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The Architecture & Design Film Festival Kicks Off Today

Updated: Nov 23

The annual film festival’s new virtual format will allow viewers across the U.S. and Canada to watch when they want.


By Rachel Gallaher


An image from 'Charlotte Perriand, Pioneer in the Art of Living,' part of the 2020 Architecture & Design Film Festival. Copyright F.L.C./ADAGP, Paris.



Opening today, the annual Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF), presented by Eventscape, is a two-week-long event featuring a selection of 17 film programs focused on architecture and design.

Like most festivals and shows this year’s iteration has, for the first time, gone virtual, allowing viewers across the United States and Canada to access the films at times convenient for them.


“As with everything in life there are always pros and cons,” says architect and ADFF founder and director Kyle Bergman. “It's unfortunate that we won't be able to join together, but hosting the festival online allows us to bring great programming to people all over the country and Canada. Another plus is that you can watch the films at any time—whether at 6:30 am with coffee, one in the morning with whiskey, or even after a big Thanksgiving meal! Maybe watching design films will become some families' new Thanksgiving holiday tradition.”


Now in its 11th year, ADFF, which runs from November 19 through December 3, is the nation’s largest film festival dedicated to architecture and design. This year’s offerings will touch on highly relevant issues such as environmental design, urbanization and gentrification, and the role of women in architecture, while also celebrating the life and work of prolific architects and designers including Charlotte Perriand, Alvar Aalto, Albert Frey, and more.


“A festival should have something for everybody!” Bergman notes. “The films with the well known names like Alvar Alto, Charlotte Perriand, George Nakashima, and Bjarke Ingles are easy for people to gravitate towards. Some other films that should not be overlooked are: A Machine to Live In, about the Utopian vision of Brazilia; Tokyo Ride, an intimate portrait of architect Ryue Nishizawa; and Saving North, about the restoration of ancient wooden churches in a part of Russia that most of us have never been to.”



Architect Albert Frey's Canvas Weekend house in Northport, Long Island, New York. ADFF will be screening two films about the iconic architect: 'Frey I: The Architectural Envoy' and "Frey II: The Architectural Interpreter." Image courtesy of ADFF.



In addition to viewing the films, ticketholders will have the opportunity to hear from a number of celebrated industry leaders, as well as those involved in making the films (directors, producers, etc.) who will provide context and insight before and after some of the screenings. Award-winning Danish architect Bjarke Ingels will join a post-film Q&A with the directors of Making A Mountain, a film that chronicles his architectural firm, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), as they design and build a hybrid waste-to-energy plant and recreation center outside of Copenhagen. Other renowned international architects, including Francis Kéré and Glenn Murcutt, will host special introductions for Short Films Program II: Inspired by Materials and Richard Leplastrier: Framing the View, respectively.


“Our goal with ADFF:2020 was to serve as a momentary escape during this time of restricted travel and social gatherings,” Bergman says. “Of course, there is nothing quite like the experience of going to a real movie theater and watching a film on the big screen. But we’re really excited to explore the virtual arena even further, especially since it means that the opportunity to participate in ADFF will expand to every household and office across the continent.”


For tickets, schedules, a full list of films, and more information click here.




#ADFF #DesignFilmFestival #FilmFestival #DesignFilms #ADFF2020

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