Flatpack Festival
Film for all the senses

A Day in the Life of a Marketing Volunteer

Thursday 30th May, 2024 Posted by Liza Glushak

I have previously attended film festivals, but never one like Flatpack.

Most festivals that I have been to focused specifically on one media that they were presenting; so for film festivals, it would almost always be limited to showcasing films. I was so excited to find out that at Flatpack there was live music and live performances from artists of various forms, including those I’ve never heard of before - in addition to films.

I think volunteering is a wonderful chance to experience an event from behind the scenes, seeing the setting up that goes into performances and considering what might appeal to the audience. When we hear ‘film festival’, we might have certain ideas or expectations that come to mind. Prior to being part of Flatpack, I would have thought film competitions and director/actor interviews. Seeing how many more layers there are to this festival made me see that the art world is becoming progressively more welcoming of experimentation and is starting to break out of the conventional.

The work that was showcased at Flatpack this year ranged from upcoming artists and filmmakers to creatives that have perfected their craft over many years. What brought them all together was the incredible quality of the work, and the enthusiasm and passion that could be felt by the spectator.

I had the luck of volunteering for the opening night, which presented new work by audiovisual artists People Like Us and The Light Surgeons.

Katja Ogrin

People Like Us' performance The Library of Babel was an audiovisual collage inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ short story of the same name, bringing together film clips that span the history of cinema. And The Light Surgeons combined vintage film with a soundtrack that used trance-like sounds and elements of conversation (amongst other things) for their performance The Consensual Hallucination.

Being primarily a social media marketing volunteer, I of course expressed my marvel at this on the Flatpack Instagram account. Volunteering for the festival was a chance for me to attend events that I may have skipped for reasons as simple as not knowing what to expect. Even as I was talking to my fellow volunteer that evening, we both agreed that we had no clue what to expect from the performances!

As I entered the Birmingham Black Box venue with its towering ceilings, I watched The Light Surgeons setting up their equipment and still could not guess what their work might look like live. After watching them perform, I would definitely describe it as more of a multi-sensory experience rather than just a screening. I watched The Light Surgeons move film strips and lights around, and even now the question of the exact magic that went into providing the audience with the colourful, ever-changing images on the massive projector remains a pleasant mystery to me.

Katja Ogrin

Flatpack breaks out of the box and encourages artistic freedom. It applauds expression and allows for film to be a media that speaks on human identity, and sparks further curiosity. Personally, I love when art makes me feel a certain level of confusion while simultaneously making me feel understood, and that’s how so many of the films and music made me feel. Volunteering at Flatpack this year was a beautiful, enriching experience, and I’d encourage everyone to attend next year and dive into the unique art and culture.

For more from Liza Glushak, check out their Instagram page.

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