The fifth edition of the only film festival in the region that combines films on the subjects of design, art, and architecture awaits us from October 25 to 28 at the Liszt Institute – Hungarian Cultural Center and online for audiences throughout Croatia.
DA2, a festival that follows creativity in various aspects of life, creatively and through film connecting people, cities, and stories, presents a selection of feature-length documentary films from recent global productions for the fifth time. These are seven exciting film titles that bring us closer to the professional work and private lives of the most significant creators in the fields of design, architecture, and art.
The festival opens with a film about one of the greatest fashion photographers of all time, “Gian Paolo Barbieri: The Man and the Beauty,” directed by Emiliano Scatarzi, and made with love and tenderness for the great artist who led a very intense and fulfilling life in constant pursuit of beauty. Whether he found inspiration in the female or male body, nature, or hyperrealistic situation, the constant quest for perfection is the central theme of all his works. From these artistic premises, his long-term collaborations with Vogue, Ferré, or Dolce & Gabbana were born, and famous actresses or artists who posed for him, from Benedetta Barzini to Monica Bellucci, still look back with admiration at Barbieri’s world, which leaves so much room for fantasy and imagination.
On the second day of the festival, October 26, a stylized hybrid documentary, “Architect of Brutal Poetry,” directed and written by Ladislav Kaboš, will immerse us in the life story of Slovak architect Hans Broos, a prominent representative of early brutalism who delicately integrated his “concrete works” into the natural environment. Deeply believing that every work, architectural or human, should be inspired by the language of Mother Nature, he created 450 award-winning projects and 140 buildings in Brazil and Germany. On the same evening, “Walls Can Talk” will be shown in memory of the acclaimed director Carlos Saura. Saura’s last film is a kind of artistic testament, depicting the evolutionary relationship of art to the wall as a creative canvas, travelling from the first graphic phenomena of prehistoric caves to avant-garde urban expressions of modern times. The fact that the last film of the great director premiered just a week before his death at the age of 91 speaks volumes about his tireless energy and love for his profession.
On the third festival night, October 27, “He Flew Ahead – Karl Schwanzer | Architect’s Poem” will be shown. This portrait of the famous Austrian architect, directed by Max Gruber, presents Schwanzer as a pioneer and visionary who saw architecture as “materialized poetry,” a personal calling, and, above all, an instrument of bringing happiness to people – even at the expense of his own. Widely known as the man who designed BMW’s headquarters in Munich, Karl Schwanzer believed that beauty, pleasure, and harmony were integral parts of the quality of life. This film reminds us of the importance of good architecture in enriching the lives of not only the people who live or work in it, but also every individual who encounters it, even just as a passerby. “Best in the World,” a provocative film by Hans Christian Post, reveals what is hidden behind the image of a city that, in the eyes of the world, represents the ideal of open and humane urban life. The film about Copenhagen sends a clear and unequivocal warning to all cities around the world, including Zagreb, about the need to change the paradigm to avoid the provincialization of urban areas due to the inability of the middle class to afford their own real estate, if we want the city to remain (or become once again) a vital place for the meeting of diversity and creative growth on a human scale. According to Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations, the right to housing is a fundamental human right and as such represents one of the main existential issues for every individual in society. Such a burning issue is an invitation in itself to watch a film that scratches beneath the surface of the photogenic image of a city that has been declared the best in the world three times in the last seven years.
On Saturday, October 28, the festival audience will have the opportunity to watch a film about György Kepes, a modernist designer and visionary whose concepts of “interthinking” became the foundation of a program that defined the aesthetic power of ecological awareness. As an architect of the Light Workshop at the New Bauhaus in Chicago and the founder of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT, Kepes aimed to fill the gap between the humanities and natural sciences. “György Kepes: Interthinking of Art + Science,” directed by Márton Orosz, is an extensive overview of the life and work of the Hungarian artist, whose motto was: “With the mind of a scientist, the heart of a poet, and the eye of a painter.”
The film “Annie Lennox, from Eurythmics to Activism, Journey of a Pop Icon,” directed by Lucie Cariès, will close the fifth DA2 Film Festival. The documentary will remind us of the professional successes of the famous Scottish singer, a member of the legendary duo Eurythmics, and provide insight into the emotional world of a woman who, in many ways, was ahead of her time. Today, as feminism is experiencing a resurgence in popular culture, it is important to highlight those women who, with their life choices, uncompromising spirit, and courage, paved the way for a more progressive present and made it unacceptable to ask the question “why don’t you dress more femininely?” publicly, at least.
“We eagerly await the fifth edition of the festival, which we will welcome in a new location in the heart of our Zagreb. The Liszt Institute hall and the glass facade of the Ban Center will provide us with a new perspective, both from the outside and the inside. This year’s selection of films is like a pearl: diverse, rare, and precious. We bring you films about great people, photography, fashion, architecture, graffiti, and the connection between art and science. In the international competitive film program, we present seven feature-length documentary films, including six exclusive Croatian premieres from recent global production and the latest film by the recently deceased giant of Spanish cinematography, Carlos Saura. The film program is accompanied by ‘ŠTA DA?’ conversations featuring directors, artists, and architects. We will socialize, talk about films, and our favorite topics! Come, join us live and online!” says Tina Hajon, the artistic director of the DA2 Film Festival.
Tickets for screenings at the Liszt Institute – Hungarian Cultural Center can be found at www.eventim.hr and at authorized Eventim sales points. Tickets for online screenings, available from October 26 to November 6, can be found at https://ondemand.kinomeetingpoint.ba/. More information about the festival can be found on www.da2filmfestival.com