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Art, Architecture + Design (AA+D) Film Series


Art and design enthusiasts will love the Art, Architecture + Design (AA+D) Film Series, an international showcase of films at the Newport Beach Film Festival celebrating art, architecture, design, modernism, photography, sculpture, painting, typography, advertising, publishing, urban planning, public and immersive art. The series highlights emerging and prominent artists, visionaries and icons of the creative world whose achievements have influenced, intrigued and inspired a multitude of designers, curators, historians, and independent filmmakers.

The Art, Architecture + Design Film Series will spotlight nine independent feature-length and seven short documentary films from around the world.

The AA+D films will screen at THE LOT in Fashion Island, Edwards Big Newport, and Triangle Square Cinemas. Interactive Q&A’s with filmmakers and documentary subjects will follow select screenings.

The program features films about architects, artists, designers and projects that sparked movements and defined styles of the 20th century, including modernism, Bauhaus, American Craftsman and humanistic designs created in harmony with nature. Filmed in Vienna, Berlin, Locarno, Palm Springs, and Orange County, PJ Letofsky’s documentary Neutra- Survival Through Design provides a comprehensive, all-encompassing look into the life, work and times of iconic modern architect Richard Neutra. The film features Orange County buildings designed by Neutra, including the Huntington Beach Central Library and the Garden Grove Community Church. Bauhaus Spirit celebrates the 100th anniversary of Walter Gropius’ Bauhaus and explores the history and future of the influential utopian design and architecture school. The Sea Ranch: Architecture, Environment, and Idealism tells the story behind The Sea Ranch, a place where environment informs geometry and buildings embody ideals. I am Known as an Artist, Wharton Esherick recounts the life of a seemingly obscure artist who nevertheless influenced an entire art movement.

Two films in the AA+D series examine the art, culture, and politics of the Chicano Art Movement. Carlos Almaraz: Playing with Fire tells the story of artist Carlos Almaraz. After migrating from Mexico to America as a child, Almaraz became a distinguished leader of the Chicano Art Movement who created larger-than-life paintings filled with passion and commitment to East LA’s emerging civil rights movements. Dancing with the Sun: The Artwork of Manuel Hernandez-Trujillo tells the story of Manuel Hernandez-Trujillo's art, how he helped restore a stolen culture during the Chicano Art Movement, and the resonating legacy he leaves behind as an artist, activist, and educator.

The AA+D program spotlights films that celebrate art direction, graphic design and photography. Art Paul of Playboy: The Man Behind the Bunny explores the legacy of Art Paul, the founding art director of Playboy magazine who paved the way for graphic design as well as the magazine’s cultural force throughout the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. In Jay Myself, photographer Stephen Wilkes creates an intimate portrait of his mentor, Jay Maisel, as he leaves the 30,000 square foot building in the Bowery that he's inhabited and filled with his eccentric collection of beautiful random objects for the last 40 years - known as 'The Bank.'

The AA+D Film Series highlights women artists working in various mediums. From the cafés of Paris to the mountaintops of Samiland, Gloria's Call chronicles how a scholar's life is forever changed through her friendships with the women artists of Surrealism. After the success of artist Reine Paradis' breakout photo series 'Jungle', Queen of Paradis follows Paradis on a surreal journey across the United States as she works to complete her highly anticipated second series 'Midnight'. Visions Not Previously Seen: Barbara Stauffacher Solomon is a portrait of Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, the groundbreaking designer who fused Swiss modernism with an iconic and bold California pop aesthetic.

Three films from Ireland will screen in the AA+D Series. A cinematic tribute to Peter Rice, An Engineer Imagines celebrates the innovative creations of one of the most distinguished engineers who pushed the boundaries of art and science in the late 20th century. An innovative mix of documentary and drama, Citizen Lane delivers a vivid and compelling portrait of Hugh Lane, one of the most fascinating yet enigmatic figures in Irish art history. Bordalo II: A Life of Waste is an intimate portrait of Portuguese street artist Artur Bordalo as he aims to highlight the extent of our environmental wastefulness and the impact through sculptures of junk.

The AA+D series delves into the various realms of urban, street and public art, and examines how art creates community. Shot over ten years in seventeen countries, MEGALODEMOCRAT: The Public Art of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer follows acclaimed artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's breakout career creating large-scale works that entice an increasingly isolated public into transforming their cities and reconnecting with one another. Painting the Town - The Street Art of Detroit explores Detroit’s surging independent movement of street art and graffiti art and how it brings people together in ways never been imagined a few short years ago.

The AA+D program is supported by Community Partners including AIA Orange County, AIGA Orange County, Orange County Museum of Art, Laguna Art Museum, Arts Orange County and Emerging Arts Leaders.

Tickets are $16 and are available at the Festival box office or at

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