Birmingham’s ninth annual Flatpack Festival kicked off to classic screenings of Ozu’s Walk Cheerfully, Lubitsch’s Trouble In Paradise and the social documentaries of Phillip Donnellan along with brand new features Girlhood and Force Majeure, exhibition openings, an Edwardian horror show and an 8bit technology themed lineup. As festival director Ian Francis describes:
 
“with 120 events across 30 venues, summing up the whole thing in a couple of paragraphs is pretty much impossible… we kick off in the Jewellery Quarter, occupy the city centre over the first weekend, amble eastwards for the mid-week Swipeside focus, and come to a rest at the Flatpack hub in Digbeth. Everyone who visits the festival picks their own path through this cultural undergrowth.”
 
It was the opening weekend’s short film schedule that got our festival juices flowing over at Gorilla Film Online. A partnership between Flatpack and Birmingham’s Colmore business district, this Film Bug strand of the festival included eight separate shorts programmes. We chose three, packing in five hours of short film viewing. First up, Fairy Tales, a series of early twentieth century films inspired by folklore, followed by a selection of feminist shorts appropriately titled A Force To Be Reckoned With. We capped off the day with one of our favourite programmes, The Magic Cinema, an open reel event for local, DIY filmmakers. You can check out what I thought of all of these shorts programmes over at Gorilla here. And, in the meantime, here are some of the shorts for you to try. You can find all of my Flatpack 2015 posts here too.

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