The 3rd-annual Architecture & Design Festival (ADFF) returns to Tribeca Cinemas (54 Varick Street), October 19-23 with a lineup of more than 30 films from 12 countries. The festival celebrates the creative spirit that drives architecture and design.
“There is a natural connection between film and architecture,” says Festival Director and Architect Kyle Bergman. “Designing a building and making a film are a similar process; both are a balance of art and science, both tell stories, and both are labors of love.”
The festival will screen the world premiere of the film Robert A.M. Stern: 15 Central Park West and the History of the New York Apartment House. Stern will be in attendance at Tribeca Cinemas on October 22nd and will participate in a talkback following the film’s screening. This film will be shown in a program with three other short films that focus on New York City: a film on the Hearst Tower; Public Farm 1 on the design by WorkAC that won MOMA’s PS1 competition; and a lively short on The High Line which was designed by the firm Diller Scofidio+Renfrow.
ADFF’s opening night film, Unfinished Spaces, concerns the utopian fantasy that swept Cuba when Castro came to power and commissioned an arts school complex that was meant to be “the most beautiful” in the world. Ultimately, the buildings were left unfinished for more than 30 years and upended the careers of the three young architects who participated in the project. The World Monuments Fund became involved in the restoration of the buildings, and Castro decided to finish the project in 2004. “We are thrilled to announce that the project’s lead Architect Ricardo Porro, now 86 years old, will be on hand for the opening night screening of the film on October 19th", said Festival Director, Laura Cardello.
“If Buildings Could Talk,” a 3D video installation by Wim Wenders, was originally shown at the Venice Biennale in 2010. This will be its first showing in the U.S.
Also on Friday, October 21st, there will be a sneak preview of Eames: A Painter and Architect, which will screen only once before its theatrical release this November. And on that same day, world renowned architect and developer John Portman will come to the festival for the New York premiere of the film, John Portman: A Life of Building.
Other feature-length films on well-known architects is the U.S. premiere of A Lioness Among Lions about the architect Zaha Hadid, offering a close look at the woman who has become an international sensation. Filmmaker Horst Brandenburg will be at the screening for a talkback after the film. Another renowned architect, Lord Norman Foster, is the subject of the film, How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?
This year’s festival will include a number of films with a focus on current urban issues. The Myth of Pruit–Igoe gives a fresh look at the infamous housing projects in St. Louis. The film makes the argument that it was not an architectural failure but other issues that led to the project’s dreadful conditions. Pool Party looks at the rise and fall and rise again of Williamsburg’s McCarren Pool.
ADFF will also feature the New York premiere of Antwerp Central, which won the Grand Prize at this year’s Festival of Films on Art Montreal. The film is a poetic and hypnotic investigation of time and memory as seen through the Antwerp Central train station.
The Festival will also host a series of lively panel discussions with some of today’s design elite on October 21, 22, and 23. The schedule, topics, and participants can be found at www.adfilmfest.com. The panel discussions are free to festival attendees.