SYNOPSIS

LOGLINE

For the past two decades Didi Contractor has been passionately implementing her architectural visions in North West of India combining rural traditions with modern requirements. This poetic documentary introduces us to her creations – houses built from clay, bamboo, slate and river stone, constructed in tribute to their natural surroundings.

 

SYNOPSIS

For the past two decades Didi Contractor has been passionately implementing her architectural visions in North West of India, the Kangra Valley, at the foot hills of the Himalayas combining rural traditions with modern requirements. This poetic documentary introduces us to her creations – houses built from clay, bamboo, slate and river stone, constructed in tribute to their natural surroundings.

At the age of 86, Didi Contractor pursues her vision working day and night – dreaming her designs then designing her dreams. She sketches roughly, then proportions with pinpoint accuracy – the blueprints for economically and ecologically sustainable, bright and well-ventilated buildings.

We meet people who live in the visions realized by Didi Contractor and share in their enthusiasm to carry forward her fascinating ideas. Students from all over the world come to learn traditional building practices and find out how architecture can become a part of the ecosystem.

„Landscaping is really a key to this thing of marrying the earth to the building. There is a deeper connection which should than strengthen our own connection.“

Didi Contractor

CAST

 

DIDI CONTRACTOR

 

ABOUT DIDI CONTRACTOR

Didi Contractor was born in 1929 in America. Her German father, Edmund Kinzinger, and American mother, Alice Fish Kinzinger, were both Expressionist painters, associated with Bauhaus group of the 1920s. Although she always felt drawn towards architecture, she studied art. As a young woman coming to adulthood in the middle of the twentieth century, she was not encouraged to study architecture.

In 1951, she met a young man from India and fell in love with him. They married and Didi Contractor happily set out to begin a new life in distant India with her husband, Narayan Contractor, a Hindu student of civil engineering. They raised a family and Didi immersed herself in her new home and its cultural patterns, turning her training in art to design and architecture.

 

INTERVIEWEES

 

Director

DIRECTOR’s STATEMENT

For the past 20 years, Didi Contractor has been building in adobe, addressing herself to such complex challenges, as climate and cultural change, the energy crisis and pollution, while opposing conventional roles, persistent paradigms of colonial history and modernization along Western lines.
I am thrilled by her architectural vision, admire her ideals, her bravery and strength of character, and want to explore her creative ideas, which differ from everything that I had assumed in my life so far.
Her houses are convincing evidence of a possible alternative way of life. In order to understand how daily decisions can influence our environment,

For the length of a film, in the darkness of a movie theater, I would like to take the audience through the fascinating world of Didi Contractor and with this film I would like to inspire people to explore and to support their own unusual imaginative ideas.

– Steffi Giaracuni

 

DIRECTOR STEFFI GIARACUNI

 

Steffi Giaracuni is born on 1975 in Heiligenstadt (Germany). Since 10 years she is living in Basel (Switzerland). She studied media design at the Bauhaus University in Weimar (Germany) and documentary film with focuse on camera at the Zelig – School for Documentary, Television and New Media in Bolzano (Italy).
Since 10 years she repeatedly realizes documentary film projects as director, editor, camera operator and producer. „Didi Contractor – Marrying the Earth to the Building“ is her first full-length documentary as a director.

Filmography

2011 Zwischen Kommen und Gehen | Short Documentary (director, camera, editing)

2010 Laura D’Oriano – Die geheimnisvolle Schweizer Spionin | TV-Doc (editing)

2007 Brüder | Cinema Documentary (camera)

2006 Per chi vien su dalla campagna | Short Documentary (editing)

2005 Seringal – Das Versprechen der Ministerin | TV-Documentary (editing)

2003 Nelken für Reisch | Short Documentary (director)

 

 

TEAM

 

Director       Steffi Giaracuni
Film Editor       Britta Kastern
Cinematographer       Maria Rank
Sound recordist       Senso
Composer       Nico Contesse, Fatima Dunn
ColorGrading       Bahman Kormi
Graphic       Christina Albert
Re-recording Mixer       Bernhard Leimbrock
Mixed at       Herold Studios, Frankfurt/Germany
Subtitling       tradukt, Basel
DCP       tweaklab AG, Basel
Producer       Steffi Giaracuni, Britta Kastern, Bahman Kormi
Creative Producer       Norma Giannetta
Production       individuofilm, Basel/Switzerland
Co-Production       Xaras media GbR, Frankfurt/Germany
supported by       Fachausschuss Audiovision und Multimedia BS/BL
      Fachausschuss Film und Medienkunst BS/BL
      FONDATION SUISA
      Bundesamt für Kultur BAK

INFO

Specifications

Genre Documantery
Running time 81 min
Production country Switzerland, Germany
Production year 2017
Original language English, German, Hindi
Subtitles language English, German, French
Screening format DCP
Aspect ratio 16:9 Flat
Framerate 25
Color Color
Sound format Dolby Digital 5.1

Festivals

Kasseler Dokumentarfilm- und Videofest
14. – 19. Nov. 2017, Kassel, Germany
www.kasselerdokfest.de

BIFED
Bozcaada International Festival of Ecological Documentary
11 – 15. Oct. 2017, Bozcaada, Turkey
http://www.bifed.org/

AFFR
Architecture Film Festival
film • city • architecture
4 – 8 Oct. 2017, Rotterdam, NL
SCREENING: Sun 8 Oct 16:30 – Zaal 6
www.affr.nl/

Fünf Seen Festival – Series ODEON
27 July – 05 Aug 2017, Fünfseenland, Germany
http://www.fsff.de

CayFilm 2017 – Cayman Islands International Film Festival
30 June – 03 July 2017, Cayman Island
http://www.cayfilm.com/

Deauville Green Awards 2017
(International Festival for Audio-visual Productions on sustainability and eco-innovations)
SILVER AWARD in the category „Health and living environment

10. LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International, 2017

11th International Film Festival on Art & Artists / Focus: Architecture, Bhubaneswar, 2017

5th Dharamshala International Film Festival, 2016

Contact

Productioncompany

Switzerland:

individuofilm

Germany:

Xaras media GbR

Steffi Giaracuni Britta Kastern und Bahman Kormi
Palmenstrasse 28 Gartenstraße 96
CH-4055 Basel D-60596 Frankfurt am Main
+49 (069) 977 642 66
www.individuofilm.com www.xarasmedia.de
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