"Britain’s most exciting and innovative film festival” (Lonely Planet) takes the curatorial baton for this special screening. Coming up to its 17th edition, Birmingham’s Flatpack Festival has been steadily making waves on the international festival circuit for its open, inventive and unique take on film; in particular its distinct BAFTA qualifying short film competition programme. Head of Programme Sam Groves picks out a few of the more playful short docs that have graced their festival programme over the last few years. 
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This programme features short works by filmmakers who use their skill, craft, contrasting techniques and playful approaches to muse on an assortment of themes. Douwe Dijkstra delves into the film-viewing experience itself in Supporting Film, Maryam Tafakory reflects on the symbolism of the bag in Iranian cinema (Iranian Bag) and Alex Danielson & Maximilien Van Aertryck confront just what it means to ‘work’ in Jobs for All - featuring a very funny cameo by the new King of England. There’s also a hilarious animated conversation with a spiritual healer, a dance short featuring amputees exploring the relationship between themselves and their limbs, and a collaborative effort by a filmmaker and his young cousin as they re-edit some home movie footage of her communion.

Supporting Film
Dir. Douwe Dijkstra, Netherlands, 2015 - 12 mins

From the perspectives of a dozen diverse viewers, this 12 minute documentary short explores the peculiar ritual of watching film. How is the medium experienced by people with sensory impairments, strong religious beliefs, or lovesickness? A story about moving images and their audience.

Jobs for All
Dir. Alex Danielson & Maximilien Van Aertryck, Sweden, 2021 - 13 mins

A review of the Industrial Age as we know it today – an intense and playful rollercoaster ride that demands the viewer to confront how “work works.” Culled entirely from archival footage, the film unfolds in the filmmakers’ trademark, and humorously critical, cinematic voices.

Iranian Bag
Dir. ​​Maryam Tafakory, Iran/UK, 2020 - 8 mins

Using excerpts of films produced between 1990 and 2018, Irani Bag is a split-screen video essay questioning the innocence of bags in post-revolution Iranian cinema.

Material Bodies
Dir. Dorothy Allen-Pickard, UK, 2022 - 4 mins

Through interweaving dance and dialogue, Material Bodies is a sensual and cinematic look at the relationship between amputees and their limbs. This visceral and colourful short film explores how a prosthetic leg can be more like a piece of jewellery, a dance companion, or a part of you.

Mr Madila or the Colour of Nothing
Dir. Rory Waudby-Tolley, UK, 2017 - 9 mins 

Documenting a series of conversations between the filmmaker and a gifted spiritual healer, exploring the inner mind, the fabric of the universe, and the nature of reality itself, through the sacred art of animation.

Dir. Sarah Blok, Netherlands, 2018 - 9 mins

A lighthearted portrait of former world karate champion and Netherlands-based Japanese immigrant Nobuaki Konno.

The Communion of my Cousin Andrea
Dir. Brandon Cerviño, Spain, 2021 - 12 mins

Andrea’s communion takes place in a small Galician church, according to ancient traditions. Fortunately, with her filmmaker cousin and the help of some technical tools, the little girl takes matters into her own hands.

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