Virtual Film Roster

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New Teen Screen Virtual Films

Hispanic and Latin American Stories Short Film Program

Spanish, English, with English subtitles

This short film program has been curated to share stories and insights into Hispanic and Latin American heritage and culture. We also encourage the use of these films in Spanish Language classrooms, as they offer exposure to several dialects and vocabulary from the Spanish speaking world. The individual films are between 6-30 minutes each, and all together they run 97 minutes.

Recommended for grades 7-12.

Sub-themes: cultural relativism, colonialism, resilience, hope

Still A Black Star

Japanese, English, with English subtitles

This feature film follows the extraordinary journey of Japanese artist/activist Mago Ngasaka as he traces the flow of waste from the world’s wealthiest nations to a vast e-waste dump in the Agbogbloshie slum in Accra, Ghana, where it is burned to recover precious metals while poisoning the people and devastating the land. We love that Mago partners with the people of the slum to draw attention to and transform their community through art, using waste in innovative ways to wake up the first world to the global e-waste epidemic.

Runtime: 96 minutes. Recommended for grades 8-12.

Sub-themes: cultural and class differences, art for social justice, environmentalism, e-waste

Trailer

Topowa! Never Give Up—New!

English

Topowa! is the inspirational story of 12 talented young street children as they embark on a musical journey from the Katwe slum in Uganda to the iconic Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London and on to a residency at the world-famous Cheltenham Music Festival. This film showcases how great art can break down barriers between classes, cultures, and levels of privilege, empowering the next generation of musicians to follow their dreams.

Runtime: 83 minutes. Recommended for grades 6-12.

Sub-themes: resourcefulness, persistence, hope, cultural and class differences, inspiration

Trailer

Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Life

English

This powerful film documents Pittsburgh’s all-community response to hate in the aftermath of the deadliest antisemitic attack in U.S. history. Through the voices of survivors, family members, diverse Pittsburgh residents and leaders, the film highlights unity in a moment of crisis, the resilience of a vibrant city, and a community working together to show what it means to be “stronger than hate.”

Runtime: 80 minutes. Recommended for grades 8-12.

Sub-themes: antisemitism, gun violence, resilience, “Stronger than Hate”

Trailer


ENVIRONMENT & STEM FILMS

The Ants and the Grasshopper

English

Anita Chitaya has a gift; she can help bring abundant food from dead soil, she can make men fight for gender equality, and she can end child hunger in her village. Now, to save her home in Malawi from extreme weather, she faces her greatest challenge: persuading Americans that climate change is real. Anita’s journey from Malawi to California to the White House takes her across all divisions shaping the US, from the rural-urban divide; to schisms of race, class, and gender; to the thinking that allows Americans to believe they live on a different planet from everyone else.

Runtime: 74 minutes. Recommended for grades 9-12.

Sub-themes: environmental justice, gender equality, global connections

Trailer

Inventing Tomorrow

English, Spanish, Indonesian with English subtitles

This film follows young scientists from Indonesia, Hawaii, India, and Mexico as they tackle some of the most complex environmental issues facing humanity today—right in their own backyards. These young scientists are preparing original research that they will defend at the International Science and Engineering Fair. More importantly, they are tackling environmental issues that have been left unaddressed by previous generations and will affect them the most. 

Runtime: 90 minutes. Recommended for grades 8-12.

Sub-themes: environmental justice, climate change, science, activism, youth impact

Trailer

Still A Black Star—New!

Japanese, English, with English subtitles

This feature film follows the extraordinary journey of Japanese artist/activist Mago Ngasaka as he traces the flow of waste from the world’s wealthiest nations to a vast e-waste dump in the Agbogbloshie slum in Accra, Ghana, where it is burned to recover precious metals while poisoning the people and devastating the land. We love that Mago partners with the people of the slum to draw attention to and transform their community through art, using waste in innovative ways to wake up the first world to the global e-waste epidemic.

Runtime: 96 minutes. Recommended for grades 8-12.

Sub-themes: cultural and class differences, art for social justice, environmentalism, e-waste

Trailer

Make It Work

English

Make It Work is a documentary series of four short films that spotlight young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who are disrupting the STEM ecosystem with their incredible innovations. Each film—The Idea, The Design, The Build, and The Launch—is designed to work individually or along with the others to spark the minds and passions of students in middle and high school. Each runs around 30 minutes. Virtual school visits by filmmakers Kern and Kip Konwiser will be available.

