“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).

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, take a look at the rules and terms, and submit! We’ll be in touch in March 2021 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 shorts for kids, to cerebral video essays, with just about everything in between.

Given the level of uncertainty that still surrounds us, we've decided to wholeheartedly commit to an online festival this year. New dates will be announced in mid-March.

We are a BAFTA qualifying festival, meaning successful submissions could go on to win a BAFTA!

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 (£1,000 CASH PRIZE);
– 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 (£500 CASH PRIZE);
– the Audience Award – the crowds’ favourite;
- the Optical Sound Short Film Award - the very best short selected from our music/sound/audio-inspired strand;
- the Screendance award - the best short selected from our strand incorporating dance and movement (£500 CASH PRIZE);
– 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.

All successful submissions will be included in the programme at Flatpack no.15.

Submissions should be:

– under 20 minutes long for the short film and screendance submissions, and between 20-35 for the mid-length submissions;
– completed since July 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 deadline for submissions is 11:59pm on Sunday 31 January 2021.* The full programme will be announced in March 2021 and we’ll let you know whether you have been successful or not before the programme goes live.

*Please note that we have extended the deadline for screendance short films only to Sunday 14 February.

Covid 19: we are very much planning for a physical festival, but will continue to monitor the situation over the next few months. Like pretty much all festivals we are also looking into options for a hybrid festival if need be, but if there are any changes made to the festival format, we will liaise with all filmmakers at the earliest opportunity.

*We understand that the pandemic has had an impact on filmmaking around the world and has halted numerous productions. As a result, we are amending our criteria so that films need to be completed by no earlier than July 2018, rather than January 2019. Please note though, you cannot submit any films that have previously been submitted to the festival.

Overall Rating
  • Kosta Karakashyan

    Beautiful festival organization and a strong program! So happy to have been a part of it.

    September 2020
  • 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