International debut of documentary, John Portman – A life of building

“John Portman: A Life of Building,” an inspiring new documentary by two-time Emmy winning producer Ben Loeterman, announces its screening at four film festivals. A Life of Building will make its international film festival debut at Architectuur Film Festival Rotterdam (The Netherlands) October 8, followed by a repeat showing on October 9. The documentary will make its United States film festival debut at the Architecture and Design Film Festival in New York October 21, with a second showing October 22. Additionally, the film has been selected for screenings at A Design Film Festival in Singapore in November 2011 and at the Architecture and Design Film Festival in Chicago in 2012.

The documentary explores the life and work of Atlanta-based architect, artist and real estate developer John Portman through the eyes of architecture and art critics, business associates and Portman himself. Loeterman eloquently captures Portman’s 45-year career and the brilliance behind his iconic urban statements and eye-popping interiors, bringing to life Portman’s modern yet classical designs in this intimate portrait.

“Architecture is life, and it comes back to people,” declares Portman. “It has been my purpose to create spaces that are open and uplifting to the human spirit. I was honored after watching Ben’s depiction of my career.”

Once a maverick who was nearly run out of the American Institute of Architects for serving in the capacity of both the owner and architect for many projects for which he was the developer, Portman is now recognized as one of the most innovative and imitated architects in the world. Spanning 60 cities and four continents, Portman’s masterpieces redefined the skyline and cityscapes of many major cities worldwide, including Times Square in New York and Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, and skylines in Shanghai, Beijing, Detroit, Los Angeles, Singapore, and his hometown of Atlanta, where he served as a catalyst to help transform the downtown business district, and revolutionize the hotel genre with the design of the Hyatt Regency. Through all of his work, Portman has redefined architectural standards, and his design philosophy is now embraced by the industry’s top critics and taught at many of the country’s leading architecture schools.

“Mr. Portman has always challenged conventional thinking and encouraged risk-taking in his profession,” states Loeterman. “His buildings are theatrical by nature; I wanted to bring their magnificence to life.”

For more information about John Portman: A Life of Building, visit

About the Filmmaker:

Ben Loeterman is an accomplished writer/director/producer of historical and public affairs documentaries who founded Ben Loeterman Productions, Inc. (BLPI) in 1996. His last effort, “The People v. Leo Frank” broadcast nationally on PBS and received extraordinary reviews in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post. Loeterman’s work appeared on the first eighteen seasons of the PBS current affairs series FRONTLINE and includes three films for the PBS history series AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. He has won two national Emmys and two duPont-Columbia awards.