School of Visual Arts Announces the SVA/BBC Design Film Festival

Presented by SVA’s MFA Design Departments, Festival includes design documentaries about products, advertising in the 60’s and the NYC debut of The Book: The Last Chapter?

Saturday, March 24, 1 – 9pm
SVA Theatre, 333 West 23 Street, New York City
$15 pass includes all screenings

School of Visual Arts presents the SVA/BBC Design Film Festival featuring a once-in-a lifetime chance to view groundbreaking BBC films that have never previously been screened in the United States. The program includes design, advertising, and book-related films on topics such as the future of the book, the history of Levi’s 501 Jeans and the Barcelona chair, and real-life stories of the ad men — and women — behind the fictional television series Mad Men. Curated by Steven Heller, co-chair of the MFA Design Department at SVA, and Adam Harrison Levy, faculty member in the MFA Design Criticism Department at SVA, the festival takes place Saturday, March 24, 1 – 9pm, at the SVA Theatre, 333 West 23 Street. Tickets are $15 for the entire day of screenings and available from Eventbrite at

The festival marks the New York premiere of The Book: the Last Chapter?, an inventive and thought-provoking documentary about the fate of the book in the age of the iPad and the Kindle. Writers including Gary Shteyngart and Douglas Coupland, publishing entrepreneurs and literary agents weigh in on this crucial cultural question.

Selling the Sixties: How Madison Avenue Invented a Decade tells the story of the advertising world that inspired the hit television series Mad Men. Including interviews with luminaries such as Gay Talese and legendary advertising creative George Lois (famous for his Esquire covers, Xerox ads, work with Andy Warhol and Muhammad Ali and his reinvention of MTV), Selling the Sixties relays the story of consumerism in America. George Lois, the original Mad Man, will be present and taking questions after the screening.

The SVA/BBC Design Film Festival spotlights the film-making career of Alan Yentob, the creative director of the BBC. Yentob is an award winning filmmaker and creator of the innovative BBC arts series Arena. In 1988 he became Controller of BBC2, where he commissioned the first films that focused specifically on design. He has since become the creative director of the BBC and presenter of the arts series Imagine. Mr. Yentob will be present for the premiere and will be in a conversation with Adam Harrison Levy. He will be taking questions from the audience.

“BBC Documentaries are among the greatest in the world,” says SVA’s Steven Heller. “Early on, its producers took an interest in design. Put those two things together, and the result is a library of great design films. We wanted to show a few at SVA for our students and the general public. The amazing thing is that they have not been seen in the United States. Now, we can all benefit.”

The SVA/BBC Design Film Festival is presented by the following SVA departments: MFA Design, MFA Design Criticism, MFA Design for Social Innovation, MFA Interaction Design and MFA Products of Design.

SVA/BBC Design Film Festival schedule

from the Objects of Desire BBC series:
1pm: Levi 501s
1:35pm:  Barcelona Chair
2:10pm: Sony Walkman
4:30-5:30pm: Selling the Sixties: How Madison Avenue Dreamed the Decade
5:30 – 6pm: George Lois Q&A
7 – 8pm: The Book: The Last Chapter?
8 – 8:30pm: Alan Yentob Q&A