Something for everyone at architecture film festival

Photo: Michael Hierner.
Photo: Michael Hierner.

Kim Dungey talks to Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival curator Clare Buchanan about this year’s line-up.

Extraordinary architects, expert scientists and edible insects all feature in a film festival coming to Dunedin this week.

The Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival, now in its seventh year, is touring the country and will be at Dunedin's Rialto Cinema from Thursday.

This year's 18 films cover a range of topics, from architecture, guerrilla gardening and fashion illustration to environmental issues, such as clean energy and food production.

Festival curator and former University of Otago student Clare Buchanan says some of the films focus on internationally-renowned figures, such as architects Rem Koolhaas, Albert Frey and Paulo Mendes da Rocha, landscape designer Piet Oudolf, product designer Konstantin Grcic and artists from the Italian Radical Movement.

The only New Zealand film, A Test Of Faith, details the four-year seismic strengthening of St Mary of the Angels, a beautiful and historic church in central Wellington.

Meanwhile, Integral Man tells the story of mathematician Jim Stewart who spent a decade and a small fortune building the house of his dreams, complete with curves and a concert hall.

In Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution, Robert Redford's film-maker son, James, discovers how clean energy works and discovers unlikely entrepreneurs pioneering clean energy solutions in the United States.

Buchanan says the 10-day festival is always well supported in Dunedin and advises people to book in advance.

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Clare Buchanan's top picks


At the time of his death in 2006, Harry Seidler was Australia's best-known architect and one of its most controversial. Sixty years of work is showcased through sumptuous photography and interviews with those who knew him best.

• Thursday, June 14, at 7pm, Saturday, June 16, at 2.25pm, Wednesday, June 20, at 6.30pm, Friday, June 22, at 10.30am and Sunday, June 24, at 8pm.

The Architectural Designers of New Zealand (ADNZ) will host a Q and A session after the June 20 screening.


The most influential garden designer in a generation, Piet Oudolf has moved gardens into the realm of art. His most popular public works include New York City's High Line and Chicago's Millennium Park.

This documentary gives viewers a rare look at his creative process, including discussions across all fours seasons in his own private garden.

• Thursday, June 21, 6.30pm. Includes a Q and A hosted by the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects


Berlin's Neue Nationalgalerie is an epoch-defining structure by architect Mies van der Rohe. It was opened in 1968, shortly after his death.

Nearly 50 years later, director Ina Weisse sets out to examine the period during which this unique building was constructed.

• Sunday, June 24, 6.30pm


Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Tadao Ando has captivated people around the globe with elegant concrete designs that reflect the Zen principle of simplicity.

In sharp contrast to these refined minimalist creations, the 73-year-old former boxer and self-taught architect has an aggressive personality, a sharp tongue and a unique sense of humour.

• Friday, June 15, 8.15pm



Academy Award-winner Jeff Bridges presents a strikingly original documentary that explores who we are and the environmental challenges we face.

''A really beautiful film about the environment and what's changed with global warming,'' Buchanan says.

''It also addresses how humans behave and why it's happened.''

• Sunday, June 17, at 3pm, Monday, June 18, at 8.15pm, Wednesday, June 20, at 10.30am and Sunday, June 24, at 1.40pm



Antonio Lopez (1943-1987) was the most influential fashion illustrator of 1970s Paris and New York, with a colourful and sometimes outrageous milieu.

Archival footage and interviews are set against the defining music of the time from the likes of Donna Summer and Marvin Gaye.

• Friday, June 15, at 10.30am, Sunday, June 17, at 4.50pm, Thursday, June 21, at 8.30pm, Saturday, June 23, at 3.40pm



More than 2 billion people on Earth eat insects for protein. The Gateway Bug follows the rise and fall of edible insect start-ups in the United States and explores how changing daily eating habits can feed humanity in an uncertain age.

• Friday, June 22, 6.30pm

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