AAFF2016 – Design is universal, global & local

Advances in digital communications and media have changed the way we live, work and play. The power of film as a socially equitable, environmentally considerate and economically effective platform to communicate new concepts, concerns and ground-breaking ideas has never been greater.

Previously unheard voices can now be heard; new spaces and opportunities are opening up all around us all the time; and we’re able to engage around common causes in ways that previous generations could not.

This year, the Architect Africa Film Festival (#AAFF2016) has capitalized on the rapidly evolving power of film as an easily-accessible means of communication, to put together a top-quality selection that will engage, inform and inspire our audiences around the topics Architecture as Universal Language; Architecture as a Language of Global Capitalism; and Architecture as Local Engagement.

As part of the selection process, a ‘Call for Entries’ was circulated locally through stakeholders and the media, and internationally through our partner festivals – to open up the #AAFF2016 as a showcase for new productions, emerging filmmakers and students. The #AAFF2016 selection panel comprising Professors Lesley Lokko, Lone Poulsen, and Jyoti Mistry, in collaboration with our curator Dr Costanza la Mantia, then evaluated submissions based on watch ability, technical execution, relevance of message, and relation to architecture.

Highlights from our ‘Call for Entries’ in the #AAFF2016 programme include:

The Arcades Project 2.0 (2015) and Keeping the City in Line? (2015)

Director: Thomas Aquilina & Alex Lyons

These two short films portray the dominant downtown arcade buildings in Kampala, and the partially disused railway line in this city respectively, which were identified as fundamental to urban life. The parallels between these spaces of the Kampala landscape will, it is anticipated, become important in understanding how to propose new architecture in the city.

A Place to call Home (2015)

Director: Briar March

By narrating the story of the privatization of state housing in New Zealand through the eyes of two Māori women involved in opposing housing projects, this film examines the new global trend in which social housing is run by private trusts and interest groups who care for specific subgroups within a community.

Excuse me while I disappear (2014)

Director: Michael MacGarry

The film was shot in Kilamba Kiaxi, a new city built outside Luanda, Angola. Built by Chinese construction company, CITIC, and financed by Hong Kong-based China International Fund, the new city is to be home to more than 210,000 people and is the single largest investment project by China in Africa.

Fictions: en route City (2016)

Director: Kgao Mashego

Fiction is a dimension of the mind that materializes the conscience of what we know and do not. In this film, Johannesburg is a fictional character and setting within and outside her own ends – history, present, future – a “city en-route”.

For almost a decade, the Architect Africa Film Festival has been recognized and enjoyed by many as a top quality event bringing together built environment professionals, students, the media and the public. The selected films are highly rewarding and enjoyable; and have raised pertinent issues, encouraged discussion, and facilitated interaction between audience members and filmmakers since 2007.

In 2016, the #AAFF2016 has partnered with our valued sponsors – the SA Council for the Architectural Profession, the Graduate School of Architecture (GSA) at the University of Johannesburg, PPC Cement, Business & Arts South Africa, Saint-Gobain, Propertuity, Paragon Architects and Afritects – to bring audiences exciting and thought-provoking content on our dynamic and multi-layered built environment.

The #AAFF2016 will be held at The Bioscope in Maboneng, Johannesburg, from 23-26 June 2016.

Bookings are open, and pre-booking is advised through