This seven film/eight month curriculum at the Smith Rafael Film Center serves students from urban & suburban communities throughout the Bay Area. This repeating group of about 100 students views and examines a selection of international films that address universal coming-of-age issues. Students have the opportunity to speak to the films’ directors, or to the individuals featured in the films, participating in lively post-film Q&A sessions and small group break-out discussions. The first meeting is a “Wake Up” designed by Generation Waking Up to stimulate discussion about who they are, and to deal with issues such as race, religion, ethnicity and social views, preparing the participants for a year’s worth of conversation amongst themselves. The aim of this program is for students to learn about themselves and to expand their world view through exposure to other cultures and ideas.

A PLACE IN THE WORLD is for grades 10-12. Participating schools are chosen from different Bay Area locations and with as much diversity in the student body as possible. Past participating schools have been Downtown Continuation High School, Richmond Leadership High, Oakland’s Oasis program, Oakland Envision Academy, San Francisco Arts & Technology High School and the TEAM program of Tamiscal High School. All schools are required to commit to the full eight month/once a month program.

All films and discussions take place at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center.

Study guides and clips for all films are provided and sent out two weeks prior to an event for class preparations. CFI staff also visits the schools prior to the program’s start to familiarize students with the program and to answer questions. On the event date: the film is shown; discussion conducted with director or principal speaker; small group break-out with adult discussion leaders for personal reflection.