“By any standard one of the UK’s most ambitious and creatively programmed festivals” – Sight and Sound

Flatpack is a BAFTA qualifying festival which takes over venues across Birmingham every spring. It draws people from far and wide with a mixture of films, performances, contraptions and surprises, and has been described as “magnificently eclectic” (Time Out), “joyously inventive” (the Guardian) and “the UK’s most creatively curated film festival” (the Independent).

But Flatpack is not just a festival – it’s also a state of mind. Actually, that’s overstating it, but it’s not confined to one time or place. The annual event was spawned from the year-round antics of 7 Inch Cinema, originally a mixed-media filmnight at the Rainbow pub in Digbeth. This grew to embrace inflatable cinema-tents, archive detective-work and DVD compilations, and thirteen years on we continue to produce our own projects and provide guest programming for others throughout the year.

The kind of work we put on depends upon the project, but recurring themes include animation, music, artists’ film, archive discoveries, offbeat shorts for kids and live cinema. We are firm believers in creating a sense of occasion, exploring the fertile territory where film bumps up against other artforms, and showing people things they might not otherwise have seen.

“Britain’s most exciting and innovative film festival” (Lonely Planet) is once again open for submissions, so if you have a brilliant short film or an audio-visual performance of some kind, take a look at the rules and terms, and submit! We’ll be in touch in the new year to let you know whether your work has been selected or not. As always the programme will celebrate film and the moving image in all its permutations, from animated curiosities, to weird and wonderful music promos, to celluloid installations, to cerebral video essays, with just about everything in between. The festival takes place in venues all over Birmingham, UK, and runs from 5-10 May 2020.

We are now a BAFTA qualifying festival, meaning successful submissions could go on to win a BAFTA, which is exciting.

Our short film strand currently has 7 coveted awards up for grabs:

– the Short Film Award – recognises the most outstanding piece of work across all genres. Selected by the short film jury;
– the WTF Award – hails the film which is the most innovative and extraordinary. It recognises vision, boldness, and originality. Selected by the short film jury;
– the Audience Award – the crowds’ favourite;
- the Optical Sound Short Film Award - the very best short selected from our music-inspired strand;
- the Screen Dance award - the best short selected from our strand incorporating dance and movement;
– the Colour Box Award – celebrating the best short in our family programme awarded by the Colour Box jury;
– the Colour Box Audience Award – the kids’ favourite.

The film selected by the short film jury as the winner of the Short Film Award will receive £1,000. All successful submissions will be included in the programme at Flatpack no.14.

Submissions should be:

– films under 20 minutes long;
– completed since January 2018;
– fully cleared, including any music rights.

We screen all types and genres of film but you can see the previous winners from the last five festivals on our website.

The film should be viewable online. If you need to send us another format please get in touch before submitting. The deadline for submissions is 11:59pm on Sunday 26 January 2020. The full programme will be announced in March 2020 and we’ll let you know whether you have been successful or not before the programme goes live.

Overall Rating
  • Flatpack is a well organized, well programmed, and hospitable festival. It was a pleasure to see my film in a good program, among many other strong programs at the festival.

    May 2019
  • Hidde de Vries

    Thank you so much again Lucile for selecting the film! Thank you for being so welcoming to the directors, they had such a great time. Communication and hospitality were top notch. Hope to see you next year!

    May 2019
  • Jani Lehto

    The festival is organized very professionally and runs like a well oiled machine. Staff and volunteers are always helpful and smiling. Venues are really nice and all the various Flatpack events are easily approachable for both the professionals & the public.

    May 2019
  • We cannot recommend Flatpack Film Festival enough - a dedicated team putting together an eclectic programme, and lovely folk to boot! Great communication and everything treated with great care and attention.

    April 2017