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SVA Theatre Announces the In-Person Return of After School Special
September 14, 2021 by Maeri Ferguson
After school special

As the return to simple, pre-pandemic pleasures and pastimes becomes increasingly possible again, SVA will celebrate its annual alumni film festival in person at the SVA Theatre for the first time since 2019. Beginning this Sunday, September 19 and running through September 26, After School Special 2021 is a week-long celebration of the best in filmmaking, television, animation and visual effects from the SVA community, with daily screenings and even a few premieres. The joy of going to the movies is back—with COVID-19 safety protocols in place, of course. 


After School Special 2021 will feature a curated roster of ten films from nearly 50 alumni participants, showcasing the high caliber of talent produced by SVA’s academic programs. Audiences are invited to take a deeper dive into filmmaking with behind-the-scenes insights from industry-leading alumni during Q&A sessions that will accompany select screenings. Highlights of this year’s festival include:


  • World premiere of Love is in the Legend, a documentary about 1980s ball culture (specifically the 1988 House of Field ball), edited by Yanni Feder (BFA 2002 Film and Video) and featuring Patricia Field and Marc Jacobs, as well as photographer Tina Paul (BFA 1982 Photography) and artist Keith Haring (BFA 1979 Fine Arts). 
  • NYC cinematic premiere of Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own, a documentary about the artist and former SVA faculty member, directed by Daniel Traub (MFA 1998 Photography and Related Media). 
  • NYC cinematic premiere of Drunk Bus, co-directed by John Carlucci (BFA 1997 Film and Video) and featuring the paintings of Dan Krupin (BFA 2006 Illustration), which will be on view in the SVA Theatre lobby during this screening. 
  • Music videos by Samuel Bayer (BFA 1987 Media Arts), the director behind iconic videos like Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Green Day’s “American Idiot,” will be featured in the lobby throughout the festival and Bayer will be present at select screenings for brief Q&As preceding the feature films.


As always, all events are free and open to the public, and RSVPs are encouraged but not required. Doors will open approximately 30 minutes before each screening. Seating for screenings is on a first-come, first-served basis, but all attendees must be masked and provide proof of vaccination (or proof of exemption and a recent negative test) upon entrance to the theatre.


Presented with support from Asian American Arts Alliance, ASIFA-East, Center for Communication, FilmRise, GKIDS, Icarus Films, Netflix, NewFest, New York Asian Film Festival, New York Women in Film and Television, and Visual Effects Society, After School Special 2021 showcases the incredible achievements of our alumni, many of whom have won Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes and awards at festivals such as Sundance, SXSW and the Venice Film Festival. 


For a complete schedule, to RSVP and to find more information about COVID-19 protocols, visit svatheatre.com. Watch some of the related trailers below.

'Love is in the Legend' Trailer

Outsiders find belonging and beauty in the Paradise Garage, Patricia Field, and the Harlem Ball scene through fashion, music, and dance in NYC 1980’s. What is love unless it is shared? Inspired by this, living legends tell how they introduced fashion competition and voguing to an elite panel of judges, and the world.

'Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own' Trailer

In INTO HER OWN, filmmaker Daniel Traub nimbly illuminates the fascinating journey of Ursula von Rydingsvard (b. 1942) – her difficult early life in a family of nine emigrating to the US after five years in post-WWII German Displaced Persons camps, a traumatic first marriage, her arrival in 1970s New York to establish herself as an artist, and the staggering, triumphant body of work she subsequently produced.

DRUNK BUS - Official Trailer
#drunkbusmovie Michael (Charlie Tahan, OZARK) is a recent graduate whose post-college plan is derailed when his girlfriend leaves him for a job in New York City. When the bus service hires a security guard to watch over the night shift, Michael comes face to tattooed face with Pineapple, a 300-pound punk rock Samoan. In Theaters and On Demand May 21, 2021 drunkbusmovie.com Follow us @drunkbusmovie
Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit (Official Music Video)

Nirvana's official music video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit," remastered in HD.

After School Special 2021 trailer
SVA’s 2021 Alumni Film & Animation Festival (9/19/21-9/26/21) Featuring some of School of Visual Arts’ most accomplished film, television, animation, and visual effects alumni, this week-long, in-person festival will include screenings, premieres, and Q&A’s with industry insiders that offer behind-the-scenes looks at the world of television and cinema. A full schedule and list of participants can be found at svatheatre.com.