After its fifth edition in New York City’s Tribeca, the Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF) is heading west March 12-16, debuting at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. It will showcase 30 feature-length and short films that explore issues of design, urbanism and the human condition.
Films about design icons such as Massimo and Lella Vignelli, Tadao Ando, Paul Smith and Paolo Soleri, as well as the world premiere of a film on the futuristic work of maverick architect Eugene Tssui, will debut during the week.
Massimo and Lella Vignelli who are the subjects of "Design is One"
Curated by festival directors Kyle Bergman and Laura Cardello, the festival includes films with both an international and local perspective as well as director Q&As, panel discussions, a pop-up shop and other special events and receptions.
"Los Angeles' blend of architecture and passion for film make it a natural fit for the Architecture & Design Film Festival,” said Bergman. “There is no other city in the world with this rich combination. Our plan is to make L.A. a permanent part of the festival circuit that now includes New York and Chicago, expanding our scope from coast to coast.”
Scene from "If You Build It"
The ADFF will kick off with the screening of If You Build It by Patrick Creadon, the director of WORDPLAY and I.O.U.S.A. The film offers a look at a radically innovative approach to education, following designer-activists Emily Pilloton and Matt Miller as they lead a group of high school students in rural Bertie County, North Carolina, through a yearlong design-build project that challenges the students to not only reinvent their town, but their own sense of what is possible. If You Build It is about the power of design, but it is also about empowering youth.
Scene from "The Human Scale"
Urbanism is one of the year’s main themes, with films such as: The Human Scale, a Danish film based on the work of revolutionary city planner Jan Gehl; My Brooklyn, which explores the pros and cons of gentrification; 16 Acres, an in-depth look at the rebuilding of Ground Zero with an architectural, political and emotional perspective; and Lost Rivers, a Canadian film that visits cities around the world, retracing the history of their lost urban rivers and meeting visionary urban thinkers, activists and artists along the way.
In honor of its new host city, ADFF will also feature films that pay homage to Southern California and its rich and oftentimes complex architectural and design heritage, including:
The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat, which tells the story behind the house and the unlikely pairing of a working-class government employee and world-famous architect Richard Neutra through interviews with Richard Oyler, actress Kelly Lynch (who currently owns the house), Neutra’s two sons, and well-known L.A. real estate agent Crosby Doe.
Coast Modern, an independent film that takes viewers on a classic journey up the Northwest Coastline, making stops at some of the most inspired and legendary dwellings of West Coast Modernism from L.A. to Vancouver.
Levitated Mass, a tale about the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s permanent installation “Levitated Mass,” a two-story, 340-ton granite boulder that was moved from a quarry in Riverside, California, to the museum site on a 105-mile journey that spanned 10 nights and crawled through 22 cities and four counties on a football field-long transport vehicle.
Tickets for the ADFF can be purchased at The Los Angeles Theatre Center Box Office (514 S. Spring Street) and online. General Admission is $14; AIA members are $11; and students are $9 with valid ID.