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The Architecture & Design Film Festival returns to Tribeca


The Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF), now in its third year, returns to Tribeca Cinemas (54 Varick Street), Wednesday, October 19 - Sunday, October 23, 2011.  Celebrating the creative spirit that drives architecture and design, this year ADFF will show 15 programs, comprised of shorts and feature-length films; a fascinating lineup of more than 30 films from 12 countries. Tickets are priced @ $13 ($11 for AIA Members and $8 for students) and are available online at, or in-person at the Tribeca Cinemas (54 Varick Street). Group ticket packages are also available.

"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."

Highlights from this year's festival will include:

- The world premiere of "Robert A.M. Stern: 15 Central Park West and the History of the New York Apartment House." Mr. Stern will be in attendance 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," an 18-minute film on the design by Amale Andraos & Dan Wood's firm, WorkAC, that won MOMA's PS1 competition; and a lively short on The High Line which was designed by the firm Diller Scofidio+Renfrow.

- "Pool Party" which traces the gentrification of Williamsburg, Brooklyn by looking at the rise and fall and rise again of McCarren Pool, which became the site of the most significant music venue since CBGB's.


- A sneak preview of "Eames: The Architect and the Painter." Narrated by James Franco, this is the first film about Charles and Ray Eames since their deaths - the only screening prior to the theatrical release this November.  

- The first U.S. screening of "If Buildings Could Talk," a 3D visual investigation of the Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne by Wim Wenders, originally shown at the Venice Biennale in 2010.

- 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.


- 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?"


- "The Myth of Pruit-Igoe" which 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.


- 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 stunning 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  The panel discussions are free to festival attendees.  A reading of a new play by Oren Safdie, entitled A False Solution, will also be presented on Sunday, October 23rd in the Varick Room.

Tickets for the 3rd annual Architecture & Design Film Festival are priced @ $13 ($11 for AIA Members and $8 for students) and are available online at, or in-person at the Tribeca Cinemas (54 Varick Street). Group ticket packages are also available.


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