The Toronto Art, Architecture, Design Film Festival Announces Inaugural Lineup

The Toronto Art, Architecture, Design Film Festival announced their inaugural lineup celebrating the work of world-renowned architects, artists and designers.

The Art, Architecture, Design Film Festival, presented in partnership with Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, announced their film programming for its first edition. Celebrating the significant contributions of world-renowned architects, artists and designers, the five-day festival will feature 11 fascinating documentaries that explore the beauty and grandeur of the built world that surrounds us.

The Art, Architecture, Design Film Festival is a new forum for creating awareness, promoting interest, and engaging the public in art, architecture, design, landscaping, urban and environmental planning, engineering, and world-building.

Beyond the films, the festival will present distinguished speakers, filmmakers and panel discussions to educate, stimulate debate and promote understanding. Run in partnership with Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, a year-round home for first-run Canadian and international documentaries, as well as special documentary presentations and showcases.

Featuring post-screening Q&As with special guests and directors, the Art, Architecture, Design Film Festival will be held at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema from January 22-26, 2020. Tickets are available for purchase online or in person at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Box Office.

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The Toronto Art, Architecture, Design Film Festival Lineup

Neutra: Survival Through Design

Richard Neutra is one of the world’s most influential modernist architects. Enhanced by stunning aerial photography this Canadian premiere, featuring interviews with renowned Canadian architect Moshe Safdie, takes audiences on a tour of Neutra’s most important works, including the Luckenwalde Forest Cemetery, his first built ‘house’ design in Berlin, Rudolph Schindler’s Kings Road House, and more.

Director: P.J. Letofsky | Austria, Germany, USA, Switzerland, UK | 2019 | 104 min | STC

Opening Night Screening
Wed, January 22 6:30 PM

Finn with an Oyster

A thrilling examination of the almost forgotten history and epic controversy that surrounded the planning and building of Toronto’s New City Hall in the early 1960s. An award-winning and nostalgic film that looks back on the daring international architectural competition that brought significant acclaim and attention to Toronto.

Director Michael Kainer, former Toronto mayor John Sewell and Dr. Peter Harris, former Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science of the University of Toronto, will participate in a post-screening Q&A.

Director: Michael Kainer | Canada | 2015 | 71 min | STC

Thu, January 23 4:00 PM

City Dreamers

Meet four trailblazing female architects in this inspiring film who dream of a fundamentally human and inclusive city. With years spent working and advocating for transformations shaping the cities of today and tomorrow, discover how these remarkable women have left their indelible mark on cities across the world.

Architects Marianne McKenna and Dee Dee Eustace will participate in a post-screening Q&A.

Director: Joseph Hillel | Canada, USA | 2018 | 81 min | STC

Thu, January 23 7:00 PM

Integral Man

A Renaissance man, Jim Stewart—violinist, calculus professor, philanthropist, LGBT activist and the most published mathematician since Euclid—took 10 years to realize his dream: a private Toronto residence cum concert hall hailed as an architectural masterpiece.

Director Joseph Clement and Integral House Architect Brigitte Shim will participate in a post-screening Q&A.

Director: Joseph Clement | Canada | 2017 | 63 min | PG

Fri, January 24 1:00 PM

The Gardener

Marvel at the transformative power of nature and the ingenuity of human design as influential gardener and horticulturalist Frank Cabot recounts his personal quest for perfection at Les Quatre Vents, his twenty-acre English style garden and summer estate. Nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Charlevoix County in Quebec, Les Quatre Vents was praised by The New York Times as “one of the most ambitious private gardens in North America, if not the world.”

Director: Sébastien Chabot | Canada | 2016 | 88 min | PG

Fri, January 24 3:30 PM

The Price of Everything

What forces are driving the white-hot art market? This captivating doc leads us into a rarefied labyrinth of galleries, studios, and auction houses to wrestle with this question and explore what society loses and gains when art becomes a rich person’s commodity. With unprecedented access to artists like Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter, and Njideka Akunyili Crosby, and more.

Director: Nathaniel Kahn | USA | 2018 | 98 min | PG

Fri, January 24 6:00 PM

The Maestro and the Master

This fascinating documentary goes behind-the-scenes with Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects as they design Russia’s first new opera house since revolution ended Romanov rule. The maestro is legendary Mariinsky Theatre iconoclast Valery Gergiev; the master builder is architect Jack Diamond. With the incomparable St. Petersburg as the backdrop, this film charts the many twists and turn that were navigated to complete this massive ballet/opera house in one of the world’s cultural capitals.

Director: Yosif Feyginberg | Canada | 2014 | 60 min | STC

Sat, January 25 1:30 PM

Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint

A celebration of the work of Swedish artist Hilma af Klint’s, whose abstract painting, dated 1906, is now considered to be the first of the genre. Recently the subject of a monumental Guggenheim exhibition entitled “Paintings for the Future,” af Klint is finally getting the credit she deserves with this beautiful film tribute.

Director: Halina Dyrschka | Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, UK | 2019 | 94 min | STC

Sat, January 25 5:30 PM

Gateways to New York: Othmar H. Ammann and his Bridges

In 1904, Othmar Ammann left Switzerland to redefine the art of bridge-building in America and ended up designing more than half of the 11 bridges that still connect New York City to the rest of the world. This Canadian premiere is a remarkable profile of a daring architect whose bridges remain iconic structures of 20th century engineering and design.

Director: Martin Witz | Switzerland | 2019 | 90 min | STC

Sun, January 26 1:30 PM

Coast Modern

Travelling along the Pacific North West coastline from LA to Vancouver, Coast Modern showcases
the pioneers of West Coast Modernist Architecture and the homes that have become their legacies.
Taking us across three generations of Modernist architecture this film finds the beauty in each time
period and takes us back to the basics of true living—a sense of place, light, and a deep connection
to the earth.

Director: Mike Bernard, Gavin Froome | Canada, USA | 2012 | 56 min | STC

Sun, January 26 4:00 PM

Eames: The Architect and the Painter

A husband-and-wife design team unlike anything the world had ever seen, Charles and Ray Eames
made monumental contributions to various fields of innovation, from modern architecture,
furniture, industrial design, to fine art and more. Narrated by James Franco, Eames: The Architect
and the Painter gives these artists their due, surveying a lifetime of achievements as well as their
partnership, examining their profound influence on modern American life.

Director: Jason Cohn, Bill Jersey | USA | 2011 | 85 min | STC

Sun, January 26 6:00 PM


Single screening: $17 (Hot Docs members: $12, $10, Free)
All-Access Festival Pass: $99 (Hot Docs members: $77, $66, Free)
For more information go to the official Toronto Art, Architecture, Design Film Festival website, here.

Have you seen some of these great documentaries? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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Posted by Rose Lagacé

Rose Lagacé is a production designer for film & television by day and an emerging filmmaker by night. Rose is also the creator and editor of Art Departmental where she celebrates the art and craft of production design.

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