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Now Showing: Architecture & Design Film Festival

The Resene Architecture & design Film FEstival opens tonight (5 May) in Auckland and travels down the country over the next two months. The festival includes 19 films from across the world, organised into four themes: Concrete Love (Brutalism, Brazil and Bauhaus); Experiments at Water’s Edge; extraordinary and eccentric Design Trailblazers; and Living Cities, considering how we are navigating the challenges of creating sustainable cities.”

Now in it’s fifth year, the festival is the second largest of it’s type in the world, a rare opportunity to see so many architecture and design films in one place.

The growing scale of the festival reflects an increasing interest in architecture and design as we continue to look more and more closely at the ways we a living in a time of increasing populations and decreasing available space and resources.

“It is a pivotal time in New Zealand as urban development and renewal reshape our architectural landscape,” say festival curators Tracey Lee and Clare Buchanan of Clarely & Co. “We hope this collection of films stimulates the imagination and provokes dialogue about the possibilities of architecture and design innovation in our lives.” 

Here are five that we’re looking forward to the the most.

Concrete Love – The BÖHM Family

Concrete Love is a family of architects, headed by one of Germany’s preeminent architects, Gottfried Boehm. The film is about not only the foreboding, concrete-heavy architecture, but about the loss of the family’s matriarch and emotional centre, Gottfried’s wife, Elizabeth.

CONCRETE LOVE – THE BOEHM FAMILY Trailer from Lichtblick Film on Vimeo.

Strange and Familiar: Architecture on Fogo Island

Fogo Island, a windswept landscape of the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, is the home to some radical architecture based on the island’s history as fishing village. Strange and Familiar looks at the 29-person inn and the six artists studios scattered across the island, incorporating angular deigns which are at once thoroughly modern and traditional, strange and familiar.

Strange & Familiar: Architecture on Fogo Island [Official Trailer] from Site Media inc on Vimeo.

Double Happiness

Double Happiness takes us into the weird heart of the new China, where a, inch-for-inch clone of the Austrian town of Hallstatt has been built. The film is about the replica town’s secret planning, its discovery by Austrian officials, the motivation and the background for the construction, of a fairy-tale-like replica town in a region of millions.

Tracey Lee and Clare Buchanan say the film asks questions about authenticity and cultural appropriation: “What is authenticity? If it’s not necessarily authentic in context, but enhances people’s lives, is that a good thing? Do we need cultural design restraints or can we just appropriate when we want to?”

Double Happiness – TRAILER from Ella Raidel on Vimeo.


Altina is a documentary biography of Altina Schinasi, and American sculptor, filmmaker, entrepreneur, designer, inventor and trailblazer, famous for designing the most iconic glasses frames of the ’50s, the Harlequin. According to director Peter Sanders, Schinasi was a paradox: “Simultaneously seductive and reserved, her sheltered upbringing was in sharp contrast to the bold sexuality of her artwork.”

Wastecooking – Make Food, Not Waste

Wastecooking is a sustainable road movie, travelling through five European counties in a car that runs on used vegetable oil with a mobile stove, only eating food others have thrown away. David, the film’s host, makes creative meals out of off-cuts and expired food, showing us how creativity can counter our culture’s excessive waste. Sound a little worthy? Sure, but it’s fun too. 


We have a double pass to any screening in any city to give away. Simply email us at [email protected] and we’ll give it to the luckiest one of you.

The festival opens in Auckland on May 5 before heading down country:

AUCKLAND: @Rialto Cinemas Newmarket: 5-18 May

WELLINGTON @Embassy Theatre: 26 May – 12 June

DUNEDIN @ Rialto Cinemas: 16–26 June

CHRISTCHURCH @Academy Gold: 30 June  – 13 July 

You can see the complete programme here.

One of the talented Idealog Team Content Producers made this post happen.

Review overview