Flatpack Festival full programme announced

Venues across Birmingham

Flatpack 2013

  • Tickets now on sale for the seventh Flatpack festival
  • Feature films, live music, silent classics and rare restorations.
  • A celebration of Birmingham, the birthplace of celluloid.
  • Activities and screenings for young makers and doers over the Easter weekend.

Flatpack Festival returns to Birmingham from 21-31 March 2013, spreading across two weekends for the very first time. One of the most atypical and inventive events in the UK’s cultural and film calendar, Flatpack 2013 looks set to provide the stimulating array of experiential cinematic treats that festival goers have come to expect.

The full programme is now online.

Tickets on sale now. www.flatpackfestival.org.uk

Mixing brand new talent with forgotten classics and the usual dose of eccentricity, Flatpack festival-goers can expect live scores, late night parties and cycle-powered screenings all while exploring some of Birmingham’s more unusual venues and locales.


SAFETY LAST! – 1923 romantic comedy silent film starring Harold Lloyd. Chock-a-block with trick camera work, the screening will give you the chance to see one of the most famous images from the silent film era on the big screen – Lloyd dangling perilously from a clock on a skyscraper over a street of moving traffic below.

THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED – Lotte Reiniger’s beguiling 1926 cut-out fairy-tale, the oldest surviving animated feature, is refreshed by Geoff Smith (www.dulcimer.co.uk), a specialist in hammered dulcimers. Smith will be using a range of rare and wonderful instruments including one which he has developed himself, the ‘Fluid Dulcimer.’

ONE MILE AWAY – After shooting a hip-hop musical in north Birmingham, director Penny Woolcock stayed around to make a documentary about some of the young non-professional actors who appeared in her film. The result is One Mile Away, a candid portrait of two gang-members and their attempt to forge an unlikely truce.

THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC – Featuring an unforgettable performance by Maria Falconetti, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s startling 1928 silent film has recently been restored and will be shown at Birmingham Cathedral with a new live score by pianist Paul Shallcross.

The programme of feature films also includes: MONDOMANILA, an unhinged, hilarious and defiantly scuzzy voyage through the Philippino underground; WADJDA about a young girl testing the boundaries of a highly conservative society – the first film made by a female Saudi Arabian director; Harmony Korine’s new pic SPRING BREAKERS (starring Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens) ; VANISHING WAVES, a bold Lithuanian sci-fi film about an experiment to enter the consciousness of a coma victim; and CONSUMING SPIRITS, Chris Sullivan’s small-town portrait combining a number of different animation styles.


CELLULOID NIGHTS  Celebrating celluloid and  Alexander Parkes, a Birmingham-born chemist who created Parkesine, the first celluloid prototype – Thinktank, Birmingham’s Science Museum will open its doors after dark with an evening of screenings, performances and live music.  Immerse yourself in Lis Rhodes’ breath-taking cinematic installation Light Music (1975) (most recently shown at The Tanks, Tate Modern), a dizzying celebration of film as sound. Create a 16mm film with Unravel (http://unravelfilm.blogspot.co.uk), learn how to process a film in OKO’s film lab (www.oko-lab.org.uk) and the science behind mixing the perfect cocktail.

REVISITING THE ARTS LABAlthough labs sprang up across the UK throughout the 60s, Birmingham’s Arts Lab flourished long after the others had died out and became fertile ground for new talent across a range of artforms. Flatpack will pay tribute to the Lab and its legacy, gathering key contributors, screening relevant works, and displaying some of the mind-bending posters that emerged from their screen-print workshop.

DEMDIKE STARE – Witness live AV sets by Demdike Stare (www.myspace.com/pookawig) and Lee Gamble (http://www.cyrk.org/leegamble/), two of the best electronic acts around. Expect VHS horror, fuzzed-out beauty, mangled jungle and a bit of throbbing bass. The night will also feature a DJ set from Nicholas Bullen.

FILM BUG- For the second year Flatpack teams up with Colmore Business District for a mini-film festival across Birmingham’s business quarter from 21-23 March. Expect screenings across the area in cafes, Birmingham Cathedral, the Great Western Arcade and secret locations. Visit the world’s smallest solar powered cinema, experience classic silent flicks rescored and much more.

COLOUR BOXThis year, Flatpack’s family strand coincides with Easter weekend, and boasts an even bigger and more varied line-up of screenings and activities for younger viewers and doers. Expect Moomins, Ernest & Celestine, handmade animation, sound and green screen workshops.

UNPACKED – a day of demos and discussions. The event will feature talks by legendary collective Shynola and dark Claymation animator Lee Hardcastle. Animator Chris Randall (Second Home Studios) and voice actor Marc Silk will unveil ‘Globbert’ the first ever interactive Stop-Motion cartoon, made in Birmingham. Anna Higgs, head of Film 4.0 will also be on hand to give an insight on what projects they are currently looking to develop.

CYCLOMANIAPedal-powered screenings and an archive programme exploring Birmingham’s bike-building heritage. Witness Bike Polo and bag a bargain at the Bicycle Basket Bazaar (like a car boot but smaller & kinder to the environment.)

GANGLAND STYLEIn anticipation of a new six-part BBC series about Birmingham’s Edwardian roughs, the Peaky Blinders, historian Chris Upton will lead a walking tour through the city’s forgotten battlegrounds.

SON OF MAN – Screening at Carr’s Lane Church a few days before Easter, Flatpack provides a rare chance to see Dennis Potter’s 1969 television play, a stark and controversial retelling of the story of Christ.

The full festival programme can be viewed online at: www.flatpackfestival.org.uk