DI2012 Filmfest: An appetiser to SA’s favourite annual design event

The 2012 Design Indaba Filmfest screens from 19 February to 4 March at Labia on Orange, bringing Cape Town audiences a sterling selection of design premieres.

As part of the preamble to the week of creative exchange that is Design Indaba 2012, we’ll once again be whetting your appetites with the Design Indaba Filmfest - a two-week warm-up to this sumptuous smorgasbord of some of the world’s best design.

View the complete Filmfest programme here.

Held over the period of 19 February to 4 March at the Labia on Orange – the oldest independent art-repertory cinema in South Africa – two inspiring design films will be screened every evening, at 18:15 and 20:30, for just R30 a ticket. What better way to get an inexpensive taste of the creative stimulation to come at South Africa’s premier design event?

A highlight of the Filmfest is the first African premiere of Urbanized (2011). This must-see is the final film in the Gary Hustwit Design Trilogy, a series of documentaries that also includes the award-winning Helvetica (2007) and Objectified (2009).

While the first two films in the trilogy expound on typography and industrial design respectively, Urbanized takes a closer look at architecture and urban design. It features some of the world's foremost architects, planners, policymakers, builders and thinkers in a discussion on the design of cities.

Other highlights on the Filmfest programme include the special advanced screening of Sing your Song about the legacy of entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte, while Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff follows the trials and tribulations of one of the world’s greatest cinematographers.

From great cinematography to great cooking, El Bulli: Cooking in Progress is an insider’s view of Ferran Adria’s El Bulli restaurant, which has been dubeed the world’s most influential restaurant. Another Design Indaba alumni, Marian Bantjes, uncovers what is possible with art and design in Marian Bantjes, Graphic Artist.

One film to definitely not miss is PressPausePlay, which looks at hope, fear and digital culture, featuring some of the digital revolution’s most prominent players. Staying with cultural movements, Punk in Africa tells the little-known story of punk’s movement through the landscape and politics of Southern Africa.

The celebrated New York Times photographer Bill Cunninghan takes a journey through the Big Apple in support of his belief that “the best fashion show is definitely on the street” in Bill Cunningham New York, while Vigilante Vigilante looks at the vigilantes that take to the streets to rid the world of graffiti.

How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr Foster? celebrates the work of Norman Foster, an architect who is rebuilding the future. Also be sure not to miss De Stoel van Rietveld, the story of a Dutchman’s chair that changed history. There's also Design The New Business, Movements Continued, New York in Motion, Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow and Dive!, the story of America’s waste.

In a first for Design Indaba Filmfest, the programme also includes a 3D film, the highly-acclaimed Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Directed by Werner Herzog, the Cave of Forgotten Dreams is an experience of the legend of one of the world’s oldest art sites.

Tickets for Design Indaba Filmfest 2012 are available at Computicket or by contacting the Labia on 021 424 5927. Like Urbanized, the majority of the films screened at the Filmfest will be South African premieres. Most films will be screened twice during the two-week period. For more updates on the programme and screening schedule, visit the Filmfest event page.

Watch the Talk with Marian Bantjes