Let's Talk About Art: Coming-of-age films

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This is a biweekly series about art and artists in the region. Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts serves the community through arts education, exhibitions and artist resources.

Coming-of-age films

Whether it's novels or films, coming-of-age stories are bigger than ever. Look no further than "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" -- a box-office success nationwide.

Filmmakers around the world have found countless variations to explore on that journey from childhood to adulthood.

This year's Three Rivers Film Festival -- Pittsburgh's oldest and largest film festival -- has five coming-of-age films among its more than 50 offerings. And for teens, this can be a wonderful introduction to art films, or maybe even a first crack at subtitles. Check them out:


Simon lives what seems like an idyllic life with his older sister at a luxurious ski resort in the Swiss Alps. But his growing attachment to the guests and seasonal workers -- not to mention his newfound criminal activity -- gets him in trouble. (Nov. 3, 4; Regent Square Theater)


This is the tale of an orphaned South African boy who is taken in by an old woman, like a stray dog. Although they are from different worlds, don't get along and don't speak the same language, they eventually find ways to help each other, as their common humanity comes out. (Nov. 3, 5; Harris Theater)

"Clandestine Childhood"

Set in 1979, this is the suspenseful story of a boy and his family living in Argentina with fake identities. He tries to make friends but is afraid he might slip up since his life depends on keeping the secret. (Nov. 9, 11; Regent Square)


Annie is a tomboy with no friends her age. Her daily routine is filled with vandalizing, shoplifting and other forms of mischief until one day she hears an old woman's call from the bottom of an abandoned well. (Nov. 10, 15; Melwood Screening Room)

"Ginger & Rosa"

Set in 1960s London this is the story of two teenage girls whose lifelong friendship is shattered by ideological differences and personal betrayals. Stars Elle Fanning. (Nov. 15, 16; Regent Square)

Films may be unrated, so parental guidance is suggested.

The 16-day festival begins Friday at the Regent Square Theater in Edgewood; the Harris Theater, Downtown; and the Melwood Screening Room in Oakland. For a schedule: www.3RFF.com.



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