As you may have noticed from last month's job advert, Flatpack is broadening its horizons over the next year and a bit. There’s a wealth of amazing venues, festivals, pop-ups and film societies in the West Midlands – our job will be to help connect up this activity, and ensure that as many people as possible get access to it. We’ll be working as part of the BFI Film Audience Network, in particular in tandem with our local Film Hubs: South West West Midlands, and North West Central.
In many ways this is a natural extension of the work we’ve been doing over the last ten or fifteen years. All our film-tents, festivals, family tours, email newsletters and training events have been about spreading the word and encouraging people to try something different, and this project gives us an opportunity to do that on a larger scale. And it is quite some scale – nearly 6 million people live in the West Midlands. We can’t tackle everything at once, but ingredients will include: more activity in areas with a limited range of film; advice and support for people showing film; making it easier to find out what’s on.
Regular Flatpackers should fear not. The annual festival won’t be going anywhere, and it will also mean that we’re able to do more throughout the year. The plan is to approach all this in a Flatpack style, which among other things means mixing up artforms, a strong sense of place, and having fun. We also believe that everyone should have a chance to put on their own film event, and that will be a big part of the project. Watch this space for more info.