ArchFilmFest London 2017

Film, Architecture, Festival, Event, International, UK


Architecture and film are interlocked: both unfold narrative ideas through space and time, taking us to real and virtual worlds; both start with the imagination, and then take on their own reality. Films are set in cities, landscapes and buildings where architecture is a visual shorthand, telling us about characters and plot in an instant, yet a dedicated festival that brings architecture and film together has never before been held in this country.


The ArchFilmFest London is a biennial festival that celebrates architectural film through screenings, installations, symposia, workshops and an international film competition. The inaugural ArchFilmFest runs from the 6th to 11th of June and will take place between two London venues, the ICA and the Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf. Each festival year will involve a new international partner and a specific central theme. This year ‘Scale’ is the theme and Chile the partnering country, whose ArqFilmFest in Santiago de Chile will bring a Latin American perspective to the dialogue.

What is an ‘Architectural Film’?

Documentaries about architecture / the city

Documentaries about architects

Architects speaking / talking heads

Films made by architects

Films where architecture / the city / set design plays a significant, central or pivotal role

Films that use iconic architecture in a significant way

‘Art’ or animated pieces with direct use of architecture / architectural elements

The festival programme included


Archfilmfest offered approximately 60 hours of screening time a day, demonstrating how broad a subject architectural film is, while still defining a clear territory. Our main venue, the Bargehouse at Oxo Tower Wharf hosted the majority of screenings and events with a café, bar, and a RIBA pop-up bookshop with a specially curated selection of books related to film and architecture. The ICA on Pall Mall screened four prime film events, shortlisted competition entries, and included guest directors and discussions with the public.


The international film competition is a key element of the festival. From the entries received, the curatorial team will select finalists in each category for screening to the public. A select jury will choose winners from the selected finalists. Awards will be presented to each of the winners in an open ceremony. Their work will be screened and celebrated at both the ICA and the Bargehouse venues.


The symposia focused on live dialogues between architects and filmmakers engaged in the shared exploration of architecture and filmmaking. Guests from each of the disciplines; each will show five short clips of films that particularly resonate with them to promote debate and discussion.


ArchFilmFest London is hosting a number of social events to celebrate our guests, supporters and friends. There is a bar and café at the Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf and at the ICA, both encouraging chance encounters and social networking, bringing together members of the two disciplines with the general public. We hope the festival will encourage new work, future collaborations, and that it can have a tangible impact on the professions while bringing them closer together.


The festival aims to create and nurture new audiences in the combined subject of film and architecture. To this end, there are a number of workshops for networking, sharing information and tools and the acquisition of new skills. The Frontline Club will be running workshops on-site at the Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf in filmmaking and storytelling.