/intolerance, determination, victims/oppressors, hardship, survival

The Last Flight of Petr Ginz (recommended for grades 6-10) 
Documentary, 67 minutes, English
By the time of his death at age sixteen in Auschwitz, Petr Ginz had created over 170 drawings and paintings, edited an underground magazine in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, and written numerous short stories. Through his writings and the filmmakers’ exquisite animations of his artwork, we follow Petr Ginz’s journey from child to young adult, from innocence to the painful awareness of inhumanity, from young artist to prodigy, and in so doing witness history from a unique perspective. Themes: art, creative expression, survival, victims/oppressors
Shown with:
Toyland (winner of the 2009 Academy Award for Best Short Film)
Narrative, 14 minutes, German with subtitles
During WWll, a mother, not wanting to tell her young son the truth, tells him that his best friend’s Jewish family is going away to “Toyland.” Little does she realize the power of their bond. Themes: bullying, friendship, trust

Nicky’s Family (recommended for grades 7-12)
Documentary, 96 minutes, English
In 1939, Nicholas Winton saved the lives of 669 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia by bringing them across Hitler’s Germany to his native Britain. For nearly 50 years, Winton kept secret how he rescued these children; not even his wife knew anything about it. There are more than 6,000 descendants of the children Winton saved—and all of them owe their lives to this gentle, unassuming hero, now over 100 years old. Twenty-six “rescued children” from all over the world are featured in the film, among them CBC correspondent Joe Schlesinger. Themes: heroism, determination, survival

Saviors in the Night (recommended for grades 9 -12)
Narrative, 97 minutes, German with subtitles
Based on the memoir of Marga Spiegel published in 1965, this powerful World War II drama portrays how courageous German farmers in Westphalia risked their lives to hide a Jewish family. Because of their fair coloring, Marga and her young daughter are able to pass as Aryan, but her husband, sheltered by another farmer, runs the daily risk of discovery. The farmers’ names are immortalized in Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum in Israel. Themes: heroism, loss, perseverance, tolerance

Sweet Dreams (recommended for grades 9 -12) New in 2014!
Documentary, 83 minutes, Kinyarwandan and English with subtitles
Rwanda’s first and only all-female drumming troupe is made up of women from both sides of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, offering a place for reconciliation. When the troupe decides to partner with two young American entrepreneurs to open Rwanda’s first ever ice cream shop, these remarkable women embark on a journey of independence, peace, and possibility. Interweaving personal stories with powerful music, this film is a moving portrait of a country in transition. Themes: problem solving, friendship, peace, team building, personal growth and development

Click here for a printable PDF version.

To register, or for more information, contact:

Lori Sisson, Teen Screen Coordinator
Email: LSisson@JFilmPgh.org
Phone: 412-992-5203

Check out The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum website, to learn about other film events held in the area.