MONIFF 2022 Film Festival

Mud Frontier: Architecture at the Borderlands

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On his ancestral land in southern Colorado, designer Ronald Rael along with his partner Virginia San Fratello, 3D-print monumental structures in mud, pushing the limits of technology and materials while uncovering a dark history along the way.


Set in the remote San Luis Valley of Colorado, Mud Frontier: Architecture at the Borderlands is a 60-minute documentary that follows designers Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello’s experimentation with robotic manufacturing processes and traditional adobe architecture. Motivated by the neglect and abandonment of customary earthen building techniques that were once widely used throughout the region, an area where Indigenous and European colonists have historically lived both in harmony and in conflict with one another, Rael and San Fratello reflect on this legacy to forge new methods of creative production.


Official selection: 2021 Architecture and Design Film Festival, 2022 Santa Fe Film Festival, DocuWest Film Festival, San Diego Latino Film Festival, Roxbury International Film Festival, Cinema Jove Valencia Design Festival.

  • Year
    2022
  • Runtime
    60 minutes 50 seconds
  • Language
    English
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Chris J. Gauthier
  • Producer
    Christina De León
  • Executive Producer
    Cooper Hewitt; Smithsonian Latino Center; Christina L. De León, associate curator of Latino design, Cooper Hewitt; and Pamela Horn, director of cross - platform publishing and strategic partnerships, Cooper Hewitt