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Festival to explore role of architecture in society

The Architect Africa Film Festival 2007, reputed to be the first its kind in South Africa, will be screening a selection of award-winning films at Cinema Nouveau in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town during August and September 2007 in collaboration with Cinema Nouveau screened by Jameson.
The festival is intended to create awareness of the need for thoughtful design and the important role of architecture in society. Other cultural events, such as exhibitions and debates, that will take place at the festival, aim to create awareness of major issues in architecture and construction – such as capacity building, training and education; development that is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable; and inclusive, innovative architecture that represents our society appropriately.

The event is endorsed by the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA), the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP), the Gauteng Film Office and the Gauteng Department of Arts, Culture and Heritage Services. It is being sponsored by, among others, the Cement & Concrete Institute, SACAP, Wallstreet Global Careers, and various architectural and urban planning practices.

Rare opportunity


According to the organisers, this is a rare opportunity to enjoy several fascinating films and documentaries on architecture and the built environment. The films that have been selected for the Festival explore relationships between edifices, the lives of people who use them, and the environment in which they are located.

Dates and Cinema Nouveau screened by Jameson-venues are:
  • Johannesburg: 17 – 23 August 2007 – The Mall, Rosebank
  • Durban: 24 – 30 August 2007 – Gateway Shopping Centre
  • Cape Town: 31 August – 6 September 2007 – Cavendish Square
The following films can be viewed:
  1. Lagos: Wide and Close (2005), an English documentary on Lagos. This city of high energy, mass population growth, dysfunction and danger has 14 million inhabitants. Architect Rem Koolhaas and a team of students from The Harvard Project on the city are followed over a two-year period as they research one of the fastest growing cities on the African continent.

  2. The End of Suburbia (2004), a documentary that takes a brutally honest and ironic look at American lifestyle.

  3. Contra's City (City of Contrasts) (1968), a 40-minute comedy/drama. Director Mambety's experimental cinema blends the narrative features of Western cinema with those of the oral tales of traditional African culture.

  4. One of the classics on the Festival is Fritz Lang's restored black-and-white silent movie Metropolis (1927). There are multiple versions of this futuristic sci-fi Gothic horror and the original German version remained unseen for many decades.

  5. The Portuguese film City of God (Cicada de Deus) (2002) was nominated for four Oscars and won several prestigious awards. Cicada de Deus (City of God) is a housing project that became one of the most dangerous places in Rio de Janeiro.

  6. Several of Murray Grigor's award-winning documentaries on world-famous architects such as Sir John Soane, Carlo Scarpa, Gwathmey Siegel, Alexander ‘Greek' Thomson, Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Rennie Mackintosh can be viewed.

  7. Die Tamat (2004) is a short South African film about acceptance and friendship in South Africa between two teenaged boys, one white Afrikaner and one a Muslim, living in the Bo-Kaap.

    For more information, go to www.archinet.co.za or www.sterkinekor.com (from August) for screening details on the film festival.
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