This year’s A Design Film Festival takes a look at the relationship between man and machine

A screening from years past. Photo: A Design Film Festival
A screening from years past. Photo: A Design Film Festival

Returning to Singapore for its eighth edition this October after traveling through more than 10 cities worldwide, A Design Film Festival will feature 10 films to the theme of “Man_Machine”. The event, which creative lab Anonymous debuted in 2010, is now delving into the ever-changing relationship between humans and technology, and this year’s films will encompass artificial intelligence, emojis, autonomous vehicles, consumerism, contemporary art, fashion, and music.

Going beyond the notion of man versus machine, or man working with machine to create a better world, the festival aims to ask its audience whether the emerging uncertainty, tension, and contrast between the two can be beautiful.

Besides the screenings at Capitol Theatre over two weekends, you can also expect to see the second series of The Art of Design. This t-shirt collection, inspired by the line-up, features works by eight designers in Asia and will go for $55 each at the gift shop or online store.

Have a look at the 10 titles below.


Author Malcolm Gladwell takes a look at the world of automated vehicles and what they mean for the future of driving.

Oct 27, 5pm.

Hi, AI

While we’ve already seen robots taking over roles like receptionists and cleaners, what would it be like to have them find their way into our personal lives as partners or companions? This documentary centers on two individuals, one from the US and another from Japan, as they welcome the robots into their families.

Oct 26, 6pm.

Kusama: Infinity

If you missed the Singapore premiere of this back in June, here’s your next chance to journey through the life and times of artist Yayoi Kusama, as the film takes you through six decades.

Oct 13, 8pm.

New Order: Decades

Rock out to one of the UK’s most iconic bands, New Order, from Joy Division’s first TV debut to current times.

Oct 26, 8:30pm.

Suede: The Insatiable Ones

Another look at a famous British outfit, this one chronicles Suede’s dominance over Brit-pop, from their emergence in the ’90s as “The Best New Band in Britain” to how their story played out over the years.

Oct 12, 8pm.

Picture Character

Emojis are an inescapable part of our lives now, even spawning a movie no one asked for. But this refreshing film brings us back to the humble origins of the “picture character”, covering the private consortium that approves new emojis and the individuals trying to make it a universal language.

Oct 12, 3pm.

The Price of Everything

In the realm of contemporary art, everything has a price tag. With this film, you’ll get a glimpse of the collectors, dealers, auctioneers, and artists whose lives revolve around a world where everything can be bought and sold.

Oct 13, 5pm.

War of Art

This doc traces the experience of a group of Western contemporary artists who are invited to North Korea to collaborate with its artists in the DPRK’s first international arts symposium.

Oct 26, 3pm.


A tribute to a cultural icon, this Vivienne Westwood documentary gives you a peek at her work with archive footage and interview sessions, as she fights to keep her brand’s legacy in the consumerism-driven business of fashion.

Oct 12, 5:30pm.

Yellow is Forbidden

This story follows Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei, famous for dressing Rihanna at the 2015 Met Ball, as she strives to be welcomed into the exclusive world that is haute couture.

Oct 27, 7:30pm.


A Design Film Festival is on from Oct 12-27 at Capitol Theatre. 

MRT: City Hall

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