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Portuguese International Film and Architecture Festival "Arquiteturas" kicks off in June

Portugal - May 15, 2018 - 04:16   3764 views

Arquiteturas, the only Portuguese International Film and Architecture Festival, has unveiled its detailed program for its sixth edition, which will kick off from 6th to 10th June at the Lisbon Forum and Cinema City Alvalade.

Focusing on fiction as a novelty this year, this year's theme has been announced as "Learning From Fiction" that will be dedicated to stories of our built environment and the people who live in it.

Tadao Ando, Francis Kéré, Alfredo Jaar and Ryue Nishizawa are among the architects which will be screened at the festival within the scope of its program. Beside that, some specific countries such as Chile, Tel Aviv, Istanbul and China will be screening with their dense and problematic urban environments exploring urban lived space, as well as focusing on the refugee crisis, dramatic urban planning issues and market house bubbles. 

"Architecture is always about creating fiction. But what happens when fiction clashes with reality? Not only film but also architecture has a fine line between fiction and 'reality," said the organisers of the film festival.

"Is creativity at stake if architecture chooses to engage more with “reality” than with fiction? Up to what extent should architecture engage socially? Is that relevant? The films we have selected aim to contribute to generating some reflection about these questions. Ultimately, architecture by creating fiction defines our reality. It is a powerful skill that should be used wisely."

World Architecture Community has highlighted some provocative and striking architecture films from this year's ARQUITETURAS festival and please peruse them in detail to create your agenda.

Columbus / Pre-Premiere Columbus, June 1st, 2018

In partnership with Alambique Films and Atelier 18:25. Presentation by architect and curator Susana Ventura. A film by Kagonada. Casey lives with her mother in a small, unfamiliar town in the Midwest, captivated by the promise of modernism, where buildings designed by Saarinen, I.M.Pei, Richard Meier, and others, can be found. Jin, a visitor from the other side of the world, comes to watch his dying father. Uneasy about the future, they find relief in each other and in the architecture that surrounds them.

Before My Feet Touch The Ground, June 6th, 2018 - Quarta-feira / Wednesday Fórum, Lisboa 

The opening film Before My Feet Touch the Ground (2017) is a good example of a hybrid format. It is a documentary against gentrification and the rise of house-prices in Tel Aviv, told by Daphni Leef, simultaneously leader of the movement in Israel, the main character, and director of the film. It is a protest film about a phenomenon that many cities are experiencing all over the world and therefore, a relevant one. 

The director will be present with the support of the Israeli Embassy in Lisbon.

Image © Ammon Haas

July 2011, a young Israeli video editor named Daphni Leef decides to protest against rent prices by pitching a tent in the city center. Within a few days a whole boulevard is full of tents, as a modest protest against housing policy grows into a national protest movement for social justice. In cities throughout Israel, and mass rallies are organized all over.  Daphni at first combative and exuding an attractive idealism, she gradually becomes exhausted.

As director, Daphni looks back on this turbulent period when she was transformed from a naive young woman into a celebrated and controversial national icon.

JAAR, Lament of the Images, June 8th, 2018 - Sexta-feira / Friday Fórum, Lisboa

Arquiteturas Film Festival has the privilege to announce that this year’s invited country is Chile. With the support of the Embassy of Chile in Lisbon, Portugal, aiming to promote what is taking place in the country in the realm of film and architecture, we will have as guests Alfredo Jaar (artist, architect and filmmaker), Paula Rodríguez Sickert (director of the film Jaar, Lament of the Images being screened at AFF and competing for best documentary) and Manuel Toledo (co-organizer of ArqFilmFest, since 2012, the first architecture film festival of Chile and Latin America). Also, Chilean filmmaker Kate Kliwadenko and Mario Novas, from Spain, directors of the film being exhibited this year Do More With Less, also in competition for best documentary film.

Paula Rodríguez Sickert, Alfredo Jaar and Manuel Toledo will be present during the screening of Jaar, Lament of the Images (8th APR/ Friday, Fórum Lisboa, 22h). Alfredo Jaar will lecture a conference at MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology) in order to talk about his work and will be available to answer any questions.

