Flatpack Film Festival
19-24 April 2016
Birmingham, UK

The tenth festival is nigh. Having been lovingly crafted for your discovery and delight, the full programme is now on sale, so dive in and enjoy. Kicking off slightly later than usual (19-24 April 2016), you can expect the usual boundary-defying cinematic fun and games in venues across Birmingham.

Born in a Digbeth pub and a Balsall Heath attic, Flatpack has since grown in many interesting and wonderful directions. If you’re feeling nostalgic you can take a look back at our festival archive.

PS: Brochures are now on the streets! You can also peruse it as a PDF.

2016 Highlights See All

NG83: When We Were B-Boys

Several years in the works due to a tireless search for archive footage, the effort behind NG83 has paid off.

Blind Cinema (2pm)

The art of audio description, in the form of whispered narration by a group of school children.

The Boy and the Beast

Stumbling through Tokyo’s Shibuya district, nine year-old runaway Ren discovers a portal which leads to Jutengai, a parallel realm populated by all manner of strange, semi-human creatures.

La Jetee: rescored by Larva

Comprised almost entirely of luminously grainy black and white photographs, Chris Marker’s existential time travel short La Jetee is re-scored by LARVA.


Multi-disciplinary artist Matt Watkins joins forces with drummer Steven Taylor (Calvados Beam Trio) to explore the intersection of moving image, noise, electronics, mechanics and abstraction.

The Colony + Year Zero: Black Country

A double-bill of films from the point of view of recent arrivals in Birmingham and Smethwick, made fifty years apart.

The Paper Cinema's Odyssey (21 March)

Homer’s island-hopping tales of gods and monsters retold as you’ve never seen them before, with a joyful combination of cut-out characters and live music.

Sound + Vision

Triple-bill of AV performances from Amsterdam-based duo Optical Machines, sound artist Graham Dunning and Berlin-based artist collective Transforma + musician/composer PC NACKT.

Action Space

To watch this film is to be transported into another world. A world before risk-assessments, where questioning authority is the norm and kids throw themselves down hills at speed.

Time + Motion

With Swipeside in full swing, immerse yourself in an evening of live animation and performance. Attractions include the first ever UK show by Japanese duo Usaginingen, whose home-made opto-machinery produces real-time visuals through specially made filters soundtracked by a ...

WFMU Live Broadcast: Station Manager Ken

On the eve of the UK premiere for WFMU documentary Sex and Broadcasting, the station's drivetime show comes direct from Digbeth.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Wonderfully atmospheric vampire tale, with the streets of Bakersfield reimagined as underworld Iran.


FW Murnau’s Faust effortlessly takes us from gothic horror to bucolic comedy and back again, accompanied by Matt Eaton (Pram) and Gareth Jones (Misty’s Big Adventure, Grandmaster Gareth).

Pierre Bastien + Brian Duffy

Musician, artisan, and performer Pierre Bastien will be taking various tunes and themes from his recent album, Blue As An Orange and reformulating his legendary Silent Motors show.

Walk Cheerfully

Ozu's delicious, Tokyo spin on a classic gangster tale, with live benshi narration and musical accompaniment.

Sex and Broadcasting (Sunday)

Fly-on-the-wall portrait of listener-funded freeform radio station WFMU, as it navigates the rough seas of the recession.

The Last Laugh

A moving parable given a new spin by today’s accompanists, electronic duo Les Trucs.

Richard Nicholson: The Projectionists

As film has made way for digital, both the job and the work-place have changed fundamentally, and Richard’s beautifully detailed images capture this pivotal moment.

Collage Party

Celebrating the art of the cut-out and the cut-up, with a free-ranging lineup of music, film, art and food in spaces throughout Minerva Works.

Miles Ahead

Special preview presented by curation collective Come The Revolution...


Opening night will include a new live score to one of cinema’s landmarks, Carl Theodore Dreyer’s luminous, mesmerising Vampyr.

Giant Axe Field: thaumatos

Following their blistering cut-up of Czech sci-fi film Ikarie XB1 at Flatpack 9, Giant Axe Field are back with an improvised audio-visual tribute to ‘Cinema Fantastique’.


An operatic comedy about love, family and food in Brooklyn’s Italian-American community, Moonstruck has aged like a fine wine.

Richard Dawson

Both tender and brutal, apparently ramshackle but completely on it, Richard Dawson's performances are an experience not be missed.


Israeli artist Omer Fast has taken Tom McCarthy’s cult novel and turned it into a gorgeous puzzle of a psychological thriller.

