Flatpack Festival
Film for all the senses

Flatpack 2021 Coming Soon...

Friday 9th April, 2021

We are a mere 6 weeks away from this year’s festival, an online extravaganza that will kick off four whole months of screenings and events, including some very exciting new projects and (keep everything crossed!) a return to cinemas and venues for a grand finale in September.

You can read more about our plans for the summer on our Flatpack 2021 page. First things first though: You are cordially invited to the fifteenth Flatpack Festival, online, 21-31 May. The programme is designed to be explored and experienced in any number of ways, for example:

  • short films over breakfast
  • making a night of it with five of your best pals (restrictions permitting) and a film and drink pairing
  • or diving right in and watching and chatting in a virtual world...

However you choose to partake, we invite you to join other filmmakers, film lovers and film dabblers across the world for ten days of cinematic joy. Here’s a taster of what’s in store:


Over the last year, American technologist and co-founder of XOXO Festival Andy Baio has been working tirelessly on a brand new project - a virtual playground for online events called Skittish. We’re very excited to be the first UK festival to make use of the technology, and even more excited to grab a virtual beer/coffee with you all!

ANNAM and Emily Scaife

A couple of years in the making, this British Council funded project sees an unlikely collaboration between two of the most interesting emerging musicians making waves in Vietnam at the moment (ANNAM), and British visual artist and animator Emily Scaife. They’ve been commissioned to make a live audiovisual performance piece using the brilliant Saigon Supersound project as a starting point. The world premiere will be unveiled at the VCCA in Hanoi, and streamed to the rest of the world during the festival.

7 Sounds - UK Premiere

Academy Award Nominee Sam Green is known for his innovative live documentaries, having collaborated with bands such as Yo La Tengo, Fugazi, and Kronos Quartet. He’s currently working on a new project with JD Samson (Le Tigre) called 32 Sounds, but in the process they have created something like a cross between a radio documentary, a sound walk, and ASMR. Best listened to in bed, letting Sam and JD take you on a sonic journey exploring some of the most fascinating sounds your ears will ever hear.

Short film Competition

With over 30 UK premieres, our BAFTA-qualifying short film competition programme spans all genres, with outstanding, boundary-pushing films exploring subjects like deepfake technology as grief therapy, personal responses to the Black Lives Matter protests, and how we inhabit our own bodies.

Screendance Competition

Joining forces once again with the Birmingham International Dance Festival and independent curator and filmmaker Sima Gonsai, we’re presenting two programmes of shorts (including several UK premieres) that span both Flatpack 2021 and BIDF (which starts a few days later). We’ll also be announcing the winner of the brand new Screendance Award at our awards do.

Colour Box

Featuring the very best family shorts from around the world, including the UK premiere of the Mexican animated feature A Costume for Nicholas - a young boy with Down Syndrome helps his cousin overcome his frequent nightmares through a series of otherworldly Studio Ghibli-esque adventures.

Features & Docs

We’ve got some brilliant stuff on the features & docs menu this year - if we were to name a few...

  • Jack Henry Robbins’ (Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon’s son) VHYes - shot his fourth feature on VHS and digbeta tapes over 15 days;
  • Documentary portrait of collage artist and photographer Seán Hillen Tomorrow is Saturday, followed by a collage masterclass by Birmingham Collage Collective;
  • The world premiere of the long-awaited Paradise Lost - Andy Howlett’s documentary about architect John Madin’s controversial brutalist building, Birmingham Central Library;
  • New features - Ivory Coast’s Oscar shortlisted Night of the Kings, and Viktor Kosakovskiy’s meditative portrait of a family of pigs, Gunda;
  • And British documentarian Marc Isaacs’ new film The Filmmaker’s House.

Voices of Isolation

Sonita Gale’s feature doc Voices of Isolation reveals the vast social and economic inequalities in our system that have been further exposed by the pandemic, focusing in particular on how it has revealed the need for reform in the way our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are valued. A work-in-progress screening will be followed by a discussion featuring the director, social commentator Patrick Vernon, and Windrush campaigner Paulette Wilson’s daughter Natalie Barnes.

Short Film Beer Pairing

Teaming up with independent brewery DigBrew, Flatpack have curated a selection of classic short films paired with some of DigBrew’s finest beverages. Enjoy a pint of the very special Waka / Jawak (named after Frank Zappa’s fourth album) while feasting your eyes on the mind-melting work of Zappa’s collaborator Bruce Bickford.

Nude Triumphant

Produced during the first lockdown in 2020, Nude Triumphant is a short film that combines painting from life with experimental digital animation. Produced by a community of Queer and intersectional life models and artists, the film encourages us to pause and reflect, discovering our unique identities in stillness and building a healthier relationship with time and with ourselves. After the screening, there will be a life modelling class hosted by ‘Professor Jo Calderwood’.

The full programme will be heading your way in no time at all. Sign up to our mailing list at the bottom of this page to be the first to get the news...

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