Flatpack Festival
Film for all the senses

Screendance at Flatpack

Abbe Elliston
Wednesday 6th April, 2016 Posted by Abbe Elliston

In our first guest blog post, we asked local filmmaker Sima Gonsai to give a little more information about the programme on Screendance on Thursday 21 April that she has curated for the festival.

Flatpack Film Festival will soon hit Birmingham with a ground breaking schedule of events. I have joined forces with the team to curate an exciting new programme of 'screendance’.

We have programmed an exciting day giving you an insight into this expansive genre including a screening of short films, an industry panel and an artist lab. If you are a filmmaker, composer, digital artist or the curious, you are invited to take part, become inspired and make new connections.


Dance Cinematic, is an event that celebrates the evolution of screendance across all platforms. Recognising innovative and influential dance in film, we have selected a range of short films that celebrates artful and diverse connections of dance choreography with film cinematography.

Our stunning collection comes from around the world, each an inimitable sight to behold with ranging inspirations.

Following this we have programme an industry panel with prominent members of the screendance community and an artists' lab where dancers, musicians, filmmakers and all interested individuals are welcome to collaborate and experiment with this unique and growing art form.

So what is screendance exactly? I would define Screendance as movement performed specifically for the camera, where the choreography of the camera and sound composition is just as important as the dance itself. It is a genre where these three elements can equally collaborate to create a site-specific and highly cinematic short film.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="592"]Freefall Directed by Sima Gonsai, 2014. Freefall Directed by Sima Gonsai, 2014.[/caption]

As a filmmaker that has experimented at length with screendance and as passionate Indian dancer, I am incredibly excited for our featured films to be screened with Flatpack this year.

Screendance has a strong globally community and is steadily making a comeback in the UK. Over the past few years I have made a series of dance films and had the opportunity to visit festivals including San Francisco, Finland, Leeds and CH4 as part of their Big Dance Shorts series.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="592"]The Try Out – CH4 Big Dance Shorts 2015 The Try Out – CH4 Big Dance Shorts 2015[/caption]

The truth is, it’s an ever evolving genre and we wanted to programme a diverse range of films showing different techniques as well as look at the initiatives that exist today. Ch4 Random Acts have always endorsed screendance as seen in their most recent commissioning scheme Big Dance Shorts.

Which brings us to our panel of speakers and co-lab. What better way to place screendance on the UK map than to have a panel of experts that can share their knowledge on how to create and fund a project. We have a fantastic line up including Andy Wood (Screendance Programmer, Leeds International Film Festival), Pegah Farahmand (Random Acts Editor), Abigail Reeve (Relationship Manager, Dance, ACE) and Gitta Wigro (Independent Dance film programmer - Big Dance Shorts).

dance 5

Furnished with your newfound knowledge, my greatest hope is for artists to network and make new work. The co-lab is an opportunity for artists to have a learn about techniques in capturing movement and dance on film. We have some fantastic artists running a playful and creative session. You will get the chance to swap your skills and see what it is like to work as a dancer and film maker and then collaborate! Come along and be inspired! I love it when a plan comes together!

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