Samurai Architect Tadao Ando / Official Documentary

In stark contrast with his austere and minimalist architectural style, Shigenori, shows us Tadao Ando’s personality in his daily life: strong, energetic, expansive, extroverted, dynamic and alive. Behind his architecture’s rigidity and composition, we find his passion and devotion.

Francis Kéré: An Architect Between

The work of Francis Kéré is at the forefront of a paradigm shift within design. The architect is globally renowned for using his craft to improve social, economic, and political environments in his native Burkina Faso and numerous other countries. Globally, people are turning to designers to address intractable problems from poverty to climate change. 

Lycée Schorge Secondary School in Burkina Faso, 2016. Image courtesy of Kéré Architecture

Kéré seeks to do just this, using a mix of low-tech and high design and working in partnership with the communities for whom he builds. This film documents several projects Kéré has built or begun in the past 15 years, and shows the architect in action between Burkina Faso and Germany, where he is attempting to build a community performance centre for Syrian refugees.

Moriyama-San, Official Documentary

Closing this year’s edition, the festival exhibits Moriyama San (2017) directed by Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine about Yasuo Moriyama, the “urban hermit” who lives inside a house built by Ryue Nishizawa - one of the two founders of Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architecture studio SANAA back in 2005. 

The film fully embodies this edition’s motto by showing us Moriyama creating his own fiction within the space that Nishizawa created – an architectural fiction – through the film. Three narratives intertwined. At the end of the day, it is hard to decide whether we are watching a fiction or a documentary, but contrary to what happened during most of the 20th century, nowadays, we do not have to decide.

Istanbul Echoes, June 9th, 2018 - Sábado / Saturday Fórum, Lisboa

The film focuses on the experience of urban lived space. Istanbul’s street vendors adapt to fast paced urban changes when their neighborhoods are destroyed and residents are evicted over the course of 5 years. As old buildings and traditions disappear, a strong awareness develops in the younger generations and a new voice emerges through a socially engaged hip-hop group.

Exodus, June 9th, 2018 - Sábado / Saturday Fórum, Lisboa

The film focuses on the experience of being a refugee. Observational documentary about people as refugees and asylum seekers in many geographical locations such as Germany, Brazil, Western Sahara, Myanmar, Cuba, South Sudan.

Experimental City, June 7th, 2018 - Quinta-feira / Thursday, Fórum,  Lisboa

The firm focuses on modern architecture. “The Experimental City” is a documentary about the Minnesota Experimental City project, a futuristic attempt to solve urban problems by creating a full-size city from scratch in the isolated woods of northern Minnesota. At the heart of the story is renowned scientist, inventor and comic-strip author Athelstan Spilhaus, who dreams of a new kind of planned city – a truly experimental city that continuously changes to find workable urban solutions.

Gaming The Real World, Official Documentary

The film tackles the influences of video games on urban planning. Can video games be harnessed to help residents, especially young people, take part in planning, and fixing their own cities? “Civic gamification” contributes so that city architecture and urban planning is democratized. The film features Lydia Winters at the game developer Mojang, the creators of Minecraft, Paradox Interactive and the game Cities: Skylines and José Sanches and his indie game Block’hood. How will our cities look in 20-100 years time?

Pop Eye, June 7th, 2018 - Quinta-feira / Thursday, Cinema City Alvalade

The official fiction focuses on the problem of scale in architecture. On a chance encounter, a disenchanted architect bumps into his long-lost elephant on the streets of Bangkok. Excited, he takes his elephant on a journey across Thailand, in search of the farm where they grew up together.

This year, the film festival will exhibit biographies on architects Tadao Ando, Francis Kéré and Alfredo Jaar (who will be presenting a conference); films on the experience of urban lived space (Istanbul Echos, All I Imagine, In the Bubble, Greater Things); on the experience of being a refugee then (Red Trees) and now (Exodus); on modern architecture (Experimental City, A Spa. Architecture of Zawodzie and The Body and the Modernist City); on the market house bubble in China (Dream Empire); on the collective experience of urban design (Do More With Less, Die Laube); on the influence of video games on urban planning (Gaming the Real World) and; on the problem of scale in architecture (Pop Aye). The short films being exhibited both stands on their own and perform as an appetizer or an intermezzo.

You can see the detailed program of the festival from here. 

All images courtesy of Arquiteturas, unless otherwise stated

> via Arquiteturas