Unity Temple: Frank Lloyd Wright's Modern Masterpiece
Unity Temple: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Modern Masterpiece

The 13th edition of Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF) will present a slate of 19 films both online and in-person throughout the 2021/22 season, with Festivals and screenings in New York, Toronto, Vancouver, DC, Cairo, and online.

The 19 films present the work of iconic architects and designers from Bruce Mau to Frank Lloyd Wright, weave together stories of heritage and preservation, natural landscapes, and the beauty of light all in relationship with architecture, inspire social and environmental progress through design, and capture the transformative power of art.

Some of the films will be screened in person in New York, Toronto, and at the Festivals in Vancouver and DC and many of them will be available for home viewing as part of ADFF: ONLINE.

When & Where

  • November 3-5 – 3 Nights of Public Screenings with ADFF: Toronto
  • November 10-13 – ADFF: Vancouver (Van City Theatre)
  • November 17-19 – 3 Nights of Public Screenings with ADFF: NY and Eventscape (Eventscape studio in Long Island City)
  • November 17-December 3 – ADFF: ONLINE (US and Canada)
  • January 6-9 – ADFF: DC (National Building Museum)
  • January 26-30 – Live screenings in Cairo, Egypt with Film My Design

Architecture & Design Film Festival 2021/22 Films

Another Kind of Knowledge – Portrait of Dorte Mandrup
Another Kind of Knowledge is a fascinating tale of the conditions and nature of architecture today as told through a conversation with Dorte Mandrup. Known for bringing a sculptural quality to her buildings, Dorte Mandrup has enjoyed stardom in the Scandinavian architecture scene and now gradually in the international world as people begin to take interest in her studio located in a backyard on Vesterbrogade. But who is Dorte Mandrup? Directed by Marc-Christoph Wagner and Simon Weyhe in collaboration with the Louisiana Museum of Denmark and the Louisiana Channel, the film offers a distinctive portrait of the artist, shaped by her very own conversations.

Architect of Brutal Poetry
A film that pulls on the heartstrings, Architect of Brutal Poetry tells the story of Hans Broos, a celebrated Brazilian architect with a German and Slovak background, painting a picture though his memories as they are slowly washed away by Alzheimer’s disease.

Battleship Berlin
Berlin’s brutalist heritage is under fire. The city’s powerful Charité hospital wants to destroy two brutalist icons of the Cold War era, including an infamous former animal research laboratory called the Mäusebunker. This film tells the story of preservation, following a dedicated group of politicians, preservationists, architects, gallerists, and students as they fight for an adaptive re-use of these magnificent, uncompromisingly unique structures.

Breuer’s Bohemia
Breuer’s Bohemia surveys the houses designed by iconic architect Marcel Breuer from the 1950s through the ’70s, many of which were commissioned by politically progressive clients. The film offers a unique glimpse of a twentieth-century milieu that produced an aesthetic, intellectual, and sometimes sybaritic community in a bygone period of American culture.

Beyond Zero
Beyond Zero tells the story of how Ray Anderson turned Interface, the largest carpet tile company in the world, into a mission-driven brand, committed to sequestering carbon in its products and making factories that sustain and replenish the ecosystem.

Chasing Perfect
This is the untold story of the unique and extraordinary creativity of Frank Stephenson, one of the most important and influential car designers working today. From his first ever design to his current re-invention of the London taxi cab and his work on bespoke military watches, Chasing Perfect focuses on the mechanics of Frank’s mind and the development of his creative process. This is the story of a designer whose infectious enthusiasm and extreme dedication have led him to succeed beyond the automotive world; a person whose imagination and almost childlike awe of the world has reshaped the industry.

From Earth to Sky
From Earth to Sky explores the work of seven unique and accomplished Indigenous Architects as they design and complete extraordinary ‘buildings’ in cities and communities across North America and Turtle Island. They all define their individuality through their artistry, and bond in their philosophy and principles of protecting the planet. Beautiful and intimate, the film sparks a vital conversation paramount to transforming perspectives on how we approach our built environment.

High Maintenance – The Life and Work of Dani Karavan
Israeli artist Dani Karavan has created nearly 100 environmental installations all across the world, winning some of the most prestigious international art awards. Yet Karavan is far from satisfied. The film captures Karavan’s emotional moments as his monumental structures rapidly deteriorate, his advanced age begins to catch up with him, and the political climate in his country drives him mad. High Maintenance is a straightforward, yet intricate film, as painful as it is humorous and passionate.

Holy Frit
Holy Frit tells the story of Tim Carey, a talented, Los Angeles-based artist who, along with his company Judson Studios, bluffs his way into winning the commission to make the world’s largest stained-glass window of its kind. After a desperate search, Tim comes to learn about someone who might be able to help make his complicated design. As the documentary unfolds the clash of two big personalities slowly transforms into the forging of a lasting friendship. This story gives a universally fun, heartfelt, and sometimes comedic look into the drama of any human endeavor which is greater than the sum of its parts.