Recommended for grades 7-12.

Sub-themes: innovation, youth impact, making a difference, entrepreneurship

Youth v Gov—New!

English

This documentary follows the path of a Federal lawsuit, filed in 2015 by a group of young citizens who claim that the U.S. government violated their constitutional rights to life, liberty, personal safety, and a clean environment through willful actions that contributed to the climate crisis. Presented in partnership with the Pennsylvania Bar Association, PBA lawyers and judges will visit your classroom after the virtual screening!

Runtime: 110 minutes. Recommended for grades 9-12.

Sub-themes: environmental justice, climate change, activism, youth impact, U.S. courts

Trailer


HOLOCAUST FILMS

Holocaust Short Film Program

English, German, and French, with English subtitles

This program of short films has been specially curated to introduce students to little known stories of the Holocaust that humanize the history, instead of focusing solely on dates and numbers. The selection includes documentary, narrative, and animated films. These short films are easily adapted to classroom screening and at-home viewing due to their individual lengths of 7-25 minutes, but may also be presented as a program of 90 minutes. We also can customize the film selection for younger and older audiences.

Recommended for grades 6-12.

Sub-themes: the power of one person to make a change, coping with adversity, response to evil, resistance, survival, effects of trauma

The Crossing

Norwegian, with English subtitles

This docudrama is based on a true story of 10-year-old Gerda and her brother Otto, whose parents are in the Norwegian resistance during World War II. After Gerda and Otto’s parents are arrested, the siblings are put in the position of helping two Jewish children flee from the Nazis into Sweden. 

Runtime: 90 minutes. Recommended for grades 6-8.

Sub-themes: courage, resistance, friendship, bystanders versus upstanders, coming of age

Trailer

Fanny's Journey

French, with English subtitles

Thirteen-year-old Fanny grows up fast as she is forced to parent a group of younger children on the run from the Nazis. This beautifully shot, heartfelt film highlights a young person’s resolve, bravery, and compassion in the face of great risk.

Runtime: 90 minutes. Recommended for grades 6-12.

Sub-themes: courage, resistance, friendship, bystanders versus upstanders, coming of age, survival

TRAILER

Inside Hana's Suitcase

Czech, English, And Japanese, with English subtitles

The arrival of Hana Brady’s battered suitcase to the Holocaust Museum in Tokyo prompts the director and her students to uncover the details of Hana’s life. As small children, Hana and her brother, George, were sent to Theresienstadt for being Jewish after the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939. Children from Japan, Canada, and the Czech Republic, along with George Brady, who survived the Holocaust, describe Hana’s story, creating a film of astonishing power and hope. 

Runtime: 60 minutes. Recommended for grades 6-8.

Sub-themes: children and children’s rights during the Holocaust, Japanese culture, persistence, teamwork, tolerance

TRAILER

Valiant Hearts

French with English subtitles

In a gripping true tale of survival against all odds, VALIANT HEARTS follows six Jewish children in 1942 who were hidden in the Chateau de Chambord, along with priceless artwork from the Louvre Museum. There they are aided by Rose, a conservator at Paris’s Jeu de Paume Museum and a member of the resistance, who is documenting the theft of art by Nazi officers. Rose and the children face almost unimaginable circumstances while learning about friendship, solidarity, and doing what’s right. Their unforgettable story brings this moment in history to life.

Runtime: 92 minutes. Recommended for grades 9-12.

Sub-themes: resourcefulness, hope, friendship, upstanders

TRAILER

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit

German, Swiss German, French, with English Subtitles

Based on the semi-autobiographical book by Judith Kerr, this film tells the story of Anna, whose life suddenly becomes dangerous in 1933. When her father goes missing one day, Anna realizes everything in Europe will change, beginning with her home and family. She, along with her mother and brother, must quickly move first to Switzerland, then to France, to be with her father, a prominent writer who opposes Hitler. From then on, Anna encounters life as a refugee, not speaking the language, not knowing the customs, missing friends and loved ones, and facing xenophobia, poverty, and hunger. This is a story of resilience of body and spirit and of family.

Runtime: 120 minutes. Recommended for grades 7-12.

