Flatpack is a festival which takes over venues across Birmingham every March. It draws people from far and wide with a mixture of films, performances, contraptions and surprises, and has been described as “magnificently eclectic” (Time Out), “joyously inventive” (the Guardian) and “the UK’s most creatively curated film festival” (the Independent).
But Flatpack is not just a festival – it’s also a state of mind. Actually, that’s overstating it, but it’s not confined to one time or place. The annual event was spawned from the year-round antics of 7 Inch Cinema, originally a mixed-media filmnight at the Rainbow pub in Digbeth. This grew to embrace inflatable cinema-tents, archive detective-work and DVD compilations, and ten years on we continue to produce our own projects and provide guest programming for others throughout the year. Recent collaborators have included Home of Metal, Green Man Festival, First Light, Birmingham International Dance Festival and the Independent Cinema Office.
The kind of work we put on depends upon the project, but recurring themes include animation, music, artists’ film, archive discoveries, offbeat shorts for kids and live cinema. We are firm believers in creating a sense of occasion, exploring the fertile territory where film bumps up against other artforms, and showing people things they might not otherwise have seen.
Director: Ian Francis
Ian has clocked up fifteen years putting on film events in Birmingham and beyond, and co-founded Flatpack with partner Pip McKnight in 2006. He also writes for publications including Sight and Sound and Little White Lies.
Operations Manager: Selina Hewlett
A born organiser with experience of arts and business sectors, Selina first got involved in Flatpack in 2009 and recently signed up as a year-round member of the team. She has also worked on Birmingham Book Festival.
Programmer: Sam Groves
Sam has produced a range of film events under the banner of KINO 10, and like Selina has been Flatpacking since 2009.