Animated sushi... Paper Cinema... Teenage Mermaids... the Solihull underground... It can only be Flatpack Film Festival.
13–22 April 2018 Venues across Birmingham
This spring sees the return of an event which the Guardian has described as "the UK's most open-minded festival". Over the past 12 years the Flatpack Film Festival has developed a reputation for restless innovation, and the 2018 edition is no exception. Boasting an expanded line-up of screenings, exhibitions, performances and parties in venues across Birmingham, visitors can enjoy ten days trampling merrily between artforms while peeling back the layers of the city’s rich cultural heritage.
While the world's attention may have been focussed on Paris, Chicago or Saigon, 1968 was a big year for Birmingham too. The festival's first weekend will be devoted to an eye-opening, city-straddling series of exhibitions and events delving into the turbulent moment which led to Enoch Powell's 'Rivers of Blood' speech, the birth of Black Sabbath and student occupations across the city. Among many other forgotten stories the programme will take a stroll through the Solihull school days of Genesis P. Orridge, reconstruct lost streets of Balsall Heath using the photography of Janet Mendelsohn, and revisit unlikely psychedelic mecca Mothers.
This packed weekend of live events and screenings will highlight the very best in audio-visual experimentation. Alongside a range of special guests working in the field of AV which include US-based visual and sound artist Rose Kallal, and French foley artists Élodie Fiat and Gilles Marsalet, this year's Optical Sound includes a fertile crop of music documentaries and the launch of new artist development programme Waveform.
Children consume and create moving images in all sorts of ways, and Flatpack's popular family programme reflects this with an eclectic bundle of films, experiences and hands-on activities. Expect the very best selection of international animated short films, large-scale zoetropes, flipbook workshops, synthesiser zones, VR for kids, moomin puppet-making, smartphone projector building, and much more.
Making, fettling, creating - this year’s Unpacked is all about the art of fabrication. Join Flatpack for a day of demonstrations, workshops, and talks featuring:
- Oscar-nominee and BAFTA-winner Daisy Jacobs whose latest short film screens in competition
- Austrian architect and media artist Anna Vasof presenting her playful animated video experiments along with installation piece Self-Portrait
- Dutch visual artist Johan Rijpma whose most recent short Extrapolate was in Vimeo’s Best of 2017 selection,
- and the Nexus team discussing their new VR work Rain or Shine.
Flatpack events may take many forms, but some things are still best enjoyed on a big screen in the dark. The bulk of this year's screenings will be at the century-old Electric Cinema and more recent arrival the Mockingbird. Treats in store range from animation to documentary, experimental work to late-night schlock. Of particular note is the short film competition, which in 2017 featured over 20 UK and European premieres.