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

Flatpack is a 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 ten years on we continue to produce our own projects and provide guest programming for others throughout the year. Recent collaborators have included Home of Metal, Green Man Festival, First Light, Birmingham International Dance Festival and the Independent Cinema Office.

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.

Awards & Prizes

“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 13-22 April 2018.

Our short film strand currently has 5 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 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.12.

Rules & Terms

Submissions should be:

– films under 20 minutes long;
– completed since January 2016;
– 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 14 January 2018. The full programme will be announced in March 2018 and we’ll let you know whether you have been successful or not before the programme goes live.

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    Festival Formula Ltd

    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