Architecture & Design Film Festival Announces ADFF:NY Dates + Film Highlights

Hunter, Catherine. 2017. Glenn Murcutt: Spirit of Place. Copyrights by Anthony Browell.

The Nation’s Largest Film Festival Devoted to Architecture & Design Will Present a Total of 30+ Films, Panel Discussions, Filmmaker Q&As & More!

November 1-5, 2017Cinépolis Chelsea 260 West 23rd Street, NYC

The Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF), the nation’s largest film festival devoted to the creative spirit that drives architecture and design, attracts thousands of recurring fans every year. This fall, ADFF embarks on its ninth edition in NYC from November 1-5 at the centrally located Cinépolis Chelsea. With an impressive stable of 30+ feature-length and short films curated by Festival Director Kyle Bergman, ADFF:NY will kick off with Glenn Murcutt: Spirit of Place, a documentary that explores the life and work of Australia’s most internationally recognized architect as he undertook a rare public commission – a new mosque for an Islamic community in Melbourne. The line-up also includes the festival’s first ever narrative film, Columbus, where a small midwestern town with more than 60 modernist gems serves as a main character amidst actors John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson. In addition to films with a breadth of topics including modernism, healthcare design and Italian Radical Design, ADFF will host interactive programming including panel discussions and filmmaker Q&As. Tickets for the Architecture & Design Film Festival will go on sale October 1 and can be purchased online at

According to ADFF Founder and Director Kyle Bergman, “ADFF has grown to be the go-to film festival that celebrates architecture and design. The films we select excite, entertain and pique the curiosity of both a&d professionals and anyone who is interested in design.”

Film highlights of this year’s ADFF:NY include:

Hunter, Catherine. 2017. Glenn Murcutt: Spirit of Place. Copyrights by Tobias Titz.

Glenn Murcutt: Spirit of Place (Opening Night Film & US Premiere)

Glenn Murcutt: Spirit of Place is a documentary that explores the life and work of Australia’s most internationally recognized architect. Murcutt, 2002 Pritzker Prize Winner, allowed filmmaker Catherine Hunter to follow him for nearly a decade as he undertook a rare public commission – a new mosque for an Islamic community in Melbourne. The strikingly contemporary building without minarets or domes, is designed to be physically and psychologically inclusive. The film documents the growing acceptance of the design while interweaving the stories behind his most famous houses, interviews with those involved, as well as an intimate portrait of Murcutt’s life and a personal tragedy that almost brought his career to a premature end. Trailer.

Kogonada. 2017. Columbus. Photo credit Elisha Christian. Courtesy of Superlative Films.


In Kogonada’s debut feature film, a renowned architecture scholar falls suddenly ill during a speaking tour and his son Jin (John Cho) finds himself stranded in Columbus, Indiana – a small Midwestern city celebrated for its many significant modernist buildings by world-renowned architects like Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, and Richard Meier. Jin strikes up a friendship with Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a young architecture enthusiast who works at the local library. As their intimacy develops, Jin and Casey explore both the town and their own conflicted emotions. Trailer.

Building Hope: The Maggie’s Centres (US Premiere)

Building Hope: The Maggie’s Centres is a beautifully shot film by award-winning director Sarah Howitt. The documentary tells the story of Maggie’s, their approach to cancer care, and the role that great design plays in the cancer support they offer. In 1993, Maggie Keswick Jencks was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was told she had three months to live with no place to cry but a toilet cubicle. At that moment she realized there had to be a better way, and spent the last year of her life working on an idea for a cancer care center which was realized just over a year after she died. Since then, the most prominent names in architecture have designed astonishing landmark buildings. The film features interviews with world-renowned architects Frank Gehry, Norman Foster and Richard Rogers. Trailer.

Weisse, Ina. 2017. The Neue Nationalgalerie. Copyrights by Judith Kaufmann / Marcus Winterbauer (images of building) and Rolf Weisse (stills of Mies van der Rohe).

The Neue Nationalgalerie (NY Premiere)

The Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin is an epoch-defining structure by architect Mies van der Rohe opened in 1968, shortly after his death. Nearly 50 years later, director Ina Weisse sets out to examine the period during which this unique edifice was constructed. In numerous interviews including those with her father and architect Rolf Weisse (who used to work in the offices of van der Rohe in Chicago), Mies van der Rohe’s grandchild Dirk Lohan, architect David Chipperfield (who has been commissioned to renovate the building), and others, Ina Weisse explores the question of how the Neue Nationalgalerie came into existence, and what sort of worldview is brought to expression by van der Rohe’s building. Trailer.

Molteni, Francesca. 2017. SuperDesign. Group of lighting designed by Superstudio: O-Look, 1968, produced by Poltronova; Passiflora, 1966, produced by Poltronova; Lampada Alabastro, 1972; Polaris Excelsior, 1967, produced by Poltronova. Photo by Joe Kramm.

SuperDesign (World Premiere)

SuperDesign is a new documentary by Francesca Molteni (Director of Amare Gio Ponti & Where Architects Live) about Italian Radical Design, which took place in the 1960’s and 1970’s as a response to the tumultuous political climate in Italy. The movement sparked when progressive groups congregated together to express their political ideologies. Through the words and stories of people who were part of the movement, the film retraces the history and heritage of that time period, presenting interviews with pioneering designers including Gaetano Pesce, Ugo La Pietra and Alessandro Mendini, and rare sever-before-seen archival footage.

Additionally, ADFF is thrilled to announce that a few weeks leading up to the anchor festival, the Short Films Walk will take place on October 11 during Archtober. A favorite every year, the fourth annual Short Films Walk brings crowds of ADFF fans to SoHo’s Design District, where attendees move from showroom to showroom, sipping drinks and viewing curated short films by ADFF.


Founded in 2009, the Architecture & Design Film Festival celebrates the creative spirit that drives architecture and design. Through a curated selection of films, events, and panel discussions, ADFF creates an opportunity to educate, entertain, and engage all types of people who are excited about architecture and design. It has grown into the nation’s largest film festival devoted to the subject with an annual festival in New York and satellite events around the world. For more information, visit or @ADFILMFEST on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.