26 letters a second:typo film fest

Character 4 is centred on the intersection between graphic design and film-making.

To mark this evolution, Character 4 hosted the Australian Premiere of Helvetica � the first feature length film on a typeface ever made. The forum panel included special keynote speaker Gary Hustwit, the New York-based director of Helvetica. Other extraordinary short films made by graphic designers were also screened � Kapitaal (Ton Meijdam, Thom Snels, B�la Zsigmond), and Float (Stephen Watkins).

Gary Hustwit
(New York, USA)

Gary Hustwit has produced five feature documentaries, including I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, the award-winning film about the band Wilco; Moog, the documentary about electronic music pioneer Robert Moog; and Drive Well, Sleep Carefully, a tour film about the band Death Cab for Cutie. Helvetica is Hustwit's directorial debut. Hustwit worked with punk label SST Records in the late 80s, ran the independent book publishing house Incommunicado Press during the 90s, was Vice President of the media website in 2000, and started the indie DVD label Plexifilm in 2001.
Photo by Brigid Hughes from the Helvetica website


Garth Davis
(Melbourne, Australia)

Garth Davis is one of Australia's most awarded and most sought after young directors. Garth's television commercial work includes the infamous Tongue ad for Tooheys Extra Dry Beer, Dulux's Ghost ad and Tooheys Catapult amongst others. His first short film Alice, a social realist drama, won the Dendy Award at the Sydney International Film Festival, and audience choice award at Flickerfest, Sydney. In 2000 his perversely sympathetic documentary PINS about the lives of three parking inspectors, premiered at Melbourne International Film Festival, and took out 2nd best doco.He has also directed three one-hour episodes of the highly regarded and multi-awarded Love My Way series. Garth Davis is known for his obsessive commitment, cinematic sensibilities and his deep appreciation of the actor/director relationship. An honors graduate from Swinburne School of Design, Garth spent a year at leading design firm Emery Vincent and Associates, then went on to form a collaborative experimental design company called Trampoline. He later joined Exit Films to explore the film medium, before taking a year overseas to focus on film-making, fine arts, and life experiences.

Julien Bagard, Nicolas Dufoure, Jordan Harang (France)
2mins 52 secs

A lively and musical typographic animation from France.



Stephen Watkins (Australia)
2 min 20 secs

Signs, symbols and typographic elements lift off from their structures and float in a swarm through the city.



Ton Meijdam, Thom Snels,
B�la Zsigmond (Netherlands)
7 mins 4 secs

An impression of the enormous amount of visual stimuli that we are harassed by every day.



Gary Hustwit (USA)
80 mins

Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture.