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Mill Valley Film Festival | Free Screenings for School Groups


Date: October 4 & 7-11

Location: Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center

1118 Fourth Street, San Rafael


Century Larkspur Landing

500 Larkspur Landing Circle



Buses available for school groups 


If reserving for over 100 people , you will need to make more than one order.

This platform only allows 100 per order. 

Please check your reservation carefully to confirm where your film is screening.

Please sign up for all the seats you need including adult chaperones.


Friday, October 4 | 12:00–2:00pm | Smith Rafael Film Center

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound

Director Midge Costin | US 2019 | Grades 7–12

Few realize that sound is 50% of the cinematic experience. Building on the pioneering sight-and-sound discoveries of iconic filmmakers, this documentary features the first generation of recognized sound designers who designed great movies with sound before a frame was even shot. Making Waves explores the collaborative relationship between sound designers and the visionary directors they work with, examines the latest advances in sound technology, and illustrates how sound transforms not only the movies, but also our lives. Featuring interviews with David Lynch, Sofia Coppola, Ryan Coogler, and George Lucas.

In Person: Director Midge Costin

Monday, October 7 | 10:00am–12:30pm | Smith Rafael Film Center


Director Kasi Lemmons | US 2019 | Grades 10–12

Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, Harriet tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history. Starring Cynthia Erivo and Janelle Monae.

In Person: Director Kasi Lemmons

Monday, October 7 | 11:45am–1:20pm | Smith Rafael Film Center

What Do You Believe Now?

Director Sarah Feinbloom | US 2019 | Grades 6–12

Seventeen years after interviewing six teenagers of diverse faiths for her documentary What Do You Believe? (MVFF 2002), filmmaker Sarah Feinbloom poses questions anew to her subjects. The shocking jump cut from adolescence to adulthood as they discuss their lives’ journeys forms the heart of this touching look at spirituality and identity. World Premiere!

In Person: Director Sarah Feinbloom, Film Subjects TBA

Tuesday, October 8 | 9:30 - 11:15am | Smith Rafael Film Center   SOLD OUT


Friday October 4 | 10:00 am - 11:45am | Century Larkspur Landing

Friday, October 4 | 12:15 - 2:00pm | Century Larkspur Landing

Friday, October 4  | 11:00am - 12:45pm | Century Larkspur Landing

As the World Toons

Nonverbal & in English | Grades 1–5

From Sweden to South Korea, the language of animation is universal—but the stories and styles are as unique as the countries themselves. This enchanting collection of animated short films for all ages is a showcase of international imagination with a colorful cast of characters including robots, raccoons, dragons, and ducks. 

In Person: Director Jamy Wheless (The Pig and the Hill)

Tuesday, October 8 | 12:00–2:00 pm | Smith Rafael Film Center

The Story of Plastic

Director Deia Schlosberg | US 2019 | In English, Hindi, Indonesian, Malayalam & Tagalog with English subtitles| Grades 9–12

Documenting a slow-motion disaster still in the making, The Story of Plastic brings home the multiple existential threats posed by a dangerous, worldwide array of petrochemical-based products. This timely, urgent documentary presents disturbing images from numerous sites around the globe, while tracing plastic’s history, bringing into focus an alarming, manmade crisis. World Premiere!

In Person: Director Deia Schlosberg and representatives from Algalita Marine Research and Education

Tuesday, October 8 | 12:30–1:45pm | Century Larkspur Landing

The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion

Directors Lisa Cortés, Farah X | US 2019 | Grades 10–12

Filmmakers Lisa Cortés and Farah X remix the history of hip-hop fashion by shining a spotlight on the pioneering stylists and designers whose brilliant visions brought the indelible style, swagger, and savvy of African-American culture and creativity to the music industry, the runway, and the masses.

Note: Brief use of profanity

Wednesday, October 9 | 10:00am–12:00pm | Smith Rafael Film Center  SOLD OUT


Tuesday, October 8 10:00am - 12:00pm | Century Larkspur Landing

Team Marco

Director Julio Vincent Gambuto | US 2019 | Grades 3–8

It’s old world versus new world and video games versus the world’s oldest game in this intergenerational coming-of-age story, which pits 11-year-old gaming-obsessed Marco against his bocce-playing grandfather, Nonno. The film celebrates friendship, family, and above all, the squabbling, gregarious, loving Italian-American culture of Staten Island’s South Beach. World Premiere!

