● 30th April 2020 – Lifestyle

Like so many events across the country, Flatpack Festival were forced to rethink their plans for the fourteenth edition of the brummie film fest.

Lucky for us, their acclaimed and BAFTA-qualifying short film competition will be going ahead online, with the usual stew of animation, documentary and inventive weirdness available to audiences globally for the first time.Flatpack is a registered charity that has been presenting fresh, playful film events in and beyond Birmingham for over a decade. The idea for festival emerged from a monthly film night in a Digbeth pub and fifteen years later the festival is coming to our homes to entertain us through quarantine!

This, somewhat unexpected, special edition of the film festival fortifies the idea that though many normalities have stopped, art continues to thrive and inspire.

“In these circumstances it’s hard to recreate all the trappings of a bonafide Flatpack event (eg, unlikely venue, smiley volunteers in Tshirts, the sounds and smells of a real life audience). However, over the course of the festival there will be three opportunities to come together in a virtual screening room – with the added advantage of being able to chat throughout. Youtube links for these online events will go live the day before they happen. Please note that they are one-off screenings, featuring exclusive short content and not to be repeated”

A number of exclusives and premieres can be found in the main competition programme (shown below). The themes focused on throughout the programme, curated before the pandemic, seem to have taken on a whole new meaning in this new climate.

The hugely talented filmmakers featured, whether emerging or established, explore our human condition, helping us to find meaning in chaos and beauty in the mundane.

One we’re excited for at BABMAG are excited for is Video Strolls from the 14th-17th of May.

At a time when movement is so greatly reduced, the simple act of going for a walk takes on a new significance. While many can still stroll close to home, the act of adventuring afar to explore other countries, or even our beloved city, is fast becoming a dwindling hope instead of an exciting reality.

The video strolls will feature a wander around a conflict zone in Iraqi Kurdistan, a back-alley pilgrimage in Islington and a cross-city odyssey here in Birmingham, all without leaving the house.

“Each day from 1 May, a new programme will go live at Flatpack Online. The videos will be embedded on the relevant page, and you will have ten days to view them before they are lost in time, like tears in rain (sort of)”

For the first time, this year Flatpack will be presenting a dance film competition programme, co-curated with Birmingham based screen dance director and producer Sima Gonsai.

PechaKucha Birmingham and Overlap Animation Social will also both be presenting their first visual events – all free for you to watch from the comfort of your own home!

The 2020 programme kicks off on Friday 1st May, with all events launching on the Flatpack Festival website, and will run for a fortnight.

Although there will be no charge for accessing any of the programmes advertised, if you’re in a position where you are able to make a donation to Flatpack, then please do consider it. All donations will help to make future events possible and keep Flatpack Festival going so we can all enjoy this brilliant art, hopefully together, in the future.

Learn more HERE.

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