NZ Architecture & Design Film Festival set to open in Wellington

Last updated 12:49 17/05/2017

Mario Bellini's is just one of the remarkable architects' homes featured in Where Architects Live.

Eero Saarinen designed many US national landmarks, including St. Louis' Gateway Arch

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New Zealand's annual cinematic celebration of architecture and design takes up residence at Wellington's Embassy Theatre from Thursday night.

Now in its sixth year, the Resene Architecture & Design Film Festival aims to showcase the most acclaimed and current films on those subjects. This year's 19-strong line-up includes documentaries on 20th Century visionaries, fashion design, film and photography and urban futures.

Festival curator Clare Buchanan says the films have been grouped into themes, so audiences can "navigate towards stories they are most curious about".

"This year we have 20th-Century Visionaries [featuring the work of famed architects including Saarinen and Neutra]; Crossing the Divide [exploring architecture and its impact on space]; Designing Happiness [some of the bravest design trailblazers]; and Urban Futures [considering innovative ways to develop communities, be it in town planning, access to gardens or better ways to do business]."

Some of the featured films include:

* NZ Architecture and Design Film Festival returns
* Six of the best from the Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival

Driving Dreams

Gianluca Migliarotti's Turin-set tale is one for fans of the automotive design's "Golden Age".  Features the present design directors of Pininfarina, Zagato and FCA, as well as some of the industry's "Godfathers" like Aldo Brovarone, as they reminisce about how the Italian city became an epicentre for innovation  in the late-1940s.

Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future

Peter Rosen's film examines the life of the Finnish-American modernist and architectural visionary, whose iconic buildings include National Historic Landmarks such as the celebrated St. Louis' Gateway Arch, the General Motors Technical Center in Michigan and New York's TWA Flight Center at JFK International Airport.  Narrated by Saarinen's son Eric as he visits the sites of his late father's work.

Having a Cigarette with Alvaro Siza

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The Prizker Prize winner, socialist and passionate smoker takes viewers on a tour of his work, while talking to both the camera and fellow architect Eduardo Souta de Moura.  Iain Dilthey's intimate documentary sees Siza reflecting upon architecture as an agent of time, memory, beauty and responsibility.

Roger D'Astous

Known as a flamboyant "starchitect" in the 1960s, the celebrated Canadian began as an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright. Through interviews with D'Astous' sons, former work colleagues and homeowners, the film follows his professional journey from the early 1950s to the late 1990s.

Where Architects Live

Francesca Moltini's survey offers up eight architects, eight houses and eight paradigms of contemporary living. Originally filmed for an exhibition of the same name at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, it promises an intriguing insight into the daily lives of leading designers like  Shigeru Ban, Mario Bellini, David Chipperfield and Bijoy Jain,

Yoshi Yamamoto/Dressmaker

Ngo The Chau take a look at one of high fashion's most influential and enigmatic designers.  As well as shedding light on his artistic approach and creative working process, it also offers up his musings on today's fashion industry and modern society in general.

The Wellington-leg of the festival runs at the Embassy Theatre from May 18 to June 4. It is also scheduled to visit Dunedin (Rialto) from June 8 to 18 and Christchurch (Academy Gold) from June 29 to July 12. For more information, see

- Stuff


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