Flatpack Film Festival | 19-24 April 2016 | Birmingham, UK

Born in a Digbeth pub and a Balsall Heath attic, Flatpack has since grown in many interesting and wonderful directions. We’re grateful and excited to have made it this far, and would very much like you to join us in celebrating our tenth birthday in spring. 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. Details will start to emerge over the next few weeks, with the full shebang launched in March 2016.


2015 Highlights See All

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.”

Walk Cheerfully

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

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.

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 ...

Richard Dawson

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

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.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

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

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.

Celluloid City

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

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 ...

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.

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.

Citation City

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

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.

Tokyo Tribe

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

Amusement Park

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

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.

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.

The Creeping Garden

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

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.

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.


"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
"Although technically a film festival, Flatpack is really an inviting explosion of creativity and inventiveness that includes walking tours, installations, pop-up screenings and some killer parties." - Huck Magazine
"I came away totally inspired, both by Birmingham and by Flatpack. One of the best festivals I’ve ever been to." - Ken Freedman, WFMU
"Events like Flatpack are slowly generating their own history. 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

Programme sections


We love animation. It's the art of putting a bunch of still images together to create the illusion of movement. Here we gather some great examples from around the world.

Archive & Re-issue

After months of digging around in crypts and basements, we emerge blinking into the light with a crateful of rarely-seen films and TV programmes.

Colour Box

Flatpack’s family programme Colour Box returns with a weekend of screenings and activities for younger viewers and doers, including a big day at our Gas Hall hub on 23 April.

Culture Club

Fun with slime moulds - showing the creative possibilities around slime moulds, lichen and bacteria. Presented in partnership with BOM Lab and the Arts & Science Festival.


In a really good year for non-fiction films, we've had no trouble filling with this section with great work.

Film Bug

Our partnership with Colmore Business District continues for a fourth year. Taking place in venues across the district, expect coffee tasting to oldskool computer-gaming, Camera Obscura creating to early silent fairy tales.

New Features

A sampler of the best international cinema, from acclaimed award-winners to off-beat surprises.

Philip Donnellan

Made over the course of two decades at the BBC in Birmingham, the films of Philip Donnellan are a raw, poetic document of people who were rarely given a voice on television at the time. This is a rare chance to revisit Donnellan’s work, and to hear from some of his contemporaries and collaborators.

Roy Andersson

As his new feature lands in the UK toting a Golden Lion from Venice, we finally have a chance to stand back and appreciate one of the singular achievements in European cinema over the last twenty years; Roy Andersson’s ‘living’ trilogy. This is amongst the first opportunities to view all three films in the same place, alongside a selection of the director’s formative short work.


With seven competitive programmes vowing for five awards this year (Best Short, WTF, Colour Box, and two Audience Awards), here you’ll find la crème de la crème of the short film. There are also various non-competitive shorts programmes scattered throughout the programme.


For a second year we’ve teamed up with Birmingham City University. During the festival, the University’s Parkside campus will be a hub for filmic ingenuity and innovation featuring an industry day, installations, exhibitions and workshops.

Video Palace

BE KIND AND REWIND as the Scalarama collective recreate a vintage video store for four nights only in Vivid Projects, Birmingham complete with cafe, screening rooms and meeting area.

Walks & Talks

A series of events spanning a talk with folk legend Peggy Seeger to a field trip discovering Birmingham's hidden world of lichen plains, mushroom groves and moss forests.