Yohji Yamamoto and Tiffany subjects of films at Design Film Festival

Sixth edition of A Design Film Festival will feature eight works across a range of industries

Fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto (above) in a scene from the documentary, Yohji Yamamoto | Dressmaker.
Fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto (above) in a scene from the documentary, Yohji Yamamoto | Dressmaker. PHOTO: A DESIGN FILM FESTIVAL 2016

One of fashion's most revered stalwarts, Yohji Yamamoto; Mumbai's last film poster painter Sheikh Rehman; and the family behind the famed Tiffany & Co jewellery brand will be among the subjects featured at the upcoming A Design Film Festival.

Running from Sept 3 to 11, the festival features eight films across a broad range of design industries such as fashion, art, graphic design and even visual rock.

This year's screenings returns to the iconic Capitol Theatre and Shaw Theatres Lido, where it was held last year. The movies will be shown over two weekends .

Organised by multi-disciplinary design studio Anonymous and in its sixth edition, the festival has garnered a strong following. Already 3,500 tickets, at $15 each, have been snapped up since ticket sales started on Aug 1.

Last year, about 9,800 tickets to 10 movies were sold.


  • WHERE: Capitol Theatre, 11 Stamford Road, Capitol Piazza; and Shaw Theatres Lido, 350 Orchard Road, Shaw House

    WHEN: Sept 3 and 4 (Capitol Theatre) and Sept 9 to 11 (Shaw Theatres Lido); various timings

    ADMISSION: $15 for ticket; $10 to rent or $20 to buy movies that are available on demand

    INFO: Go to www.designfilmfestival.com to buy tickets and for details

The line-up of this year's movies was selected from more than 130 film submissions.

Anonymous' creative director Felix Ng, 34, who is the curator and festival director, says the films are meant to show the diversity of the the design field.

He says: "We've never been keen on focusing simply on the ancestral definition of design. As design constantly evolves, so does our criteria for selecting the films (each year).

"The only constant focus has been to ask ourselves what benefit and impact the films we select can have on the community. Is it relevant, timely, entertaining and inspiring?"

The answer is a bit of everything, with plenty of choices to appeal to film and design buffs.

Highlights include the documentary Yohji Yamamoto | Dressmaker (2016), which profiles the prolific yet publicity-shy Japanese designer via interviews with him as well as family and friends.

Another film for fashion fans is The First Monday In May (2016), where viewers can go behind the scenes to see how the Met Gala, the annual fund raiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, came together last year.

The theme for the party was China: Through The Looking Glass, which was inspired by a similarly titled exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The event was co-organised by Vogue's editor- in-chief Anna Wintour.

Acclaimed American documentarian Andrew Rossi followed her and Andrew Bolton, head curator of the museum's Costume Institute, in the eight-month lead-up to both the exhibition and the gala.

If you cannot make it to the theatre, you can choose to watch some of these films at home.

For the first time, the festival has launched a video-on-demand service and moviegoers will be able to rent or buy some of the films to watch using a streaming service.

These films cost $10 to rent and $20 to buy and are available on the festival's website on the day it opens. For now, three films - Yohji Yamamoto | Dressmaker, Original Copy (2015) and In Pursuit Of Silence (2015) - are confirmed for the service.

Original Copy is a documentary about film poster painter Rehman, while In Pursuit Of Silence explores the impact of silence on people.

The organisers are still trying to get a few more titles for the festival.

Mr Ng says allowing online access to the films caters to the festival's overseas fans.

It is also the festival's way of keeping up with the times, as more people are watching films on the go on their mobile devices. He says: "We're adapting ourselves to this change."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2016, with the headline 'Explore design via film'. Subscribe