Building Happiness

Het thema van AFFR 2018 is ‘Building Happiness’. We leven in een tijd van hoogconjunctuur: er wordt weer op grote schaal gebouwd, ontwikkeld en gespeculeerd; klinkende groeicijfers zijn de norm. De toeristenindustrie draait op volle toeren en steden met aansprekende architectuur worden overspoeld door een miljoenenpubliek. Ondertussen groeit het besef dat ons vooruitgangsdenken niet meer is los te zien van...

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De tiende editie van AFFR vindt plaats van 10 t/m 14 oktober 2018. Na de openingsfilm in een nog nader te bepalen locatie, vindt het festival de andere dagen onderdak in LanterenVenster Rotterdam. Ook dit jaar verwelkomt AFFR tientallen internationale filmmakers en zal het naar verwachting worden bezocht door 7500 liefhebbers van film, stad en architectuur van over de hele wereld.

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Inzending films AFFR 2018

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Film – Stad – Architectuur

AFFR onderzoekt de relatie tussen film, stad en architectuur door het programmeren en vertonen van films en door het organiseren van inleidingen en debat.

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De stichting Architectuur Filmfestival Rotterdam (AFFR) is opgericht in 2000 en organiseerde dat jaar het eerste architectuur filmfestival ter wereld. Er volgden volwaardige edities in 2001 en 2003. In 2007 maakte AFFR een hernieuwde start en in 2009 breidde het festival flink uit in bezoekersaantallen en programmering.

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De mensen achter het festival

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  • Fondsen, Sponsoring & Partners AFFR wordt mede mogelijk gemaakt door een aantal publieke en private fondsen, door een groeiend aantal sponsoren en door een brede range aan onderwijs-, programma- en mediapartners. Lees meer

Gebouwd Geluk: woensdag 27 juni om 20.00 Pakhuis de Zwijger

Op woensdag 27 juni om 20.00 uur belegt Pakhuis De Zwijger in samenwerking met BNA en A10 magazine een avond over Gebouwd Geluk: woensdag 27 juni om 20.00 in de Grote Zaal.
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Naar festival

A hilariously embarrassing housing crisis

We see a sixty-something Berlin real estate agent with ashy, slicked-back hair and a thick Deutsch accent awkwardly cracking poor jokes while giving a tour to two colleagues from London. The Londoners are on the hunt for their clients. One of them, the one with the permanently rehearsed smile, explains: ‘The typical clients we manage are international investors from the Middle East, Russia and Europe, and also celebrities. Lately, they have started to ask for Berlin because they see a lot of potential and it is the new artistic pole of Europe. They look for buy-to-let investments.’ A little later he explains that most of their buyers actually look for two apartments, one to live in and one to rent out. Then he laughs and says it’s better to be an agent in London than in Berlin with better commissions, as property prices are still three times higher. The scene looks very much like it’s taken from an ironically badly cast comedy. In fact, it is just one of the many simultaneously funny and toe-curling parts of the documentary film Die Stadt als Beute (City for Sale) about Berlin’s housing market.

A hilariously embarrassing housing crisis

By Mark Minkjan

The recent release of the documentary coincided with the publication of the strikingly matching book In Defense of Housing, by David Madden and Peter Marcuse. The book and the film are perfect companions for anyone who wants to grasp the housing crisis that currently exists in all big cities worldwide. InIn Defense of Housing, Madden and Marcuse argue that housing is under attack today. That is, if your idea of housing is that it should provide a home for people in need of a place to live. Housing has become one of the primary drivers of global capitalism, through commodification and financialization, making its function as real estate more important than its use as lived, social space. It is the result of spatial developments being market-driven. Madden and Marcuse: ‘Housing is not produced and distributed for dwelling at all,’ but ‘as a commodity to enrich the few.’ The result, for millions of households, is anxiety, chaos, disempowerment, discrimination and oppression. For them — and this goes for people well into the middle classes — shelter, personal safety, and a sense of identity, order and continuity are at risk.

For people dismissing In Defense of Housing as fictional pessimism or Marxist nonsense, for those who are not the reading types, or for anyone interested in the urban housing game and its players, Die Stadt als Beute is the documentary to watch. For four years, filmmaker Andreas Wilcke has observed Berlin’s real estate market by following and interviewing people who play an exemplary role in the housing drama. The result is anastonishing mosaic story that has the power to amuse and upset viewers, often at the same time. The film features investors, developers, real estate agents, politicians, residents, protesters and people looking for a home, and is edited in such a way that the stark contrasts within a dynamic housing market are illuminated. Depending on who is talking, the same Berlin can suddenly change. One moment it’s a vibrant, up-and-coming city that is getting prettier by the day, a perfect place to move to and invest in. The next minute Berlin is under pressure, losing its social and cultural face, and making it harder for people to find a home or even to survive.

Die Stadt als Beute provides many scenes from the profiting and suffering ends of the spectrum. It shows how housing is increasingly reserved for people who can pay for and make money from it, rather than for those in need of a place to live. A unique asset of the film is that it not only portrays the hardship of the losers in this game — it also offers a rare glimpse of the dark side of the housing market. And are those playing the game and profiting from it really to blame? In In Defense of Housing, Madden and Marcuse take aim at the game and propose a fundamental transformation of the housing system. ‘People do not live in homes. They live in neighbourhoods and communities. They occupy not only buildings but also locations in a social fabric. A radical right to housing must affirm and protect this web of relations,’ the authors write. They propose a broad overhaul of the current system that would ‘decommodify’ housing, democratize it and put it under the control of residents again. In Berlin and everywhere else, small innovations — however smart and well-meant — are often presented as quick fixes for the housing crisis, but such optimism obscures the dominant political culture that intentionally produces scarcity and enables exploitation. Luckily, in the midst of this clusterfuck, Die Stadt als Beute is also simply a fascinating and entertaining documentary to watch.

Mark Minkjan is editor-in-chief at Failed Architecture. A longer version of this article was published on

City for Sale Debate

In collaboration with the Goethe Institut, AFFR is organizing a debate about the theme ‘City for Sale’. The debate explores the pros and cons of international flows of capital for the city, buildings as investment objects, architecture as a tourist attraction, and the city as a revenue model. Is city life threatened? And what can inhabitants themselves do? Andreas Wilke, director of Die Stadt als Beute (City for Sale), is one of the guests.


film • stad • architectuur 10 - 14 okt. 2018
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