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AIA Announces Film Challenge 2019 Winners

Revitalization and Rehabilitation Films Among Winners

Hana Waugh, AIA, and Jeremy Gardner, AIA, of Gardner Architects discuss plans for a renovated commercial hub in Oklahoma City's Eastside neighborhood, which was the subject of the AIA Film Challenge 2019 grand prize-winning film The Eastside Project. Photo Credit: Gardner Architects

The American Institute of Architects announced the winners of the AIA Film Challenge 2019. The challenge brings architects and filmmakers together to tell stories about architects and leaders collaborating to build a blueprint for better communities.

"It's an honor to celebrate this year's winning films, which spotlight architectural projects that are transforming communities through the power of design and collaboration," said AIA EVP/chief executive officer Robert Ivy, FAIA. "When civic leaders and architects work together, they can have an unbelievably positive impact on communities, clearly shown in each of the films that were submitted to this year's competition."

Judges selected the film The EastPoint Project as this year's grand prize winner. As a result of redlining and segregation, the east side of Oklahoma City has seen a lack of investment, according to the AIA. The film aims to be a catalyst - to encourage public and private developers to invest in the east side, and to inspire the community to envision what the neighborhood could become by rebuilding, rehabilitating, and revitalizing empty lots. The film will receive a $5,000 prize and a trip to Chicago for a screening and celebration during Chicago Ideas Week, among other prizes.

A Place of Second Chances was selected as the runner up. The film presents the stories of two individuals who prove that the tide of recidivism can be reversed when prisons are designed to comfort and rehabilitate.

The third place winner is A Building Shaped by Light: Austin Central Library. The film highlights Austin's new Central Library, which serves as a community gathering space in the heart of the community, and as the new western portal to downtown.

The people's choice award went to Learning Organisms. The film explores how new technologies, such as 3D printing and AI Robotics can play a role in the future of the built environment. The film received more than 47,000 votes from the public during the voting period. Like the grand prize film, the People's Choice Winner will receive $5,000 and will debut at Chicago Ideas Week.

Grand Prize, runner up and third place recipients were selected by a panel of judges, while the People's Choice Award was selected through votes cast online by the public. 

"I am honored to have served as a judge for the AIA Film Challenge," said Hollywood director, Joseph Kosinski. "As a trained architect, it's wonderful that AIA is using film to show the impact of architecture in a community."

December 7, 2019, 3:47 am PDT

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