Flatpack Festival
Film, and then some

The Way We Were

Ian Francis
Wednesday 31st December, 2008 Posted by Ian Francis

2008 is slipping through our fingers, and we're in nostalgic mood. Well actually, I'm supposed to be writing copy for the Flatpack brochure and will hungrily grab at any distraction that comes along. This is unlikely to be in human form as it seems that I'm the only bugger in the Custard Factory today, so I thought I would shuffle through the last 12 months from a 7inch point-of-view...

>> Just over a year ago we were showing Christmas Ghost Stories at Highbury Hall. Not strictly 2008, but this unnerving event has been on our minds of late since Mark Gatiss' excellent Crooked House screened on BBC4. (The whole caboodle is up on iPlayer until 3rd Jan - find yourself a computer in a darkened room.)

>> In January we spent a couple of days in Belfast on a film festival training course run by the ICO, a good opportunity to blether with other festival folk and gird our loins for the return of Flatpack Festival.

>> There was a nice run of Sunday-night gigs at the Hare and Hounds. Highlights included a straight8 special, Derrick Knight reminiscing about Travelling for a Living, and the surprisingly informative Housewives' Choice. A big thank you to Adam and all at the pub, and everyone who submitted work or played records.

>> In April this website arrived, complete with a vastly improved archive for the stuff we've done over the years and of course a blog - always a welcome alternative to work.

>> Shortly afterwards the Film Council picked Flatpack as one of seven key UK events within their new festival strategy. Which was nice of them.

>> 7inch celebrated turning five with a raucous do at the Rainbow. Slightly later in the year Mr and Mrs 7inch marked ten years since they first met in the projection box at Odeon New St. Oh, heady days.

>> We did guest-spots for Supersonic and Green Man festivals (fleeing the latter just before the deluge), as well as participating in Vivid's Flux-fest with an odd and enjoyable warehouse evening.

>> Our Knitflicks weekend at Compton Verney attracted enthusiastic knitters and all kinds of strange press interest (culminating in this).

>> Over the summer we finally moved into an office, and took a trip to the Ballerina Ballroom.

>> In the autumn we got to wallow in the work of two of our heroes, Len Lye and Delia Derbyshire, in the process discovering Derbyshire's actual bloomin' gasmask.

>> There was also lots of pootling around lovely venues in Worcestershire as part of a touring archive project, with Mrs 7inch appearing on local news and everything.

>> And we had a nice day out in Sheffield.

>> Then as Christmas approached we reacquainted ourselves with the spread-sheets, night-sweats and mounting drama that can only mean festival time.

Tomorrow it'll be 2009 and Flatpack will feel a whole lot closer, but it's nice to remember how much we fitted in this year. At a guess, well over 6,000 punters reached and hopefully most of them satisfied. If you were one of them thanks for coming along - and either way, a happy new year to you.

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