SVA’s MFA Design Departments present the SVA/BBC Design Film Festival, which will offer a once-in-a lifetime chance to view groundbreaking BBC films that have never previously been screened in the United States. Taking place on Saturday, March 24 from 1 – 9pm at the SVA Theatre, 333 West 23 Street, New York City, the program includes design, advertising, and book-related films on topics such as the history of Levi’s 501 Jeans and the Barcelona chair, the future of the book, 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, and Adam Harrison Levy, faculty member in the MFA Design Criticism Department, 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 the topic.
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, as well as 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 also 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 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.”
For the full screening schedule and to order tickets, click here.
Images: (top) From Selling the Sixties: How Madison Avenue Invented a Decade; (second) From The Book: the Last Chapter?: BBC presenter Alan Yentob with Brewster Kahle from the Internet Archive.