Flatpack is a mobile arts organisation which exists to show amazing work, bring people together and develop new ideas. We love film in all shapes and sizes, particularly where it bumps up against other artforms, and get a kick out of transforming spaces to create unforgettable events. Every May you can find us taking over venues across Birmingham with the "magnificently eclectic" Flatpack Festival, while throughout the year we pop up all over the place with everything from family activities to al fresco horror.
[ ...wibbly flashback music... ] It all started back in the early 2000s, with a monthly mixed-media night at the Rainbow pub in Digbeth called 7 Inch Cinema. The first edition of Flatpack grew out of those hugely popular events, and took place over one wintry weekend in early 2006. Since then the festival has gone from strength to strength, established as a vital fixture in the city's cultural calendar while drawing plaudits, audiences and envious looks from across the world. Stirring together a colourful stew of screenings and performances, walks and installations, the programme boasts a mind-boggling range of international talent with an emphasis on the playful, the surprising and the indefinable.
The annual festival has always been complemented by an itinerant year-round programme, whether it be film-tents at music festivals or rural archive tours, and in recent years this part of our work has grown significantly. Flatpack is a lead partner in Film Hub Midlands, an initiative as part of the BFI Film Audience Network to develop a thriving film culture in the Midlands, and among other things this means working with partners across the region, sending out monthly Filmwire bulletins and breeding the next generation of exhibitors through Build Your Own Filmnight. We're also committed to supporting the artists we work with and developing new work for the festival and beyond, and our family programme Colour Box reaches thousands of children every year through schools activity and public events. Find out more about our current and previous projects.
Flatpack Projects is a charitable incorporated organisation (no.1162754), and our work wouldn't be possible without a wide range of funders and supporters including Arts Council England and the BFI (awarding funds from the National Lottery). If you're interested in collaborating with us, please do get in touch...
Unit 304, The Custard Factory Gibb St
Birmingham B9 4AA
Telephone: 0121 771 1509
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.
Head of Operations
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).
Head of Programme
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.
Head of Partnerships
After studying film at university (with aspirations to be the next Sofia Coppola) I accidentally ended up managing a small college for two years, developing the arts provision in and around the Black Country, before making the transition to film when I joined mac Birmingham as Cinema Producer. As part of the arts team I managed mac’s independent cinema programme until spring 2016 after which I joined Flatpack Projects to head up Flatpack's year round activity under the banner of Film Hub Midlands, a BFI-funded project working with the Film Audience Network to help build a more thriving film community in the region.
Born and raised in Birmingham, I’m a curator, facilitator and art appreciator with a vested interest in the film scene of Brum. Post film degree, I came to be specifically interested in experimental, short, and documentary filmmaking with an emphasis on storytelling, heritage and the exploration of diasporic identity and social impact. After a year of working in the arts and heritage sector, I began working at Flatpack as part of the Independent Cinema Office’s FEDS scheme where I’ve had the opportunity to immerse myself in all things film exhibition.
After giving film production a go, I quickly realised that I much prefer (and am better at) sitting back and watching something that someone else has made. I didn't realise that there was any way of doing this professionally, until after numerous bar jobs and a philosophy degree I stumbled across a programming internship at Flatpack, and perhaps unwisely got my hopes very high very quickly. Luckily it panned out, and now I don't have to squeeze all my film watching in between shifts.
Screen Dance Curator
Growing up as a trained Indian classical dancer, I spent many years understanding the language of movement. This unleashed a passion for filmmaking and visual forms of storytelling. Following a Masters in Visual Communication, I embarked on a 7-year film project – ‘Cycle Dialogues’ – capturing cultural landscapes from Ireland to Vietnam solely on a bicycle. Daunting? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely! Movement or being moved is at the heart of my work. I’m a champion of screen dance and I’ve collected a few awards along the way. I’m excited to be a programmer for Flatpack this year and to continue being involved in projects and training that bring artists and audiences together.