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Film Festivals for Production Designers

To accompany our current newsletter, we've collected a list of festivals from around the world that have an eye for design.


Alexander Trauner Art/film Festival, Szolnok, Hungary

The Alexander Trauner Art/Film Festival is named after the prolific Hungarian-French production designer. As the dedication suggests, this film festival has a particular focus on production design, and more generally on the interaction of fine arts and cinema.
The festival gives awards for Best Set Design, Best Art Film, and Best Student Film. Additionally, the festival program includes masterclasses and round table discussions given by world class filmmakers and artists.
This year’s festival runs from the 13th-18th of October, 2020.


Architecture and Design Film Festival

This festival was created to curate films, events, and panel discussions with a specific intention to engage in ideas about architecture and design. They hold screenings and events in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The ADFF is the largest festival of its kind, and has a hand in programming for other international film festivals and cultural institutions.

The festival is currently accepting film submissions for the ADFF: New York, which will be held from October 13th-18th, 2020.


Architecture + Design Film Festival, Winnepeg


This festival is the only film festival focused on design and architecture in Canada, curating films that speak to the importance of architecture and design in everyday life.

This year features a special competition entitled “Archishorts,” in which filmmakers are asked to submit 2 minute shorts about architecture or the built environment. Submissions are open until March 21st, 2020. The film festival runs from the 22nd to the 26th of April, 2020.


Architecture Film Festival, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

The AFFR explores the relationship between film, cities and architecture by programming and screening architecture films and by organizing introductions and debates.

The festival seeks films that explore topics relating to the architecture’s future and the challenges of urbanism. This year's festival runs from the 7th to the 11th of October, and its theme is “Guilty Architecture”.


Arquiteturas Film Festival, Lisbon, Portugal

​​The goal of this festival is to use the moving image as a way to broaden public understanding and appreciation of architecture. The festival screens documentary, experimental, animation, and fiction films relating to both Portuguese and international design.

The festival will take place from the 2nd to the 7th of June, 2020.


Berlinale Talents, Berlin, Germany

Berlinale Talents is the Berlin International Film Festival’s talent development program. The program accepts filmmakers from all over the world and offers them workshops and labs in various disciplines.

The program includes the Production Design Studio, in which the emerging production designers are invited to meet with top-notch industry professionals to explore world-building, discuss collaboration and the use of the newest tools and design processes.

Production Designers and Art Directors may apply to Berlinale Talents provided they have worked on at least two short films or one feature film that was screened at an international film festival or won a prize.


Better Cities Film Festival

The Better Cities Film Festival’s core interest is in presenting ideas around the theme of improving cities, towns, and neighborhoods. The festival screens and awards films that enrich the conversation about urban planning and design.

Formerly the LA-based New Urbanism Film Festival, the festival has grown to include screenings in over 30 cities, and now focuses its programming on community outreach across the county.

This years festival runs from the 27th to the 30th of August, 2020. Submissions for the festival are open until March 31st.


Budapest Architecture Film Days

The Budapest Architecture Film Days focuses on architecture and modern design and how it confronts problems presented by modern society. Its purpose is to grapple with questions like, “How can we prevent real estate speculation from taking over urban life?”, “How do we preserve our architectural heritage without them becoming sad and empty hulls or being obliterated by oblivion and historical negationism?”, and “How can we rely on the emotional bonds we have woven with our personal belongings, our dearest objects, our homes, our buildings, our streets, our squares, our parks, or the trees in front of our windows?”

This year’s Film Days just finished, having run from the 5th to the 8th of March.


D&AD Festival

D&AD is a British non-profit advertising and design association, which has been celebrating creative thinking and excellence in design since 1962. Its Festival is a three-day immersion in the world’s best craft, creativity and culture for the global creative industries.

The D&AD's awards are recognized globally and include a Production Design category divided into Entertainment, Film Advertising and On-Air Branding.

This year the festival runs from May 19th to the 21st.


EnergaCAMERIMAGE International Film Festival

EnergaCAMERIMAGE is the world's most recognized film festival for the art of cinematography. The festival screens and awards films according to their visual, aesthetic, and technical values. The festival also features numerous seminars and workshops led by well-known cinematographers, directors and other filmmakers.

The festival often features production designers among its guests, and also gives out an annual award to a Production Designer with Unique Visual Sensitivity.

This year's film festival will be held in Toruń, from the 14th to the 21st of November, 2020.


Istanbul International Architecture Urban Films Festival, Turkey

This film festival was put together by the Chamber of Architects in Istanbul, whose mission is to enhance architectural culture, protect historical heritage, and improve quality of life. The festival supports the production of films that are focused on these topics. The festival is scheduled during the Architecture and Urban Festival organized by the Istanbul Metropolitan Branch of the Chamber of Architects.

The festival is a part of World Architecture Day, celebrated annually on the first Monday of October.


Lund International Architecture Film Festival, Sweden

The first northern European film festival to focus on architecture, the Lund International Architecture Film Festival hosts screenings, talks, debates, and workshops that focus on urban and environmental issues in the time of massive interference in large metropolitan areas. For features films, they offer the “Best Architecture Scenery” award.

This year’s festival runs from the 15th to the 18th of October, and submissions to the festival are open until March 15th, 2020.


Milano Design Film Festival, Italy

This festival curates films focusing on design, architecture, city planning, and sustainability. It is open to various kinds of filmmaking, including documentaries, entertainment films, feature films, and short films. Workshops and discussions are hosted by the festival as well.

The festival takes place in October but its activities continue throughout the year, with MDFF Capsules Around the World, which includes customized and itinerant spot projects in Milan and abroad.


Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival, New Zealand

This festival is focused on exploring the positive impact good design, architecture, and color have on everyday lives. It is returning in 2020 for its ninth year, and will be screening films in various cities in New Zealand in May and June of 2020.


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