We are experiencing a variety of emotions after rising from our beds. Architecture has a significant impact on our lives and the lives of others. We witness various architectural works all around us. Some of them are quite intriguing, some of them are very close to us, and some of them are wired. However, it is always changing and evolving as a result of architectural excellence. Most of the time, we are unaware of the notion underlying the architecture around us. Users sometimes adapt them in quite diverse ways. As a result, a documentary or film may assist us in discovering the stories behind cities, structures, and their creators. The Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam (AFFR) is an incredible biennale where you may explore architecture’s underlying beauty.

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AFFR | Facebook page_©affr.nl

Filmmakers from all around the world attend this festival to present, debate and develop their films for architecture and beyond. Here, filmmakers show short films, cartoons, and documentaries concerning architecture, urban growth, and city culture.

History Behind Affr | Film Festival Rotterdam

Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam was founded and conducted in 2000 as a spectacular festival where they exhibit many selected films, shorts, documentaries, and so on. Festivals were also held in 2001 and 2003. After a few years of silence, AFFR relaunched in 2007. In terms of visitor numbers and programming, the event increased dramatically in 2009.

AFFR made history in 2011 when they finally settled at LantarenVenster cinema after years of travelling. LantarenVenster, built by Álvaro Siza and located on Wilhelminapier, is ideal for a film, city, and architectural festival.

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Sander van Wettum | affr.nl_©Sander van Wettum

Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam (AFFR) expanded in 2015 on an enormous scale. They have grown and maintained a dedicated following by establishing Club Fountainhead for friends and the King Kong Business Club for connections and networking. Furthermore, the festival’s scope has expanded with additional program features and excursions across Rotterdam. Each festival is themed to highlight contemporary concerns in architecture and urbanism. Previous events’ themes included:

2007: Horizon
2009: Pre-Architecture & City Docs
2011: Think Big, Act Small
2013: Time Machine
2015: Global Home
2017: City for Sale
2018: Building Happiness
2019: Lost in Transition
2020: Guilty Architecture
2021: More than Houses

In October 2023, the following biennale will take place. In its thirteen editions, AFFR has expanded to become a premier film festival for students, architects, and urban enthusiasts. The event raises awareness of new and old locations in the city, reinforcing Rotterdam‘s reputation as a city of architecture.

Goals of AFFR 

The Rotterdam Architecture Film Festival was established in 2000 in advance of the European Capital of Culture. The event is described as a modest, casual, and open-minded film festival for both professionals and laypeople. Films on the impact of media on cities, how cities are portrayed in movies, and impressive set designs such as Silent Running are exhibited alongside classic features like ‘The Fountainhead’ and ‘Blade Runner’ or documentaries about architects like ‘Le Corbusier’ or ‘Zaha Hadid’.

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A Marble Travelogue | affr.nl _©affr.nl

Architecture documentaries delve into the meaning of cities and architecture. They depict cities, structures, and their designers, demonstrate that architecture cannot be comprehended in isolation from its surroundings, and study the importance of the city in our daily lives. Furthermore, they typically expose architects and c as helpless gods whose works, once completed, take on completely different meanings and uses than those intended. Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam shows documentaries and feature films from both the United States and overseas that explore these issues. They are supplemented with introductions, conversations, and debates concerning architecture and urbanism’s present, history, and future.

14th Edition of Festival | Film Festival Rotterdam

The 14th edition of the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam took held at LantarenVenster from October 5 to 9. In a program packed with premieres and previously unseen films, filmmakers answer all of your questions, experts provide informative introductions, and participants discuss the key problems. Masterclasses, a VR lounge, short programs, and cinema classics are also featured.

The international premiere of Hans Christian Post’s Best in the World, a revelatory look behind the beautiful image of Copenhagen, starts off the Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam 2022 on Wednesday, October 5 at Theater Zuidplein. Over the next four days, the festival will address a variety of subjects through a succession of scheduled themes focusing on critically selected films and documentaries, all from the festival venue at LantarenVenster.

The festival this year focuses not just on the relationship between film, architecture, and the city, but also on the world as a whole. This year’s focus is on architects’ families, the handling of Brutalist heritage, the advent of privately funded institutions, the dream worlds produced by prominent directors like Tati and Fellini, and the future of food.

Liam’s live performance is titled ‘Planet City and the Return of Global Wilderness.’ This was followed by a discussion with IABR director Saskia van Stein. Liam Young, an Australian artist, filmmaker, and architect, presents a provocative science-fiction safari through an imaginary city of the future in a live performance; in his Planet City, the entire world population lives together on 0.02 per cent of the planetary surface, leaving the rest of the earth to the wilderness.

Best in the World|Hans Christian_©affr.nl

In ‘Best in the World,’ filmmaker Hans Christian Post investigates the downside of Copenhagen’s metamorphosis into a picturesque, neoliberal urban setting. The fundamental theme of this video is a debate concerning the global effect of city branding and the growing number of gentrified cities. With Hans Christian Post, Floor Milikowski, René Boer, and Faye Ellen, a city-branding specialist. Sophie Stravens is the moderator.

A Russian tycoon commissions Renzo Piano to convert ‘GES-2’, a decommissioned power plant facing the Kremlin, into a modern art venue. This documentary follows construction workers, curators, artists, and security guards as they provide us with an inside look at the creation of this remarkable project. Asya Zolnikova, a Meduza journalist, provides a critical summary of the situation of Russian architecture under the present administration.

Other shows and films have the potential to draw a large number of viewers. People visited these exhibits this year and pondered the future of architecture. Don’t miss out on the next edition of this fantastic festival.


AFFR Facebook Page (2022). AFFR 2022 [Facebook]. (Available at: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=538939511570379&set=pb.100063630048469.-2207520000.&type=3  [Accessed 23 November 2022].

Affr.nl (2022). Film-City-Architecture 2022. [online]. (Last updated 2022). Available at: https://www.affr.nl/en/film-stad-architectuur/ [Accessed 27 November 2022].

Wettum, S. V. (2022). AFFR 2022 [Facebook]. (Available at: https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=530021862462144&set=pb.100063630048469.-2207520000 [Accessed 24 November 2022].

Affr.nl (2022). AFFR History 2022. [online]. (Last updated 2022). Available at: https://www.affr.nl/en/history/ [Accessed 26 November 2022].

AFFR.nl (2022). AFFR 2022 [Photograph]. https://www.affr.nl/en/nieuws-en/programme-and-tickets-affr-2022-online-now/ [Accessed 25 November 2022].

e-Flux (2022). AFFR 2022. [online]. (Last updated 27 September 2022). Available at: https://www.e-flux.com/announcements/489423/affr-2022/ [Accessed 24 November 2022].

Hans Christian Post. (2022). Best in the World by Hans Christian [Photograph]. (Best in the World by Hans Christian: https://www.affr.nl/nieuws/laatste-festival-voor-directeur-joep-mol/attachment/best-in-the-world-hans-christian-post-04-2-2/)


Muhammad Shafayet Hossain is an architect, artist, designer and researcher who is currently working at MSH Atelier. Remarkably making contemporary ideas and working as an artist in the contemporary art scene in Bangladesh. Also, he is associated with working in Research and related fields of Architecture.