JFilm's Teen Screen program, started in 2005, offers free film screenings at a
commercial theater for school groups in the greater Pittsburgh area. The program brings
together students from diverse schools to watch films having historical, cultural and/or
social significance. Following each film viewing, JFilm educators lead the students in a
talkback session to explore their reactions to the major themes.
Teachers choose from a menu of films most of which have some relation to the
Holocaust. Films can be narratives or documentaries and come from a range of
countries. Many of the films are award-winning. None of the films are readily available
except through JFilm's Teen Screen program.
Attending schools receive a Teacher Guide to help educators prepare students for the
Teachers are also offered a "Quick Lesson" where JFilm educators lead a one-time
preparatory session in the classroom.
A talkback session follows each screening to verbally explore student responses
to the film(s).
The program runs throughout the school year. Almost 4,000 students and teachers
attended the program in 2013. Over 20,000 students and teachers have participated in
the Teen Screen program since 2005.
School groups come from all over Allegheny County and beyond.
Teen Screen Goals
Enhance and supplement Holocaust education in schools
Discuss and encourage appreciation of cultural differences
Study film as an art and literacy form: importance of title, directors’ choices and their
impact on the film
Study documentary vs. drama, use of reenactment
Transfer literary devices to the screen, i.e. foreshadowing, symbolism
Connect students to film on a personal and emotional level as well as to current
Discuss cultural relativism: studying a culture on its own terms rather than
comparing it to your own culture
Provide students with opportunities to respond in writing: diary, poetry, journal,
Enhance Foreign Language education through an alternative method