Centred on the theme of ‘scale’, the inaugural ArchFilmFest launches during the London Festival of Architecture. ArchFilmFest London is the first festival in the capital to focus on architecture and film; a biennial, five-day event which takes place between two London venues, Bargehouse and the ICA.
Architecture and film have multiple overlaps. Good architecture, as good filmmaking, responds to the human condition in narrative form. Both encapsulate culture as the experience of space and time. By combining physical forms and projection pieces with conventional screenings, ArchFilmFest London creates a unique, three-dimensional, architectural film experience.
This event aims to bring together the key positions and preoccupations that straddle the border between architecture and filmmaking. It provides a platform for these disciplines to meet, creating dialogue around form, content and technique while promoting a deeper collaboration between them. From narrative themes, to the shared software behind augmented reality and CGI, to architecture as central film ‘character’, the festival will promote a multifarious interpretation of the core premise
The selected range includes documentaries, features, films made by architects, pieces using algorithms to morph architecture, animation, drone footage, virtual reality and the winning pieces submitted for their international competition. A daily film selection will be screened at Bargehouse, on at least 10 screens, combining architectural classics and competition long-listed films. It offers a hub to encourage the meeting of the curious and like-minded with a cafe and bar, talks, music, events and a pop-up bookshop. Symposia will give an opportunity to focus on live dialogues between architects and filmmakers engaged in the shared exploration of architecture and filmmaking.
Another highlight is Cinematic Essays, which brings together nine short films by students in Unit 24 at Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, to propose ideas that rethink architecture’s relationship to time, connect to its history and grasp glimpses of its future.
The festival will also draw attention to films where architecture, the city or set design plays a significant, central or pivotal role. Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner, Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Christopher Nolan’s Inception are classic examples. It will look at those who have been exploring the interface of the two fields for some time – from Tron legend Joseph Kosinki’s engineering and architecture background, to Rem Koolhaas’ early film-writing work; the latter’s plan of a building has been described by critic Shumon Basar as “a plot waiting to happen.”
This year ‘Scale’ is the theme and Chile the partnering country, whose Arqfilmfest in Santiago de Chile will bring a Latin American perspective to the dialogue.