Standby for Tape Backup

“Two years ago, I found a videotape in my loft. On it: one and a half films, one quiz show and two sitcoms. Somehow it became the story of my life.”

Battleship Potemkin (Change to advertised feature)

A change to our advertised feature. We hope to bring Man With a Movie Camera to the festival at a future date, and will be in touch with all those who have pre-booked tickets for this event.

Tokyo Tribe

Mind-blowing yakuza hip hop musical set in a near-future Tokyo on the verge of all-out gang war.

Animation and Beyond

Exploring the ever-growing parameters of animation through screenings, demonstrations and panel discussions, Birmingham City University’s new art school will host a day for industry professionals and those looking to make their way into the sector. Discussions will be ...

Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock & Roll

After years of tireless digging John Pirozzi has managed to reach across the awful rupture of Year Zero to sketch out a lost world of Cambodian pop, aided in his task by dazzling archive film, bittersweet reminiscences, and most of all by the music itself.

Oh Dear Diary

For one night only, our courageous readers will be reliving the awkward crushes, homework dramas and dubious musical tastes of their childhood and teenage years.

Celluloid City

A celebration of Birmingham's rich cinema-going history, through films and discussions.

Sex and Broadcasting (Saturday)

Fly-on-the-wall portrait of listener-funded freeform radio station WFMU, as it navigates the rough seas of the recession.

Citation City

A time-travelling voyage through one city, assembled from hundreds of movie clips and inspired by the wanderings of Walter Benjamin.

Green Room

Set in the backwoods of Oregon, a punk band on the road find themselves besieged by neo-Nazis at a private club after they discover a murdered body they shouldn't have seen.

Heart Of A Dog

Part essay, part documentary, and part home movie, Laurie Anderson takes the death of her beloved piano-playing terrier Lolabelle as a starting point and goes on a dreamy, comic, philosophical and emotional journey.

Peggy Seeger in Conversation

Folk singer Peggy Seeger looks back on the making of the Radio Ballads, a series of broadcasts that helped to redefine radio.

Edwardian Horror Show

A rare chance to wander the halls of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery after hours, for an evening of spooky shorts and haunted show-tunes.

Girl Shy

One of the funniest comedies of the silent era, with musical accompaniment from the inimitable silent film pianist Cyrus Gabrysch.

Amusement Park

Showing in the UK for the first time, an interactive exhibition from a group of contemporary Finnish animators.

Blind Cinema (11am)

The art of audio description, in the form of whispered narration by a group of school children.

The Creeping Garden

Mesmerising voyage into the hidden world of slime moulds, with music by Jim O'Rourke.

Film Adventurer Karel Zeman

One of the joys of this new documentary portrait is the chance to hear from those collaborators, while also seeing a group of students attempt to recreate some of their optical tricks...

The Paper Cinema's Odyssey (20 March)

Homer’s island-hopping tales of gods and monsters retold as you’ve never seen them before, with a joyful combination of cut-out characters and live music.

Sympathy for the Devil

Birmingham-raised director Neil Edwards' film about the Process Church of the Final Judgement.

Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers

The film features more ingenious, mouth-watering uses of garlic than you might have thought possible, plenty of impromptu folk and flamenco, and a host of quirky evangelists...



The Flatpass returns for its second year. This is a big one for us – festival no. 10, and we know you’ll want to see as much of it as possible. The Flatpass gets you into just about everything in the festival programme.


"An incredible mix of film and music for all ages." - The Times
"A treasure trove of a festival" – Sight and Sound
"Magnificently eclectic" – Time Out
"This festival is really like no other, with an incredible line-up of amazing screenings and events for grown-ups and kids alike." - Anorak
"Joyously inventive" - Guardian
"Britain’s most exciting and innovative film festival" – Lonely Planet
"Like the perfect mixtape…you’re not quite sure how or why the selection works, but that is what makes it so magical" – Electric Sheep
"It's like being shown really cool stuff by a good friend who thinks you might like to see it." - Audience member
"Flatpack has gained a well deserved reputation as an innovative film festival with an imaginative output" – Film Four
"I came away totally inspired, both by Birmingham and by Flatpack. One of the best festivals I’ve ever been to." - Ken Freedman, WFMU
"The festival feels like an essential component in Birmingham’s cultural life, bringing new talent and the city itself to light." - The Quietus
"The best programming on the planet." - Canadian curator Kier-la Janisse
"Independent, quirky, intelligent, innovative, amusing and relaxed - nothing else like it." - Audience member