The Netherlands Guest Country at the Arquiteturas Film Festival in Lisbon

The seventh edition of the Arquiteturas Film Festival will take place in Lisbon from 4 to 9 June. This year’s theme is “Human Nature” and the Netherlands will be put in the spotlight as “invited country”: European leading player in current environmental issues, technologically innovative, committed to sustainability and aware of the relevance of circular economic models. How is this message conveyed during the festival?

Tractordans’ by Neeltje ten Westenend at the festival opening night

During the opening ceremony, will be shown the short film “Tractor Dance” (NL 2014, Neeltje ten Westenend, 7 min). Tractor Dance is a choreography for tractors and agricultural machines. Ten Westenend designed a spiral course and plotted it via GPS. The dance was performed by farmers from the Rijnlandderweg, south of Hoofddorp and Schiphol: a long ribbon road with a wide variety of farms, illustrating how the original parcel landscape was arranged in the polder. The film shows both the physical properties of the polder landscape and the individual farmers who move around it. The stately grid of the plots is temporarily interrupted by a circular movement of colored tractors.

Film screening during the opening of the festival on 4 June 2019 at 19:00, together with “Melting Souls” (FR 2018, François-Xavier Destors, 87 min) Q&A in the presence of the film maker. Repeat on June 8, 2019 at 7:00 PM.

Session: ‘Self-Building Inventions’ about self-building in Almere

Inventors are adventurers with a vision. In architecture and urban planning, they invent and realize innovative concepts for living, working and recreation. The session ‘Self-Building Inventions’ focuses on this pioneering spirit: in a place (Almere) that always embraced it, and with an office (bureau SLA) that made it to its device. We will show the documentary “Build it yourself” (NL 2013, Alexander Oey, 49 min). Afterwards Ninja Zurheide, architectural designer at Bureau SLA will talk about recent developments in Oosterwold, one of the newest pieces of Almere: a neighbourhood that residents themselves co-design, with a lot of attention for green areas and urban agriculture. Bureau SLA realized it with a residents’ collective “Co-living Oosterwold”. With a limited budget, they turned a potato field into a dynamic residential community that offers enough room for mutual differences. Zurheide presents the future-oriented concept, but also other projects with which Bureau SLA seeks answers to the questions: How can you design sustainable social housing in a compact city with an eye for diverse and changing user groups? As an architect or urban planner, how can you contribute to the energy transition with buildings that are also attractive and user-friendly at the same time?

Screening, presentation by Ninja Zurheide (bureau SLA) and Q&A/discussion on 5 June 2019 at 19:00.

Radio Voorwaarts’ by Mateo Vega in New Talent competition

In the “New Talent: Fiction” competition, the Netherlands is represented with “Radio Voorwarts” (NL 2018, Mateo Vega, 20 min). This short film is about the very last party of an alternative community shortly before the evacuation of the building where the squatters, artists, idealists and ravers were used to gather. The film is about the effects of urban renewal: the filmmaker’s feeling that there is literally and figuratively less room for otherness in Amsterdam. A film about frustration, but also an ode to the city: a metaphor for the bittersweet beauty of temporality.

Film screening during the session about the downsides of urban renewal on June 5, 2019 at 9 p.m., with ‘Enchanted Crimée, a Multistoried Architecture’ (FR 2017, Sophie Comtet Kouyaté, 30 min) and ‘Landing’ (DE 2018, Shirin Sabahi, 20 min). Q&A in the presence of the filmmaker (still subject to change).

Session ‘Upward Urban Farming’ about urban agricolture

The second exclusively Dutch session, on 6 June, focuses on innovations in urban agriculture with the documentary ‘Boer zoekt voedselflat’ (NL 2017, Geert Rozinga, 47 min) and a presentation by David Koezen, senior architect at Space & Matter, the architectural office that realized the largest aquaponics rooftop farm in Europe in the former Philips factory in The Hague: a circular system in which the excrements of aquatic animals in aquaculture are used as food for plants in hydroponics. With this project (Urban Farmers), Koezen illustrates the future-oriented approach of atelier Space & Matter, which is also perfectly reflected in the ongoing Schoonschip project: sustainable, circular residential construction on the water, where each house is individually designed and residents organize the neighborhood together.

