5. 27 Storeys – Alterlaa Forever

5 Must-See Films at the Budapest Architecture Film Festival

The Budapest Architecture Film Festival, an annual event organized by the Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre, offers a captivating glimpse into the world of architecture through the lens of cinema. This year’s lineup promises to ignite thought-provoking discussions on the built environment, from documentaries exploring urban activism to introspective examinations of iconic architectural landmarks. Here are five films that you simply can’t afford to miss:

1. Rabble Rousers: Frances Goldin and the Fight for Cooper Square

The gripping documentary “Rabble Rousers” is kicking off the festival, which chronicles the inspiring journey of Frances Goldin and the Cooper Square Committee in their battle against displacement and gentrification in New York City’s Lower East Side. This film serves as a rallying cry for local activism, sparking conversations on how communities can come together to protect their neighborhoods from unwanted development.

US, 2022, 82’, R | D: Kelly Anderson, Kathryn Barnier, Ryan Joseph

2. Spaces Written by Light

In “Spaces Written by Light,” viewers are treated to a unique perspective on contemporary Hungarian architecture. Through vibrant visuals and engaging storytelling, this film offers a fresh approach to understanding the vision and values behind some of the country’s most remarkable buildings. It prompts us to ponder: How can architecture be communicated innovatively and meaningfully to a broader audience?

HU, 2024, 27’, R | D: Judit Oláh, Inez Mátis

3. Where We Grow Older

As societies worldwide grapple with an ageing population, “Where We Grow Older” delves into the intersection of urban design, social constructs, and elderly care. This thought-provoking documentary explores alternative models of housing and caregiving, challenging us to rethink traditional notions of ageing and community.

CA, 2023, 30’, R | D: Daniel Schwartz, Giovanna Borasi

4. Basilico – Master of Urban Landscapes

Gabriele Basilico’s masterful photographic journey through urban landscapes takes centre stage in this captivating film. Delving into the metaphysical and objective aspects of his work, “Basilico – Master of Urban Landscapes” invites viewers to adopt novel perspectives on cities and architecture, sparking contemplation on the future of architectural photography and design.

IT, 2023, 60’, R | D: Stefano Santamoto

5. 27 Storeys – Alterlaa Forever

The film “27 Storeys” is a poignant exploration of Austria’s largest social housing estate, Wohnpark Alterlaa. Through intimate storytelling and archival footage, this film celebrates the enduring legacy of Alterlaa as a symbol of social resilience and community. It prompts us to consider: How can we design housing estates that remain relevant and attractive across generations?

 VAT/DE, 2023, 83’, R | D: Bianca Gleissinger

The Budapest Architecture Film Festival offers a diverse and thought-provoking lineup that is sure to inspire, educate, and spark meaningful dialogue. To check the full programme, head to their website. Whether you’re an architect or a curious film enthusiast, these five must-see films promise to leave a lasting impression and ignite your passion for the built environment.