Flatpicks: Ian Francis
It's that time of year when people start to collar us at newsagents and bus-stops, urging us to share hot tips on unmissable stuff in the programme. We hate to pick favourites, but equally we realise that sometimes you need a bit of help when sifting through 130 events. Here we kick off a brief series, in which members of the festival team will single out a few things which they're particularly excited about. First off, Flatpack director Ian Francis...
1) Don't Think I've Forgotten I've loved the Cambodian Rocks compilation for many years, and have been waiting eagerly for John Pirozzi to finish off his documentary filling in the stories behind that incredible music. It doesn't disappoint - inevitably tragic given the situation, but life-affirming too.
2) Competition shorts I don't have much to do with the shorts selection, with Sam and Lucile from our team doing much of the delving, so it's a lovely surprise when I get to discover it all at festival time. Some of the real treats are tucked away in these five programmes, and if I had to single out one it would be Peter Tscherkassky's astonishing, sensual The Exquisite Corpus (showing as part of Journeys on Thursday 21st).
3) Fabricating, Forming and Joining Skills I had the privilege of a quick tour around Sellotape Cinema's Jewellery Quarter studio this week, so I've seen some of the amazing gadgetry that will be used to present this short performance (including this double slide-projector with tape deck). For me, they epitomise Brummie creativity: practical, ingenious, unassuming and slightly crackers.
4) Action Space A speculative email from Huw Wahl last summer has turned into something quite special - an inflatable screening and performance venue in the heart of the city, with free stuff going on throughout the weekend. To top it off, I can't wait to share Huw's film about Action Space with an audience for the first time - it's really good.
5) Faust The finale. Beautiful auditorium? Check. Spectacular film? Check. Brilliant live score? Check. Anyone who caught Matthew Eaton and Gareth Jones' floor-rumbling soundtrack to the same director's Nosferatu a couple of years ago will tell you we're in for something special here.