Flatpack Festival
Film for all the senses

The Night of the Red Herring

Monday 10th June, 2024

On April 11th, Nottingham-based film collective Reel Em’ In made their debut with a film event at the Bonington Gallery, following a crash course in film exhibition as part of our Build Your Own Film Night programme. Members of the collective Aman Bandrapalli and Eleanor Hermann share their reflections below on planning, promoting and delivering the event.

As a group, we are passionate about film culture, especially developing youth audiences like us, as we are the driving force that will allow film culture to flourish and events like this to keep happening.

We chose to frame this event around short films, ranging from around two to 10 minutes in length. Programming shorts allowed us to be flexible in the pacing and organisation of the evening and able to embed interactive elements. Short films also allowed contribution from the whole Reel Em’ In group and a wide spectrum of tones with which we aimed to excite, entertain, and disturb our audience. After considerable discussion, we settled on crime and mystery as our theme due to the popularity of the genre.

The theme allowed us to be highly stylistic in marketing and appeal to the curiosity of cult and casual fans of the genre alike. Dressing up our marketing with detective iconography on posters and social media and adding an element of mystery to our posts drew in our audience and created hype around the event. In addition, we created ‘calling cards’ that were placed around key sites in Nottingham and areas of high student traffic to build our identity. These calling cards only contained a QR code, leading to a set of riddles which eventually led to our event booking page, giving an exclusive feel to our event.

There was a long, group-wide review process for all the suggested films, which included the amazing opportunity to develop ideas with two members from Flatpack based in Birmingham. After all our hard work was completed, all that remained was pulling off ‘The Night of the Red Herring’.

The night went incredibly well with a turnout of over 70 people. Our interactive elements, such as our murder mystery, were widely engaged with, and we gained feedback at the end of the evening pointing to how much guests enjoyed this component. Many films received a round of applause with everyone seeming to enjoy the programme we had curated.

We want to thank those who attended, we hope you enjoyed it! We also wanted to thank Bonington Gallery, our film directors, those who helped share the event and everyone who played a part in making this a reality. In the future we aim to take all that we’ve learnt and continue to collaborate with some of the creative people that we’ve worked with, so we can keep producing exciting events for Nottingham. Keep an eye out for Reel Em’ In!

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