The history of BTAA / British Arrows screenings at Walker
Walker began screening the British Television Advertising Awards in 1986, when the program was part of a tour that was facilitated by the BTAA and the Film Department of the Museum of Modern Art. Walker had a strong interest in advertising and design and had been screening the Clio Awards for many years, so there was a natural curiosity about foreign commercials. Major companies such as Target, Best Buy and General Mills are based in the Twin Cities and bring creative teams over to screenings, as do other advertising agencies like Fallon. Watching the awards in a cinematic setting provides a unique communal screening experience that has broadened the program to a general audience of Anglophiles, film students, and the press who attend annually.
Walker presentation today
In December each year, over 27,000 people attend over 88 screenings of the latest British Arrows Awards showreel at Walker each year. It’s a much-loved program in the Twin Cities with many people attending year after year. The audiences are moved by the program, which can be a unique cross cultural experience, as they try to figure out brands and products that are not available in the U.S., but are cleverly conveyed. It’s a unique experience for American audiences to view ads that are not invested in the hard sell; rather, gaining interest in products and services through humor, pathos and a dynamic cinematography.
Each year a member of the British Arrows board attends the presentation, introduces the program on the opening night and handles interviews on TV, radio and the press.
Walker Art Center
Walker is an interdisciplinary art center in Minneapolis with exhibition, performing arts, education and moving images programs. The Walker just celebrated its 75th anniversary as an independent arts institution. The Moving Image department programs in the 340-seat newly renovated Cinema with 4K Barco digital projection and 16/35 Kinoton projectors for archival prints. We’re also celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Walker Dialogues program which has paired major directors and actors with leading film critics. Artists such as Clint Eastwood, Jodie Foster, Terry Gilliam, Steve McQueen and Christopher Nolan have taken part in the program. In addition, the Walker also houses the Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection, which has over 1,100 works. Many of the digitized works are available to be viewed in the Walker Mediatheque, which just opened in May.
Program Manager, Moving Image
Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403