Spring is on its way – which in the Birmingham cultural calendar can only mean Flatpack! Flatpack Film Festival returns for its ninth edition from 19-29 March. Boasting 120 events at over 30 venues – take your pick from Finnish animation sculptures, long-lost archives, a virtual dinner party featuring Occulus Rift, coffee demonstrations, slime moulds, live soundtracks, camera obscuras, woollen puppets…and that’s not even including the best features, documentaries and short films new and old.
The programme is vast, but here are a few highlights:
Paper Cinema’s beautiful ‘live animation’ take on The Odyssey on over two nights at the REP.
Sex and Broadcasting – WFMU Documentary
If you’ve ever popped into the Flatpack office, you’re bound to have heard New Jersey-based freeform radio WFMU on their stereo. They’re pretty chuffed that the UK premiere of WFMU doc Sex and Broadcasting will take place at the festival this year. The documentary is an inspiring film that raises questions about survival and indie culture as Station Manager Ken Freedman battles with the recession, the regulators and his leaky building. WFMU will also be coming to Birmingham, broadcasting live from Minerva Works on Friday 27 March.
The birthplace of celluloid and the Odeon empire, Birmingham has always had a fondness for the flicks. Celluloid City at the Barber Institute will explore and map the vibrant history of the silver screen in Birmingham. The day will include live scores to classic silent comedy shorts films and take a look into how the first Bollywood films were brought to the region in the 1950s.
Film Bug is a great way to explore the city centre’s Colmore Business District with screenings and events happening across the area from 20-21 March. Expect coffee cupping (?! a.k.a tasting), 30s comedy Trouble in Paradise accompanied by a meal at Opus, camera obscura workshop, a chance to play on old game consoles and a screening of Man With A Movie Camera at Birmingham Cathedral (recently voted the best documentary of all time by Sight and Sound magazine). Oh, and did I mention Internet Cats?
The full Flatpack programme is now online and on sale.