Flatpack Festival
Film, and then some


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 bank holiday 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 UK 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.

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, the British Film Institute and Birmingham City University. If you're interested in collaborating with us, please do get in touch...


Flatpack Projects
Unit 304, The Custard Factory
Gibb St
Birmingham B9 4AA

Email: info@flatpackfestival.org.uk
Telephone: 0121 771 1509


Ian Francis


Ian Francis

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

Abbe Elliston

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


Sam Groves

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

Partnerships & Interventions Manager

Amy Smart

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 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.

Emily Summers

Young Person's Coordinator

Since graduating from Exeter University, and following that, Drama School at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, I've been chipping away at the Midlands Arts scene for nearly ten years! Directing, performing, writing... not to mention hosting the odd pub quiz here and there... I am now one of the Creative Directors of Bostin' Creative C.I.C and freelance on a weekly basis for the Birmingham Hippodrome, the Old Rep and since January - FLATPACK!

Keenia Dyer-Williams

Marketing Assistant

Keenia Dyer-Williams

During my time at The University of Birmingham, any moment I could grab away from assignments was spent either creating art or writing about it. After graduating in English & Creative Writing and temporarily wondering what in the world I was going to do with my degree, I found myself in a marketing internship during the summer. This was my 'AHA!' moment when I realised marketing was right up my street, ultimately leading me to the Cultural Intern scheme and to being the new addition to the Flatpack family!

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