Inside Prora
The ‘Monster by the Sea’, the ‘Colossus of Rugen’: Prora is considered the longest building in the world. Hitler’s own idea, it was built during the Third Reich, converted to one of the largest barracks in the GDR, and an abandoned site for many years following Germany’s reunification. A stunningly beautiful film, Inside Prora, feels its way through history, establishing unexpected connections between people and societies with modernist architecture and the phenomenon of mass tourism.

Light Snatcher
Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Light Snatcher investigates the intricate play of natural light in the architecture of Juha Leiviskä, one of the most successful contemporary Finnish architects and demonstrates how light plays with buildings and space in this cinematic masterpiece.

MAU is the first-ever, feature-length documentary about the design visionary Bruce Mau. The film explores his unlikely creative journey and ever-optimistic push to tackle the world’s biggest problems with design. Over the span of his career, this creative dark horse has completed the transformation from world-class graphic designer to designer of the world. From advising global brands like Coca-Cola and Disney to rethinking a 1000-year plan for Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, Bruce Mau is a pioneer of transformation design and the belief that design can be used to create positive change in our world.

Moving Barcelona
Moving Barcelona is a magical realist story about the Catalonian capital, an autonomous region in the Spanish State contending with an identity crisis. A city with everything going for it, Barcelona is still haunted by the ghosts of its past. The eighth film in an award-winning collection of works by the London-based filmmaker, Jevan Chowdhury, including explorations of London, Paris, Brussels, Dallas, Prague, Yerevan, and Athens, Moving Barcelona capture’s the city’s pursuit of happiness.

Mud Frontier: Architecture at the Borderlands
Set in the remote San Luis Valley of Colorado, feature documentary Mud Frontier: Architecture at the Borderlands follows designers Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello’s experimentation with robotic manufacturing processes and traditional adobe architecture. Motivated by the neglect and abandonment of customary earthen building techniques that were once widely used throughout the region, in an area where Indigenous and European colonists have historically lived both in harmony and in conflict with one another, Rael and San Fratello reflect on this legacy to forge new methods of creative production.

Museum Town
Museum Town tells the story of a unique museum, the small town it calls home, and the great risk, hope, and power of art to transform a desolate post-industrial city. In 2017, MASS MoCA became the largest museum for contemporary art in the world—but just three decades before, its vast brick buildings were the abandoned relics of a massive shuttered factory. A testament to tenacity and imagination, Museum Town traces the remarkable story of how a rural Massachusetts town went from economic collapse to art destination.

Openings: Gazes Beyond the Limit
Openings explores the world of the architectural elements that “embody” the concept of threshold, of openness, and of the relationship between inside and outside, through the voices of international architects. Addressing the theme of the threshold in immaterial, almost spiritual terms, the film investigates the close relationship between art and life, between necessity and creative effort, between philosophy and civil thought.

The Object Becomes
Shot between February and April 2021 across Belgium, The Object Becomes leads viewers through the stories of nine protagonists of circular design, reuse, regeneration of resources, new models of organization, and production. One story, nine practices: the narratives blend together to create a unity of space and time, building a single voice common to all.

Small Town Big Canvas: An Indiana, PA Story
Dripped On The Road, a traveling artist residency program paints 14 murals ‪in 2 weeks‬ in Indiana, Pennsylvania, during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The project transforms the town’s visual landscape while paying homage to its local history. This heartwarming and quirky story demonstrates the importance, power, and impact of public art that contributes to community identity. In a time of crisis, uncertainty, and division, the arts are a catalyst for breaking down barriers and uniting people from all walks of life.

Unity Temple: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Modern Masterpiece
Frank Lloyd Wright’s modern masterpiece, Unity Temple is an homage to America’s most renowned architect during a pivotal time in his career. The film pulls back the curtain on Wright’s first public commission in the early 1900s to the painstaking efforts to restore the 100-year-old building back to its original beauty. The dedicated team of historians, craftspeople, members of the Unitarian congregation, and Unity Temple Restoration Foundation reveal the history of one of Wright’s most innovative buildings that merged his love of architecture with his own spiritual values. The film intersperses the architect’s philosophies with quotes narrated by Brad Pitt.

What Does It Take To Make A Building?
What Does It Take is an intimate portrait of Sarah Wigglesworth’s life as an architect who uses her work as a vehicle for social change. Through her conversations with fellow architect Piers Taylor, Sarah discusses her architectural education, through to the experimental home and studio she designed and built with her partner Jeremy Till.

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