SAH Award for Film and Video

SAH Award for Film and Video Architecture

About the Award


The SAH Award for Film and Video was established in 2013 to recognize annually the most distinguished work of film or video on the history of the built environment. 

The award is global in scope with no geographic or political boundaries limiting subject matter or production team. The topic of the film or video must be any aspect of the built environment including the history of buildings, interiors, monuments, landscapes, cultural landscapes, urbanism, designers, engineers, clients, preservation, conservation, citizen engagement, or other topics related to the history of the built environment.

The most important criterion is the work’s contribution to the understanding of the built environment, defined either as deepening that understanding or as bringing that understanding to new audiences. A second criterion is a high standard of research and analysis, whether the production was for a scholarly audience, a general audience, or both. A third criterion is excellence in design and production.

SAH will begin accepting nominations for the 2017 award in June 2016.


2015 Award Winner


The Best Planned City in the World: Olmsted, Vaux and the Buffalo Park System
Directors/Producers: Lawrence Hott and Diane Garey
Executive Producer: Robin Karson
Website: lalh.org/films/best-planned-city-film



Large urban-scale projects with multiple parts are not easy to grasp in person or from static images. One of the things the jury found most admirable about The Best Planned City in the World: Olmstead, Vaux and the Buffalo Park System is its demonstration that it is possible to convey the essential points of an intricate design and planning story concisely—under fourteen minutes!—without compromising the issues or curtailing cinematic appeal. The film by Lawrence Hott and Diane Garey is based on the eponymous book by Francis R. Kowsky and produced by the Library of American Landscape History. It selectively presents several illuminating and suggestive perspectives on the design and history of Buffalo’s park system in its national and international context. While the straightforward and thoughtful narration is both sound and accessible to non-specialists, the filmmakers permit viewers to savor the combinations of beautiful cinematography, apt music, and effective use of maps and historical imagery. While The Best Planned City doesn’t attempt to exhaust every aspect of its topic, it does a beautiful job of informing and opening the eyes of viewers, including some who might not have realized they would be interested.
Driehaussized
SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
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