Film screening, presentation by David Koezen (Space & Matter) and discussion on June 6, 2019 at 7:00 PM.

Workshop ‘Capturing Martim Moniz’

Architecture critic René Boer and visual artist Petra Noordkamp come specifically to Lisbon to lead a three-day workshop. For Boer’s research platform Failed Architecture, architecture and urban design are inextricably linked to social and ecological justice. Noordkamp is one of the most important representatives of contemporary Dutch short architectural film. Boer and Noordkamp ask critical questions about the development of Praça Martim Moniz and guide participants in shooting short films about the history, current state and possible future of the square, which are presented on the last day of the festival.

Workshop by René Boer and Petra Noordkamp on 7 June 2019 from 16: 00-19: 00 and on 8 and 9 June 2019 from 11: 00-19: 00. Meeting point: Café-Estúdio LARGO, Largo do Intendente 19, 1100-285 Lisbon. Project presentation on 9 June 2019 from 9 p.m., Cinema San Jorge, Av. da Liberdade 175, 1250-144 Lisbon. The workshop is intended for students and starters in the field of architecture, urban design, media studies, film and social sciences. Language: English. Participation: free. Registration up to 28 May 2019 by e-mail to Mélanie van der Hoorn ( with a short motivation.

Masterclass on Dutch and Portuguese hystorical architecture movies

Mélanie van der Hoorn and João Rosmaninho present unique historical architecture films from Dutch and Portuguese architecture and film archives. What role has the medium of film played in the history of architecture? The collections of architecture museums mostly consist of sketches, models, presentations and photos. The films in these collections have been underexposed for a long time; we don’t know much about it yet: What do they show? For what purpose and in what context were they made? How do they relate to other elements from the collections? In addition, film and city archives also contain films that relate to architecture and urban planning. What aspects of the built environment do they show and what can they contribute to our knowledge about, and perception of, the history of architecture?

Masterclass consisting of presentations, film screenings and discussions on 8 June from 16: 00-18: 30, followed by the film screening “Lisbon: An Anecdotal Chronicle” (PT 1930, José Leitão de Barros, 125 min).

Ecology of Wounds: A Portrait of a Relation’ by Asja Keeman in New Talent competition

The Netherlands is also represented in the competition “New Talent: Experimental Film”, with the experimental film essay “Ecology of Wounds: A Portrait of a Relation” (NL 2018, Asja Keeman, 11 min). Keeman uses injuries to the human body as a metaphor for destruction in nature. She describes pain from self-destruction as an illustration for the suffering of a forest that is affected by human hand.

Film screening during a session on archeology and geology on 9 June 2019 at 17:00, together with “Waves” (CZ 2017, Vojtech Domlatil, 3 min) and “Céide Fields” (IT 2018, Davide Gambino, 47 min). Q&A in the presence of the film maker.

Theo Jansen: De jongensdroom’ by Walther Grotenhuis & Cinta Forger at Festival closing event

In the very last session of this festival, we will screen the documentary “Theo Jansen: The boy’s dream” (NL 2015, Walther Grotenhuis & Cinta Forger, 70 min). Theo Jansen is a special artist. Since the early 1990s, he has built dozens of fantastic, imaginary animals from PVC pipes. They resemble dinosaur skeletons, sometimes up to 12 meters long and have Latin names, as well as “real” animals of flesh and blood. Jansen calls them “beach animals”, because their habitat is the Dutch coast. They live by wind and can move independently over hundreds of meters. Over the years, they have increasingly adapted to weather conditions. Immerse yourself in the exceptional philosophy of Jansen’s beach animals! Walk with him along the Dutch beach, where land and water merge. Watch as he lovingly repairs his faithful and poetic companions time and again. Be convinced by his optimistic view of human existence …

Film screening on 9 June 2019 at 9:00 PM, Cinema San Jorge, Av. da Liberdade 175, 1250-144 Lisbon.

Additional Information

This rich and inspiring program is made possible in part by the Dutch embassy in Lisbon. Special reception from Dutch groups is possible on request. Creative director: Sofia Mourato ( Curator of the Dutch program: Mélanie van der Hoorn ( For the detailed, current program, visit