Modernism Week will once again offer a robust series of films relating to architecture and design during its 11-day festival that will run Feb. 13-23, 2020. In addition to six films (including a World Premiere), Modernism Week has again partnered with the American Documentary Film Festival (AmDocs) to offer an Architecture, Design, and Art Film Series. This series will feature 26 films organized into eleven programs.

The Modernism Week curated films include:

The New Bauhaus 

Friday, February 14, 2 PM, $15, $25

This new documentary explores the artistic practice and legacy of László Moholy-Nagy, with particular focus on his time spent as founder and director of the New Bauhaus in Chicago during the 1930s and 40s.


Frey: Part 1 – The Architectural Envoy

February 15, 3 PM, $12

The first of a 2-part series, this film explores Albert Frey’s early life and work in Europe and his architectural accomplishments during the 1930s in New York and Palm Springs.

World Premiere Screening   

Frey II: The Architectural Interpreter

February 15, 6 PM, $15, $25 (Preferred Seating), $85 (Preferred Seating + Post-Screening Reception)

This world premiere is the second part of a two-part documentary from director Jake Gorst. With never-before-seen archival films, photographs and interviews, Frey II: The Architectural Interpreter continues to reveal the mystique of an influential architectural master. For guests that select Preferred Seating + Post Screening Reception, the meet and greet with wine and hors d’oeuvres will follow the film screening and will be held at V Wine Lounge in Palm Springs.


Red Carpet Screening

House of Cardin

February 21 8 PM; $15, $25, $65

House of Cardin is a rare peek into the mind of a genius, an authorized feature documentary chronicling the life and design of Pierre Cardin. A true original, Mr. Cardin granted the film’s directors exclusive access to his archives and his empire, and unprecedented interviews at the sunset of a glorious career. This screening will take place in The Historic Plaza Theatre as the opening night film for the ADAFF.

Neutra – Survival Through Design

February 16, 10 AM $12

This comprehensive documentary encompasses –the life, work, and times of Architect Richard Neutra. From his upbringing in ‘Imperial’ Vienna in 1892, his 1920’s Berlin/Bauhaus days, to Los Angeles in 1925 via Chicago working with Frank Lloyd Wright, Rudolph Schindler, and his road to become the preeminent Modernist Architect of our day, Survival Through Design is a personal, passionate, cross­cultural, colorful story. Filmed on location in Europe and California

Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future

February 16, 3:30 PM, $12

Shot in 6K with the latest in drone technology, this stunning film showcases Eero Saarinen’s body of timeless work for the first time. Breathtaking sequences were filmed by Eero’s son, Eric Saarinen, director of photography.


In addition to these film screenings mentioned above, from February 21 through 23 the Architecture, Design, and Art Film Series will provide a fascinating array of documentaries, detailed below. Each program is individually priced at $10. Attendees may purchase an All Access Pass that allows entry into all programs / films for $65.

ADAFF – Modernism Week 2020 Film Schedule

PROGRAM 1: 11:30 AM $10.00
Film not yet selected.


PROGRAM 2: 2:00 PM $10.00

#Life Edited Maui:  Small Wonder, USA, 5 min. (MarQ Morrison)
Man’s footprint continues to get bigger on the planet. There are some talented architects who believe we can live as comfortably or better in a smaller environment.

Instruments in the Architecture: Building The Pianodrome, SCOTLAND, 13 min. (Austen McCowan, Will Hewitt)
Pianos are being thrown away at a tremendous rate – hauled away, set on fire and their valuable heavy metal sold for scrap. Tim, Leon and their team of inspired artists, musicians and volunteers have reclaimed these unloved instruments to build the world’s first 100-seater amphitheater made entirely from up-cycled pianos.

Flying Monks TempleLATVIA, 50 min. (ŽaneteSkarule)
A dreamer by nature, Quanqi Zhu decides to set up a unique installation at the hillside of Sacred Songshan mountain in China. Despite the language barrier, his best companion is Latvian architect Austris Mailitis. As the building of the object begins, the creators themselves have to levitate between cultural differences, conventions and personal ambitions.

PROGRAM 3: 4:30 PM $10.00

All The Possibilities, USA, 16 min. (Marsha Gordon, Louis Cherry)
Immerse yourself in artist Vernon Pratt’s world of systematic abstraction, a symphony in black and white.

Ursula Von Rydingsvard, USA, 57 min. (Daniel Traub)
Ursula von Rydingsvard is a New York-based contemporary artist whose artworks encompass sculpture and two-dimensional imagery. Her works, rooted in the sculpting of raw cedar, have been exhibited in galleries, museums and public spaces throughout the world.
PROGRAM 4: 7:30 PM $15.00, $25, $65 Opening Night Red Carpet Event 7:30 PM 

House of Cardin, USA, 97 min. (P. David Ebersole, Todd Hughes)

Millions know the iconic logo and ubiquitous signature, but few know the man behind
the larger-than-life label. He founded his fashion house in 1950, introduced the ‘bubble dress’ in 1954, ‘future fashion’ in the 1960s, and was the first couturier to be on Time Magazine’s cover in 1974. Ultimately, we seek to answer the question: Who is Pierre Cardin? What is the story behind this legendary icon? Ticketed VIP reception, including preferred film seating, at 6:00 PM

PROGRAM 5: 12:30 PM $10.00

How to Bend Concrete in 108 Easy Steps, USA, 25 min. (Mahesh Madhav)
Engineering meets art as we follow a designer in his efforts to bend industrial concrete into beautiful furniture. Underneath the documenting of the physical process of manifesting the sculpture, we also document the ethos and mental process of ideation, discovery, and presentation — capturing what all content creators struggle with on every project.

