A Design Film Festival
InterviewBy Thomas Dahm •
Tell me about your path to becoming a festival organizer?
We wanted to contribute to raising design literacy in Singapore and realised that film was a good medium to talk about a complex and niche subject such as design to non-designers. That’s how A Design Film Festival (DFF) was born.
How does organizing A Design Film Festival influence your design practice?
It made us our own clients, as we had to raise the funds to organise the event. From there we learned more deeply about what role communication design contributed to a business, and we gained more empathy for the client-designer relationship.
What is the story behind the festival name?
We wanted something simple and direct. At the time in 2010, there were no film festivals in the world that focused solely on design. We were lucky that designfilmfestival.com was available.
How do you curate the program?
We go through between 120 - 150 film submissions from around the world each year, to select between 8 - 12 films.
What are you most proud of or excited about if you look at this year program?
With just 8 films, it is the ‘smallest’ line-up we’ve had so far, but collectively, it packs the heaviest punch in terms of quality since we started in 2010.
What are biggest challenge for DFF?
Sustainability. The event has been 100% independently-funded without financial support from government grants or major corporate sponsorships. DFF is completely sustained through tickets and merchandise sales.
Can you tell more about the statement in the DFF flyer about having no branding and no theme. Is the theme not already in the title of the festival and the choice of type and black and white a form of branding?
I’m happy to hear that you feel that way about how DFF has been branded. To me, we’re taking a step further this year, and removing all branding graphics and theme. It’s a reflection of how i feel about the world of design at the moment. There is perhaps too much design at the moment. So we would like to be even quieter this year.
This year DFF introduced video on demand, why did you start with offering this?
We’ve had many requests from the region to travel DFF to their cities, however the costs and logistics of doing so is extremely high. Our mission has always been to make design accessible to more people, through the powerful medium of film. Introducing video on demand, allows more people who can’t make it to Singapore, a chance to watch the films.
Is the program of DFF going to travel around the global, like other years? If so, to which events?
This year we are focusing on Singapore only.
Since the start in 2010 we follow A Design Film Festival. And every year we are amazed by the selection they curated. We always want to see all films that are selected. It will be worth every second. But based upon the trailers this year we look especially forward to 'The First Monday in May', 'Yohji Yamamoto | Dressmaker' and 'In Pursuit of Silence'. (scroll down for the trailers). Enjoy!
A Design Film Festival
3 - 11 September 2016
Multiple venue's, Singapore