The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) presented the inaugural SAH Award for Film and Video to Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray for their film Unfinished Spaces at the 2014 Annual Conference in Austin, Texas. The award was established in 2013 to recognize annually the most distinguished work of film or video on the history of the built environment.
Unfinished Spaces (Bullfrog Films, 2012) is a multi-layered story of Cuba’s National Art Schools project, designed by three young artists, Ricardo Porro, Vittorio Garatti and Roberto Gottardi, in the wake of Castro’s Revolution. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara commissioned the architects to create the complex of schools on the grounds of a former golf course in Havana, Cuba. Dancers, musicians and artists flocked to the schools, but construction was abruptly halted due to the prevailing political climate. The project was nearly forgotten and then ultimately rediscovered as a visionary architectural masterpiece.
“Unfinished Spaces presents a concise history of 20th-century Cuba through the lens of this fascinating subject. Through the filmmakers’ use of rich archival and contemporary texts, film and still images, we meet the schools’ architects then and now, and watch the intriguing, and frustrating, journey they take,” said the selection committee.
Applications for the 2015 SAH Award for Film and Video open on June 1, 2014. Visit sah.org/film-award for more information.
Unfinished Spaces official website: unfinishedspaces.com
Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is a nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by vocation or avocation, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs. Learn more at sah.org.
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