Flatpack Film Festival

Art & Culture

This Thursday sees the return of Birmingham's FlatPack Film Festival, marking the eigth time that the eclectic film festival has taken place in England's second city. WIth a wealth of film gold being spread out over the festival's eleven day run, Birmingham plays host to a number of eye-popping features, short films and some very special guests.


It's great to see that a film festival such as this has managed to be so successful throughout the eight years since it began, particularly given that it has certainly not been the most affluent economic climate to be working in. As an event such as this is able to draw in film-makers and enthusiasts the world around, perhaps it's an event that British film lovers should rank higher on their radars.


This year's festival is sure to be a hit, particularly given the inspiring variety of film that will be appearing. Highlights for this year's FlatPack include; The World Made Itself, an immersive piece of performance from LA-based artist and performer Miwa Matreyek, who will imagine the origins of the earth by interacting with her own animations and music from Flying Lotus; the UK Premiere of Bill Morrisons latest film, The Great Flood, a portrait of the devastation caused by the Mississippi floods of 1927 (presented by Morrison himself) that resonates profoundly with recent news reports; Phono-Cinema-Thtre, a recently-restored treasure trove of 1900s film featuring theatre and variety stars of the day with a live score from John SweeneyBirmingham-On-Sea, an investigation into one land-locked citys love affair with water; and an immersive, horizontal screening of cult 1972 sci-fi, Silent Running.


Along with this selection of headline films, there are two others that particularly peak my interest. The former of these is Night Moves, an eco-terrorism film starring Dakota Fanning alongside the future Lex Luthor, Jesse Eisenberg. Eisenberg has had an almost meteoric rise in the last few years so it seems perhaps somewhat odd that he chose to work on such a project – particularly with DC knocking at his door. Both actors have repeatedly proven their pedigree and it will be intriguing to see what they can bring to the screen on this occasion. The other film that I'm enthralled by is The Punk Singer, a portrait of Riot Grrrl pioneer Kathlen Hanna. Though more and more people seem to be learning about the movement, particularly thanks to Pussy Riot, I still believe that it is mentioned far too infrequently and doesn't get anywhere near as many accolades within the realm of music as it deserves. A documentary like this should be a must see for music lovers of all shapes and sizes.


So if you're in Birmingham, or anywhere else really thanks to our public transport system that doesn't need the HS2 (sorry, I nearly went political there), head over for a long or as short as you like to Flatpack Film Festival where viewers of all tastes are catered for.


Also, they're screening Adventure Time which should attract an intriguing combination of children and students alike.


And me…


Flatpack Film Festival runs in Birmingham from 20th-30th March, tickets for individual events as well as details of the full programme can be found here


Ciaran Steward