The intersections of architecture, design, and visual storytelling have long been rich territory for filmmakers. In the 20th century, directors Fritz Lang (Metropolis) and Jacques Tati (Playtime) established the foundation for filmed dialogue between the disciplines, and the proliferation of filmmaking tools in the 21st century has led to deeper explorations of the common ground between design and film.
Now in its 13th year, the Architecture and Design Film Festival: DC showcases films about design and architecture that appeal to professionals and enthusiasts alike. “When we first started the festival in 2009, there weren’t that many films about architecture. But each year, the number has grown, and the films have gotten better and better,” says Kyle Bergman, ADFF: DC founder and director. The festival returns for in-person screenings at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., March 24-26.
“Design and filmmaking are both storytelling,” Bergman says. “When you design something, you’re telling a story, [as much as] when you’re making a film. They’re both public, a blend of art and science. They’re collaborative, there are so many people involved. They are both labors of love. There are so many similarities.”