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.

Applications for the 2016 award will open on June 1, 2015 and close on August 1, 2015.

2014 Award Winner

Unfinished Spaces - Now available on Netflix!

Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray
Bullfrog Films, 2011

The 2014 SAH award for Film & Video was presented to Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray for their film Unfinished Spaces. Their film takes us back to the birth of Cuba’s National Art Schools in 1961, a time when post-revolution Cuba was full of promise, and devoted to supporting the arts. The complex of schools was conceived by Fidel Castro and Che Guevera, who immediately chose three architects and a site. The building designs were radical, tapping into multiple influences, and were rapidly inhabited by budding musicians, dancers, visual artists and actors. However, changes in Cuba’s political relations and overall climate interfered with completion, and the past fifty years have included near-abandonment and re-discovery. 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.

The selection committee was impressed with the coverage and treatment of this worthwhile subject, and unanimously agreed on Unfinished Spaces as the first recipient for this new award. It encompasses everything the award founder and the committee hoped to see in their selection.

Official Website:
Bullfrog Films: Unfinished Spaces
Twitter: @UnfnshdSpaces