Flatpack Festival: Redefining Programming

Proving the multidisciplinary nature of cinema, Flatpack Festival creates an arena for sensory experience, combining film screenings with interactive events across a variety of forms. Appealing to film aficionados, art-lovers and music fans alike, the 10 day event offers audiences a markedly eclectic line-up. To represent 50 years since 1968, the festival devotes the weekend to a series of events which grapple with the cultural history of the locale, whilst exploring creative practice from around the world.

For example, the 1925 circus drama Variety will screen alongside a live performance of trapeze, acrobatics and physical theatre. In a similar way, Paper Cinema’s performances transform animation into a live action experience, combining carboard cut outs with music to form a unique version of Shakespeare’s MacBeth.  Live accompaniment manifests throughout the festival, as jazz trio Meg Morley complements Alfred Hitchcock’s silent classic, The Lodger, illustrating the enduring power of film scores. Futhermore, The Optical Sound strand foregrounds audio-visual experimentation, screening a range of music documentaries alongside a host of special guests from the world of AV, including visual and sound artists Rose Kallal, installation and performance specialist Rie Nakajima and VFX collective Nominoë.

Alongside these innovative events runs the main screening programme, of which the majority takes place in the 100-year-old Electric Cinema.  Spanning animation, documentary and experimental work, the diverse selection features highlights such as John Trengrove’s The Wound, the UK premieres of Serge Bozon’s Madame Hype and Mohammad Rasoulof’s A Man of Integrity and The Eyeslice,r a selection of short films by emerging American filmmakers. World premieres include Andrew Walker and Manjeet S. Gills’ Moments of Darkness and Jeff Malmberg and Chris Shellen’s documentary Spettacolo.

Looking to the future of film, Unpacked – Flatpack’s creative industries strand – focuses on the art of fabrication through demonstrations, workshops and talks. Speakers include Oscar-nominee and BAFTA-winner Daisy Jacobs, whose short film screens at the festival, and Austrian practitioner Anna Vasof, who presents a series of playful animations alongside an autobiographical installation.

The festival runs 13-22 April at venues across Birmingham. Find out more here.

1. Still from The Endless, 2017. Dir. Justin Benson, Aaron Scott Moorhead