The British Arrows Awards, celebrating the best in TV ads, showing October 4 & 5

Sep 26, 2014

It’s one of my favorite movie times of the year as Cincinnati World Cinema brings you the latest edition of the British Arrow Award winning commercials. That’s right…commercials. These little mini-movies, created for television and cinema use in the UK that offer up more creativity and imagination than what we usually get on this side of the pond. After enduring yet another seemingly endless onslaught of droning prescription medicine plugs and snarky, repulsive political whines, it’s a real treat to actually enjoy watching spots that can be funny, whimsical, or even frightening without insulting your intelligence.

Granted, I didn’t find any of this year’s items to be as jaw-droppingly awe-inspiring as in years past. But there’s still a wide variety of the cheeky and the thoughtful, and sometimes a combination of both. Such as an ad in which a couple is being shown a town house for possible purchase by a real estate agent who is making strange comments. It all comes home when it’s revealed what the ad is for. One of my favorites was one of the shortest: two grizzled explorers in a tent comparing gins, with one of the funniest punch lines I’ve heard in ages.

And the good thing about these programs is that, if you don’t like the commercial you are currently watching, just hang in there. There’s going to be something completely different coming along in another few seconds.

You can see the British Arrow Awards next Saturday and Sunday in Covington’s Carnegie Arts Center. Showings are Saturday at 6 pm and 8 pm, and again Sunday at 4 pm.

In addition to this always-fun cinematic event, there’s a separate screening at the Carnegie as Cincinnati World Cinema brings you the world premiere of a locally made film called Nightsong. A writer for a national music publication crosses paths with an aging bluegrass musician and their brief encounter make for changes in both men. This is what I refer to as a “calling-card movie.” It’s short, but could easily be expanded to feature length. The production shows what this group of filmmakers can do on a low budget, and this does just that, including some stunning cinematography and an award-winning class performance by Dayton’s John Adrian Riley as the reclusive Lester Erwin. There’s one showing of Nightsong on Sunday at 6:30 pm, preceded by another short film titled GRAPE, and followed by a Q&A with the cast and crew of Nightsong.