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What to see at the 2018 Architecture & Design Film Festival in New York City

Architecture East Media Round Up
Opening night of the New York Architecture & Design Film Festival will showcase the world premiere of Leaning Out, as well as the grand prize winner of the 2018 AIA Film Challenge. (Courtesy ADFF)
Opening night of the New York Architecture & Design Film Festival will showcase the world premiere of Leaning Out, as well as the grand prize winner of the 2018 AIA Film Challenge. (Courtesy ADFF)

Now in its tenth year, the Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF) is coming to New York later this month with a solid roster of unmissable short- and long-form films. For six days starting on October 16, the Cinépolis Chelsea will host screening after screening of rarely-seen films for your viewing pleasure.

This year’s opening night show and reception will be held at the SVA Theatre, presenting the world premiere of Basia and Leonard Myszynski’s film Leaning OutIn the 59-minute documentary, the filmmakers dive into the story of Leslie E. Robertson, the lead structural engineer behind the original World Trade Center towers. The film follows his response to the September 11 attacks as well as his lifelong fight for human rights and peace through service and design in the United States and abroad. 

The Grand Prize Winner of the 2018 AIA Film Challenge will also be announced on the first day of the festival, as well as the People’s Choice Award winner. Public voting for People’s Choice is open now through Monday, October 7 and all films are free to watch here.

Other highlights from this fall’s ADFF lineup include:

A Train to Rockaway directed by William Starling and Carlos Rojas-Felice

A short film showcasing the daily routine of amateur sandcastle architect Calvin Seibert, an artist who believes the production of art is the most interesting element of design.

Frank Gehry: Building Justice directed by Ultan Guilfoye

Co-presented by New York Magazine, this long-form film follows Frank Gehry and his studios at SCI-Arc and the Yale School of Architecture. Together with his students, he investigated prison design and visited one of the world’s most progressive detention centers in Norway.

Do More with Less directed by Katerina Kliwadenko and Mario Novas

This feature-length film hit the festival circuit last year and has received high praise for its depiction of the young architects and students in Latin America that are creating innovative architecture using few financial and material resources.

Francis Kéré: An Architect Between directed by directed Daniel Schwartz

Detailing the design legacy of world-renowned architect Francis Kéré, this short film dives into his social justice work in Burkina Faso and Germany.  

Enough White Teacups directed by Michelle Bauer Carpenter

This documentary highlights the award-winning projects that came out of an international design competition by the Danish nonprofit INDEX: Design to Improve Life. The designs center around sustainable strategies to combat key global issues such as infant mortality, ocean pollution, and affordable housing.

Five films (including a few from above) will include post-preview panels with speakers such as Jake Gorst, Martino Stierli, Guillaume de Morsier, and more.

You can view the entire ADFF schedule here. Tickets for opening night are $75, while general admission for all other films will be $17 for adults and $12.50 for students. Films showing in the pop-up Sony Theatre at Cinépolis Chelsea will be free, but tickets are required. They are available for purchase online, at the box office, or by phone.

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