Black Country adventures

Dudley, Worcestershire 1835 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

Regular viewers may know that we’ve always had a soft spot for the Black Country. Much as we love Birmingham its flat sprawl can get a bit much at times, so the higgledy-piggledy nature of Tipton, Cradley, Dudley and the like makes for a nice contrast. A good mix of urban and rural; canal rides; cheap beer; friendly people. When we were asked to pull together a summer season of pop-up film events in the area, it took about two seconds to say yes.

So, for all you folks who aren’t gallivanting in Marbella this August, do consider one of these events – many of them are free. Stand-out moments include an exclusive chance to see the new BBC4 doc from Smethwick-forged auteur Billy Dosanjh, and a full day of screenings at West Brom Town Hall which culminates in Buster Keaton’s The General. As part of the latter, Dawinder Bansal is planning to create an authentic South Asian living room experience — you might remember her reminiscing about her video-shop upbringing at Flatpack this year:

There’s also no shortage of family screenings, including wildlife-themed shorts at RSPB Sandwell Valley, and having been knocked out by the talent and commitment of Dudley College’s media students at their recent awards show we thought a wider audience should see their work. Capping the whole thing off, it’s a particular joy to get after-hours access to Dudley Zoo and Castle. Make your way through the trees, past the flamingos, owls and meerkats, up the hill to the castle keep which becomes an al fresco cinema for the night. Our feature presentation: camp horror classic Bride of Frankenstein, directed by pioneering filmmaker (and son of a Dudley blast-furnaceman) James Whale.

Bride of Frankenstein

Tags: , , ,

ENDORSEMENTS

"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