Sub-themes: refugees, survival, coming of age, coping with adversity, responsibility

Trailer


GENOCIDE FILMS

Genocide: Stories of Survival, Resilience, and Reconciliation

English

Genocide has occurred throughout history and continues today. These short films present genocide in terms of the human cost, begging the questions—who determines who will live and who must die? How can we stop the atrocities? These short films are easily adapted to classroom screening and at-home viewing due to their individual lengths of 7-29 minutes, but may also be presented as a program of 95 minutes.

Recommended for grades 8-12.

Sub-themes: resourcefulness, struggle for survival, moving past horror

Gather

English

Gather is an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political, and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide. 

Runtime: 75 minutes. Recommended for grades 9-12.

Sub-themes: survival, cultural identity, food sovereignty

Trailer


HUMAN RIGHTS / SOCIAL JUSTICE FILMS

A Focus on Disabilities: Short Films that Highlight Diversity and Inclusion

English

Included in this short film program are stories of people with physical, intellectual, and mental disabilities. The viewer will understand the obstacles faced by and the resilience of people with disabilities and their communities. These short films are easily adapted to classroom screenings and at-home viewing due to their individual lengths of 3-33 minutes but may also be presented as a program of 90 minutes.

Recommended for grades 8-12.

Sub-themes: accommodations for people with disabilities, acceptance of differences, perseverance, the human condition

The Black Experience in America

English

Our updated Black Experience program incorporates short films that celebrate the lives of little-known Black musicians, artists, pilots, and activists. These stories expose the unique obstacles faced by Black Americans and show strength and resilience to move forward. The short film format is perfect for classroom screenings, with films from 12-38 minutes in length. Pair the short films with a visit from a special guest with personal or professional knowledge of the topic, and you’ll have the perfect programming to highlight Black History Month!

Recommended for grades 7-12.

Sub-themes: racial justice, inequality, overcoming life’s obstacles, hope, persistence

Crime on the Bayou

English

In 1966, a young Black fisherman, Gary Duncan, tries to break up a fight between white and Black teenagers outside a newly integrated school in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. During the confrontation, he touches one of the white teens on the arm, resulting in his arrest. This begins a confrontation with the racist Louisiana legal system, led by a young Jewish attorney named Richard Sobol, that goes all the way to the US Supreme Court. This film covers the legal fight to enshrining the Constitutional right to a jury trial at the state level.

Runtime: 90 minutes. Recommended for grades 9-12.

Sub-themes: civil rights, racial justice, inequality, persistence, Jim Crow

Trailer

Day of the Western Sunrise

Japanese, with English subtitles

On March 1, 1954, the United States detonated the thermonuclear bomb Castle Bravo in the Pacific Ocean, catching the fishing vessel Lucky Dragon No. 5 in the blast.  In this locally produced film, traditional Japanese animation methods illuminate the story, and Japanese survivors discuss their experience and how it has affected their lives. Screening this film will be accompanied by a virtual visit from the filmmaker. 

Runtime: 75 minutes. Recommended for grades 8-12.

Sub-themes: nuclear proliferation, foreign policy, filmmaking, generational legacies

Trailer

Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels

English and other African Languages, with English Subtitles

In 1839 a small group of enslaved Africans rose up and seized their ship (the Amistad), and sailed it from Cuba to Long Island, where they were captured, charged, jailed, and tried by Americans. This was a significant event, as it rallied abolitionists and deepened the national conflict over slavery. This film chronicles a journey to Sierra Leone to visit the home villages of the rebels to explore the African origins of the heroes of the Amistad incident. Screening this film will be accompanied by a virtual visit from the local filmmakers.

Runtime: 60 minutes. Recommended for grades 8-12.

Sub-themes: slavery, rebellion, “history from below,” documentary filmmaking

Trailer

Inclusion Short Film Program

English

You asked and we answered—Teen Screen has assembled a short film program of 7 films of 21 minutes or less that focus on inclusion and acceptance, and are appropriate for younger students as well! The short films will inspire discussion and writing prompts, and will encourage students to think about their role in changing the world for the better. We encourage you to use this program in creative ways—create your own Film Festival at school or allow students to watch on their own and form their individual takeaways from the content.

Recommended for grades 4-12.

