From January 26-29, the National Building Museum (NBM) will present the fifth annual Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF), featuring 16 films that explore issues of gentrification, sustainability and other topics pertinent to the D.C. development landscape.
“This is an international festival that goes all throughout North America on an annual basis, and the films focus on design in the broad sense — things like fashion, architecture and urban planning,” says Jacquelyn Sawyer, vice president of education and engagement at the National Building Museum. “We’re really excited to be hosting again in D.C.”
Over the course of the festival, a diverse selection of films from 11 countries will be shown that look at design’s impact — environmentally and culturally — and at the worlds of fashion, real estate, art, architecture, urban planning and housing. There will also be a beer garden throughout the festival featuring local breweries.
“We’re having some panel discussions, but it’s a festival, so we also wanted to make sure there was plenty of fun,” Sawyer says. “We’ll have a sustainable fashion pop-up with four local brands that will have pieces for sale. And Friday night, we will have a pop-up with local photographers.”
For this year, the National Building Museum collaborated with the ADFF to bring in films that are truly D.C.-focused and also close to the institution’s mission.
“This year, we have an incredible international slate, but we wanted to be sure we were telling stories about our home as well,” Sawyer said. “We brought some films to the table that we feel fit the bill.”
The festival kicks off on January 26 at 5 p.m., with a showing of “Alice Street,” a documentary looking at a mural that brought together artists, community leaders and two neighborhoods in the fight to protect history, culture and voice in the face of gentrification.
After the film, director Spencer Wilkinson and community organizer Lailan Sandra Huen will hold a Q&A for audience members. The night will also include an open bar, hors d’oeuvres and an opportunity to mingle following the screening.
On January 27, in addition to films exploring international design, the origins of redlining and modern consequences of discriminatory urban design, a photography showcase will feature local artists James Singewald and Steven Cummings.
Sustainable fashion is the topic for films showing on January 28. Additionally, attendees can learn more about sustainable clothing at a panel discussion with industry leaders and pick up a one-of-a-kind piece from local vendors Tribute Collective, Bitter Grace or Illicit Rag Vintage at a pop-up market in NBM’s Great Hall.
The festival concludes on January 29 at noon, with a D.C. Go-Go band performance and film screening of “Barry Farm: Community, Land and Justice in Washington D.C.,” which details a D.C. public housing development. Filmmakers Samuel George and Sabiyha Prince will participate in a panel discussion following the showing.
“During the brunch, we will have an exhibition from local photographer, Dee Dwyer, whose work documents the people and culture of Southeast Washington in the face of gentrification,” Sawyer says. “The entire day is really a love letter to D.C.”
Tickets range from $25 for students to an all-access pass for $150. For more information, visit www.nbm.org.
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