Flatpack Festival returns to Birmingham - prepare for the unexpected, including Joe Lycett

There’s a menu of delights from artists - including Joe Lycett -  filmmakers and musicians for this special Birmingham festival in May
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Flatpack Festival is renowned for its live performances running alongside archive shorts and feature films.

And this year Flatpack Festival goers are in for an exciting line-up with comedy, cocktails and more.

The much loved BAFTA-qualifying short film programme returns with 40 films from 17 countries along with extraordinary live audiovisual performances.

Joe Lycett is among those joining the line-up. He said: "I am thrilled to be appearing at this year’s Flatpack Festival. It’s the perfect place to debut the short I made last year in Birmingham, plus I get to chat about my favourite inspirations with my friend, the legendary Shaun Keaveny.

“I can’t promise that my inspirational clips won’t just be loads of old episodes of Loose Women."

All the action will be at venues across Birmingham from 17 to 22 May

Belgium band Frankie’s Laguna Beach are coming to Flatpack FestivalBelgium band Frankie’s Laguna Beach are coming to Flatpack Festival
Belgium band Frankie’s Laguna Beach are coming to Flatpack Festival

Here are a few more highlights:


An evening with Instagram comedian Alistair Green with a Q&A session.  Birmingham cult artist Tat Vision unveils his brand new interactive show Tattered Earth combining film and a rave with the audience.

BBC broadcaster and musician Neil Brand will present his new show about Laurel & Hardy, accompanying a series of their silent short films.

Find your ‘Happy Place’ in the cinema for one person at a time with One Bum Cinema Club which offers a hit of comic adrenaline showing comedy shorts on loop. Comedian Luisa Omielan will be introducing the classic comedy film Sister Act II: Back in the Habit.

A cocktail sommelier has created a cocktail menu to match with Billy Wilder’s classic film for an extravagant Some Like It Hot with cocktails night.

'abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz' by Jörg Piringer'abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz' by Jörg Piringer
'abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz' by Jörg Piringer

Special events

Joe Lycett’s Curiosities with Shaun Keaveny. Joe and Shaun chat about Joe’s forays into filmmaking while showing his short films and talking about what inspired him.

The ICHI Anime Show sees Japanese one-man-band ICHI perform brand new scores to a series of seminal Japanese anime shorts from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Belgium band Frankie’s Laguna Beach is an interaction between live music and mechanically powered installations that create a scene where shrill guitars, noise, screeching, worn-out puppets, fishing line and wood play the leading parts. Ranging from utter failure to tropical idyll, the cheerful naivety of Laguna Beach is always disarming. Following on from Frankie’s Laguna Beach performances, the festival’s Saturday night knees-up takes the form of a beach party.

Flatpack hosts the world premiere of their commissioned score by instrumental ‘dream-pop-post-folk-neo-everything’ band Haiku Salut and jazz pianist Meg Morley. They will be performing to Billy Wilder’s penned silent classic People on Sunday (1930).

Laurel, Hardy and Edgar Kennedy in 'Leave 'em Laughing'Laurel, Hardy and Edgar Kennedy in 'Leave 'em Laughing'
Laurel, Hardy and Edgar Kennedy in 'Leave 'em Laughing'

Live audiovisual performances

A brand new collaboration supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry, where the festival brings together visual artist Laura Spark, Dr Zoe Schnepp, a chemist from the University of Birmingham, and musician Jon Hering. Together they will create a live audiovisual interactive experience piece The Art of the Matter using live chemical reactions.

Tadej Droljc is a Slovenian interdisciplinary artist and creative coder. He will perform his unique electronic music, and computer-generated audiovisual composition works: ‘Capillaries Capillaries’ and ‘Singing Sand’.

Netherlands-based visual artist Lichun Tseng teams up with sound artist Robert Kroos for a unique AV performance Ebb & Flow. Using five 16mm projectors with layering, constructing, and deconstructing visual and auditory textures they strive for a sense transcending experience where the spectator is no longer consciously watching nor listening.

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz is an audiovisual voice performance from Austrian artist Jörg Piringer. Image and sound are created in real-time through custom written software that analyses and captures the sound of his voice to create animated abstract visual text and sound compositions.

ICHI Animation Show ICHI Animation Show
ICHI Animation Show

Shorts showcases

Overlap is an animation shorts show and tell social night which highlights the very best in Midlands’ made animation.

For dance and film fans there will be an afternoon of Screendance shorts, including the competition programme in partnership with Birmingham International Dance Festival.

The BFI Network Screening showcases the best emerging filmmakers from the region who have all found support from BFI Network. This event will involve a screening of a number of shorts with intros by all the filmmakers themselves.

Designed for those with complex disabilities, touch screen makes short films more accessible by augmenting them and turning them into interactive sensory installations.

Anna Vasoff's Amazon Woman.Anna Vasoff's Amazon Woman.
Anna Vasoff's Amazon Woman.


The festival wraps up with an Awards Ceremony with eight awards including an Audience Award. The Short Film competition shows more than 40 films from all around the world with the usual dose of absurd humour, outstanding animation in all shapes and sizes.

Birmingham cinema through the ages with Flatpack CinemaBirmingham cinema through the ages with Flatpack Cinema
Birmingham cinema through the ages with Flatpack Cinema

And there’s one more thing…

Running alongside the festival is the unmissable exhibition ‘Wonderland’  which explores how cinema has shaped the streets, social lives and dreams of Brummies over the past 125 years. It’s presented by Flatpack Projects and Birmingham 2022 Festival in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Associated events include a walking tour exploring key cinema sites in Birmingham city centre, a conversation with DJ and entrepreneur Cecil Morris about the legendary blaxploitation and kung fu nights he hosted in the 70s and 80s and a Wonderland Pecha Kucha evening at the festival hub where a range of guests will share their cinema stories.

How to get tickets

Flatpack Festival will be in venues throughout Birmingham from 17 to 22 May. Tickets are on sale book here: Flatpack Festival tickets

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