Sub-themes: the power of one person to make a difference, empathy, refugees, disabilities, collaboration, stereotypes

Native American Stories—New!

English, Native American Languages, with English Subtitles

Teen Screen Virtual presents a new short film program that includes five short films, 6-17 minutes in length, focusing on Native peoples and how their identities and histories have shaped their experiences in the modern world. Consider a Film Festival in your school or classroom to celebrate Native American culture! 

Runtime: 60 minutes. Recommended for grades 7-12.

Sub-themes: American history, cultural relativism, genocide, resilience, hope, heritage, and environmentalism

Raise Your Voice

English

This film follows student survivors and journalists at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as they work to retell the story and the aftermath of their school’s mass shooting. This documentary explores youth free speech history in America (through the story of Mary Beth Tinker of the Tinker v. Des Moines Supreme Court Case), connecting the Parkland students to a broader story about young voices and their power through social movements. Especially timely now that students are speaking out, marching, and raising their voices in school, in their communities, and on line, Raise Your Voice is a valuable tool to initiate discussions about students’ rights and agency in the world they will inherit.

Runtime: 45 minutes. Recommended for grades 8-12.

Sub-themes: first amendment rights, gun violence and gun control, activism, youth impact

Trailer

The Rape of Recy Taylor

English

In 1944, Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old black mother and sharecropper, was gang raped by six white boys in Alabama. Common in Jim Crow South, few women spoke up in fear for their lives. Not Recy Taylor, who bravely identified her rapists and fought for justice with help from Rosa Parks and legions of women.

Runtime: 90 minutes. Recommended for grades 9-12.

Sub-themes: women’s history, Jim Crow, survival, resilience

Trailer

Refugee Short Film Program

English, Spanish, German, Hebrew, and Arabic, with English subtitles

This program of short films chronicles the refugee experience, from decisions to leave one’s home country, through travel to a final destination, to resettlement. There is an equal focus on refugees from Middle Eastern countries and from Central America. These short films are easily adapted to classroom screening and at-home viewing due to their individual lengths of 9-23 minutes, but may also be presented as a program of 100 minutes.

Recommended for grades 7-12.

Sub-themes: Syrian civil war, world peace, language and education, perseverance, the human condition

Repairing the World: Stories from the Tree of Life—New!

English

This powerful film documents Pittsburgh’s all-community response to hate in the aftermath of the deadliest antisemitic attack in U.S. history. Through the voices of survivors, family members, diverse Pittsburgh residents and leaders, the film highlights unity in a moment of crisis, the resilience of a vibrant city, and a community working together to show what it means to be “stronger than hate.”

Runtime: 80 minutes. Recommended for grades 8-12.

Sub-themes: antisemitism, gun violence, resilience, “Stronger than Hate”

Trailer

Topowa! Never Give Up—New!

English

Topowa! is the inspirational story of 12 talented young street children as they embark on a musical journey from the Katwe slum in Uganda to the iconic Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London and on to a residency at the world-famous Cheltenham Music Festival. This film showcases how great art can break down barriers between classes, cultures, and levels of privilege, empowering the next generation of musicians to follow their dreams.

Runtime: 83 minutes. Recommended for grades 6-12.

Sub-themes: resourcefulness, persistence, hope, cultural and class differences, inspiration

Trailer

Four Literature-Themed Short Film Programs

Innocence, Identity, Impossible Journeys, and Impact

Created by teachers, each of these four programs of short films offer stories that illustrate important themes in literature as well as serve as discussion and writing prompts for a variety of current issues. Each program includes 5-7 short films of varying lengths, totaling approximately 90-100 minutes. While curated for high school students, these programs can be customized for middle schoolers as well.

Recommended for grades 7-12.

Sub-themes: coming of age, stereotypes, acceptance of differences, perseverance, activism, teamwork

Women’s History & Empowerment Month Short Film Program

English

We have pulled together a slate of short films that highlight the accomplishments of little-known women who have changed or are currently influencing the role of women in sports, the workplace, science, and social change. This is a perfect film program for March—Women’s History Month. Short films are easily adapted to classroom screenings and at-home viewing due to their individual lengths of less than 25 minutes. The full program runs about 109 minutes.

Recommended for grades 6-12.

Sub-themes: women’s history, overcoming gender stereotypes, and women’s empowerment

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