Limited Engagements & Special Screenings


Recent releases, restored classics, and special guests grace the Barbro Osher Theater.

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  • CineSpin

  • Upcoming
  • Past
  • Past

Past Films

  • CineSpin: Chess Fever, Un chien Andalou, and The Cage

    • Friday, November 3 8:30 PM

    Free Admission

    Join us for CineSpin, the BAMPFA Student Committee’s annual event featuring terrific UC Berkeley student musicians providing original live accompaniment for Chess Fever (1925), Un chien Andalou (1929), and The Cage (1947).

  • The March

    • Thursday, August 24 7 PM
    James Blue
    United States, 1964

    Free Admission

    To commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which demanded equal rights for African Americans, we present two powerful documentaries, James Blue’s The March and Haskell Wexler’s The Bus.

  • Black Life: Saint Omer

    • Sunday, June 25 4:30 PM
    Alice Diop
    France, 2022

    Alice Diop’s first venture into narrative after more than a decade of documentary filmmaking, Saint Omer follows a young novelist, Rama, who is observing the trial of Laurence Coly, a woman accused of murdering her fifteen-month-old child in northern France.

    Introduced by ruth gebreyesus

  • Town Destroyer

    • Saturday, June 10 4:30 PM
    Deborah Kaufman, Alan Snitow
    United States, 2022

    East Bay Premiere!

    This is the East Bay premiere of Town Destroyer, which explores the ways we look at art and history at a time of racial reckoning. “Snitow and Kaufman’s documentary offers a fascinating overview of a case that encapsulates many of the bitterest divisions of our era” (Dennis Harvey, 48 Hills).

    Deborah Kaufman, Alan Snitow, and Gregory Scharpen in Person

  • Film & Video Makers at Cal: Works from the Eisner Competition 2023

    • Sunday, May 14 2 PM

    Free Admission

    Student filmmakers join us for a screening of this year’s prizewinners and honorable mentions in the film and video category of the Eisner Prize competition, UC Berkeley’s highest award for creative media making.

    UC Berkeley Student Filmmakers in Person

  • Drylongso

    • Sunday, May 7 5 PM
    Cauleen Smith
    United States, 1998

    “An enduringly rich work of DIY filmmaking, Drylongso remains a resonant and visionary examination of violence (and its reverberations), friendship, and gender” (Film at Lincoln Center).

    Cauleen Smith and Leila Weefur in Conversation

  • Black Life: Circling the Archive with Filmmaker Dwayne LeBlanc

    • Saturday, April 29 4 PM

    Filmmaker LeBlanc joins Black Life cocurator ruth gebreyesus in person to share his film and discuss influences on his approach to filmmaking. The program also features a 35mm restored print of Charles Burnett’s first film, Several Friends

    Dwayne Leblanc and ruth gebreyesus in Conversation

  • BAMPFA Student Committee Film Festival 2023

    • Friday, April 7 7 PM

    Free Admission

    A selection of outstanding student films from around the Bay Area.

    Student Filmmakers in Person

  • Tukdam: Between Worlds

    • Thursday, March 2 7 PM
    Donagh Coleman
    Finland, Ireland, Estonia, 2022

    Copresented with the Center for Buddhist Studies and the UC Berkeley Anthropology Department, cosponsored by the Institute for South Asia Studies and the Himalayan Studies Initiative

    In what Tibetans call tukdam, deceased meditators have shown no signs of death for days or weeks. Juxtaposing ground-breaking scientific research and Tibetan perspectives, this creative documentary challenges our notion of life and death—and where we draw the line between them.

    Donagh Coleman, David Perlman, and Jacob Dalton in Conversation

  • Neutra: Survival Through Design

    • Saturday, February 25 12 PM
    PJ Letofsky
    United States, 2019

    Austrian American architect Richard Neutra (1892–1970) designed 350 buildings around the world and was noted for his vision of environment, ecology, and livability. This information-rich documentary will be of interest to generalists and specialists alike in the areas of twentieth-century architecture and restoration, psychology, and aesthetics.

    Lisa Heschong, Richard Jackson, Lindsay Baker, and Raymond Richard Neutra in Conversation; Introduced by PJ Letofsky

  • Black Life: An Evening with Paige Taul

    • Saturday, February 18 5 PM

    Black Life is thrilled to welcome Oakland-born filmmaker Paige Taul back to the East Bay for a screening and conversation about her films. Primarily shot on 16 and super 8mm film, her works “engage with and challenge assumptions of Black cultural expression and notions of belonging.”

    Paige Taul and ruth gebreyesus in Conversation

  • Women Talking

    • Monday, January 30 6:30 PM
    Sarah Polley
    United States, 2022

    Graced with an extraordinary cast, Polley’s thoughtfully executed adaptation of Miriam Toews’s best-selling novel chronicles a radical “act of female imagination” to consider the healing power of language and what is required to escape systematic criminal abuse in an isolated religious community. 

    Frances McDormand, Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers, and Naima Karczmar in Conversation

  • Chinese Animation: The Screen and the Scroll

    • Sunday, January 15 4:30 PM

    This program features animated shorts created by the Shanghai Animation Film Studio that feature painting and folk art that link screen with scroll. The screen becomes a site for the painterly projection of dreams, nightmares, and fantasies.  

    Introduced by Julia Irwin and Linda C. Zhang