In Person: Director Julio Vincent Gambuto

Wednesday, October 9 | 10:30am–12:30pm | Smith Rafael Film Center


Director Sippy Chadha | Kenya/Denmark 2019 | In English & Swahili with English subtitles| Grades 9–12

Ever since she was a little girl living in the beach town of Lamu in Kenya, Subira dreamt of swimming in the ocean, but the sea, she is told, “is for boys.” Destined for an arranged marriage, Subira fights hard for that swim: breaking local customs, forgetting her good manners, and even skipping cooking lessons to sew her own burkini. A tale of freedom, resilience, and self-expression, Subira is an invitation to joy that feels just like a splash in the ocean. US Premiere!

In person: Director Sippy Chadha

Wednesday, October 9 | 12:30 - 2:00pm | Smith Rafael Film Center 

Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you’re a girl)

 Director Carol Dysinger | US/UK 2019 | In English & Dari with English subtitles | Grades 6–12

 Afghanistan has suffered years of conflict and is often considered “one of the worst places to be born a girl.” But an organization in Kabul is aiming to counteract that reality by recruiting young girls from poor neighborhoods and teaching them key academic and life skills. Learning to read, write—and skateboard—empowers them to compete, to play, to learn their strengths, and to build courage. 

Preceded by

Bike Bird

 Directors Odveig Klyve, Kari Klyve-Skaug | Norway 2018 | In Hazaragi & Norwegian with English subtitles

 Twelve-year-old Zahra and her family are asylum seekers from Afghanistan living in Norway. Forbidden from riding a bike by restrictive norms in her community, Zahra fights to find the balance between two cultures.

Kickstart Joy

 Director Austin Meyer | US 2019 |In English & Arabic with English subtitles

 A former soccer star shares his beloved sport with children living in Jordan's Za'atari Refugee Camp. Two tweens reflect on their lives in Syria and in the camp, and the role soccer plays in their lives today. 

In Person : Director Carol Dysinger (Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you’re a girl), Director Austin Meyer (Kickstart Joy)

Thursday, October 10 |10:00 - 11:45am | Smith Rafael Film Center  SOLD OUT


Thursday, October 10 12:15 - 2:00pm | Smith Rafael Film Center

¡Viva los Niños!

Nonverbal & in Spanish with English subtitles |Grades 3–8

This special collection of kid-centric animated, narrative, and documentary short films is a celebration of Spanish-language and Latin American films and stories. Hailing from Mexico, Spain, Guatemala, and Colombia, the films are both for and about families of all kinds and is perfect for Spanish speakers, learners—and appreciators!— alike.

In Person: Director Giselle Geney (3 Feet)

Thursday, October 10 | 12:00 - 2:00pm | Century Larkspur Landing

Rémi, Nobody’s Boy

 Director Antoine Blossier | France 2018 | In French with English subtitles

 Grades 5–8

 Adapted from the classic 1878 French novel Sans famille by Hector Malot, Rémi, Nobody’s Boytransports audiences to an idealized 19th century world of impossibly golden sunsets, verdant hills, and medieval stone villages for the heartwarming hero’s journey of an orphaned, 10-year-old boy and the aging traveling performer who takes him under his wing.

Friday, October 11 | 9:30–11:30am | Smith Rafael Film Center

5@5 Life Is for Living

Grades 6–12

We may be living in challenging times, but today’s teen filmmakers are using film purposefully—and creatively—to tell stories that both confront and counteract the darkness. In this peer-reviewed collection of youth-made short films, no genre is left unturned, from sci-fi to superheroes, serial killer comedy to animated adventure. Featuring films from as near as Novato and as far as Ukraine.

In Person: Youth filmmakers TBA

Friday, October 11 | 10:00–11:30am | Century Larkspur Landing 


Director Priya Ramasubban | India 2018 | In Ladakhi, Tibetan & Hindi with English subtitles | Grades 4–8

Chuskit tells the triumphant story of a physically disabled girl in rural India whose circumstances derail her dream of going to school. Nevertheless, she persists! Inspired by true events, this is an uplifting ode to girl power and celebration of a culture in which the value of connection is prized above all. 

Friday, October 11 | 12:15–2:00pm | Smith Rafael Film Center

Fresh & Fearless

Grades 5–8

They may be small. They may be young. But that doesn’t keep any of these inspiring characters from dreaming big, standing strong, or taking chances. Some strive for space exploration while others seek simple freedoms like riding bikes and reading books in this medley of short films that feature high-flying tales of resourcefulness, self-confidence, guts and glory. 

In Person: Director Ella Fields (Bubble Gum)

Questions? Melanie Nichols

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1 Comment

Mike Henry
Mike Henry
May 17, 2021

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