Ian Francis (Director)
As a restless Shropshire teenager I was first drawn to Birmingham in the mid-90s by Oscillate’s legendary clubnights, and then moved here to work on the city’s Film and TV Festival. Their fast-fold screen gave me a taste for pop-up screenings, and when I left I took the screen with me. (It’s still here in the office. It’s a bit battered now.) I set up a regular Digbeth event in 2003 called 7 Inch Cinema, and out of this grew Flatpack and much more besides. As well as making things happen I also enjoy baking and writing, and have published pieces with Sight and Sound, Little White Lies and Electric Sheep.


Abbe Elliston (Operations Manager)
After graduating in music and spending a slightly aimless year moving to Scotland and back, I found myself starting a career in Operations. This turned out to be a great fit and I’ve spent the last 7 years managing all aspects of events and attractions in both the private and not-for-profit sectors. I now spend my days making sure everything runs smoothly here at Flatpack by managing the finances, governance and operations, and looking after the team (which includes fulfilling the vital role of snack provider).

Sam Groves (Programmer)
Staying up late one night watching C4’s Shooting Gallery series, I came across the short film Music for Six Drummers and One Apartment. Unknowingly I became an exhibitor, showing the film to everyone I knew. Fifteen years on and with a little more understanding of curation and exhibition, I’m still showing films to people, as well as putting on all manner of mixed arts events as Flatpack’s programmer. Over the last decade I’ve also curated the moving image strand of what was the UK’s largest free arts festival Artsfest, and set up my own exhibition organisation KINO 10.

Amy Smart (Assemble Project Manager)
After studying film at university (with aspirations to be the next Sofia Coppola) I accidentally ended up managing a small college for several years, developing the arts provision in and around the Black Country, before making the transition to film when I joined mac Birmingham in 2010. As part of the producing team I managed mac’s independent cinema programme until spring 2016 after which I joined Flatpack Projects to head up Assemble, a BFI-funded project working with the Film Audience Network to help build a more thriving film community in the West Midlands region.