Insight – Lattoog, BRAZIL, 31 min. (Jose de Aiete)
Follow two talented furniture designers who choose their creative choice in work over money.

PROGRAM 6: 2:00 PM $10.00

Race At The Pompidou Center, UK, 3 min. (Emilie Queney)
How was the Pompidou Center built? How could we use its long staircase? The answer to these questions in a handmade and home-made fiction.

The Piranesi Experience, ITALY, 10 min. / Dreaming The Real, ITALY, 13 min. (Daniela De Francesco)
Giovanni Vaccarini’s design introduces the theme of the surface which, in his work, almost turns into a fabric and hence into a body. The project for Powerbarn in particular hints to the Razzle Dazzle mimetic strategy that takes cues from a military camouflage technique.

False Bird Of Paradise, SWITZERLAND, 16 min. (Viktoria Spierenberg)
Approach the diverse spatial constructions of the Brazilian architect João Batista Vilanova Artigas (1915-1985), who co-founded the Escola Paulista and shaped the modern architecture of Brazil in the 1950s and 1960s.

AmphisculptureITALY, 26 min. (Luca Cococcetta, Marco Zaccarelli)
A portrait about the work of land art, donated by the American artist Beverly Pepper to the city of L’Aquila, a work connected to the restoration and recovery of the Basilica of Collemaggio and the adjacent Parco del Sole.

PROGRAM 7: 4:30 PM $10.00

Cleaning At Utzon’s, NORWAY, 64 min. (Anna Anderson)
Located at Mallorca, architect of the Sydney Opera House,Jørn Utzon’s villa Can Lis (1972)  is placed on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Interested in the relationship between interior and exterior space, and the experience of living in and caring for buildings, the film shows filmmaker and architectural historian Anna Ulrikke Andersen cleaning 13 of the villa’s large windows, one by one.

PROGRAM 8: 7:00 PM $10.00

Neon, AUSTRALIA, 84 min. (Lawrence Johnston)
Celebrate the beauty, color, and vibrant history of the neon sign from an international perspective as we face a world where it will soon be lost and superseded by L.E.D. signage. Neon is 100 years old and the craft and construction has changed very little, making neon one the greenest forms of light ever produced, and an amazing and enduring force of color and light in the visual landscapes of our lives.
PROGRAM 9: 11:30 AM  $10.00

A Song Of NatureLEBANON, 5 min. (Julien Kai)
A celebration of the elements of nature at the pilgrimage house of Vastseliina and the unique influence of these elements as a part of human interactions in the house.

Territory Of The Beings, NETHERLANDS, 9 min. (Mirte van Duppen)
The refined clean volumes of the Waterboard Brabantse Delta offices in Breda represent this ecosystem, where a number of creatures are daily crossing paths and structure their social lives.

Sunlight, UK, 15 min. (Jim Stephenson)
For the past 25 years, Gianni Botsford has been researching the sun and how its movement might shape architecture. In this short film, Piers Taylor discusses with Gianni his journey, culminating in his most recent completed project, ‘House in a Garden,’ which investigates how we can bring light into homes in dense urban environments.

Shanghai Transitions, NETHERLANDS, 34 min. (David Lingerak)
Shanghai is one of the largest cities in the world, and has undergone a huge metamorphosis in recent years. A lot is being demolished and a lot is being built. Things go wrong, but there is also a lot of beauty to be seen. Three Dutch architects who live in Shanghai each tell in their own way how they look at the transitions of this mega city.


PROGRAM 10: 2:00 PM $10.00

Poetic Structure, USA, 6 min. (John Moody)
Celebrate the interconnected qualities of architecture, engineering, and the visual arts. Presented during the summer of 2018, the exhibition illustrates architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s multidisciplinary practice, past and present, and the way design and engineering can be integrated to achieve works of public art as shared in the historic Schindler House in West Hollywood.

The Cerebral City, USA, 11 min. (John Moody)
A young Australian woman rediscovers her city’s public spaces through the narration of one of Melbourne’s urban designers who helped transform it from a dying wasteland into a vibrant place for people.

Redemption Square, USA, 20 min. (John Moody)
Explore how the design of public space can change a person’s life. Narrated by dozens of Angelenos, the story takes viewers into one public space at the heart of Los Angeles during five eras of its transformation – from its creation in 1866 through its impending redesign today – and offers an alternative vision for LA’s public life based on the diverse perceptions, memories, and identities that come together in this place every day.

Space Needle: A Hidden History, USA, 17 min. (BJ Bullert)
The story unfolds like a mystery, to create a new origin story for this icon of the region. The narrative connects dance, art, and architecture, and explores the creative legacies of architect Victor Steinbrueck and Seattle-born, African-American dancer Sylvia Fort.

Leisurama, USA, 51 min. (Jake Gorst)
This is the story of a little pre-fabricated house, stocked with everything a person could need (except light bulbs) – just walk in and begin a happy life. Introduced first at the 1964 NY World’s Fair, the houses were then sold at Macy’s! Along the way, you’ll find out about the cold war, the World’s Fair, the struggles of architects to have their projects taken seriously, and the fates of those homeowners who invested in a Leisurama home. This is fascinating stuff – it includes lots of vintage footage and tidbits such as the tale of a woman who went to Macy’s to buy a bra and came back with a house.

PROGRAM 11: 4:30 PM $10.00

With Her, FRANCE, 53 min. (Laurent Morlet)
Follow the passions of the ultimate Marilyn Monroe fan club.

Full descriptions of all films in this series are available at Modernism Week’s signature 11-day event will take place February 13-23, 2020. To receive updates, visit and sign up for Modernism Weekly, or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The Hilton Palm Springs Resort, Modernism Week’s official host hotel, is offering a special room rate for a limited time only. Contact them directly at 760-320-6868.