Over the past two days I have been volunteering at the 11th annual Flatpack Film Festival in Birmingham.
After an initial induction and health and safety training I was kitted out with a lovely red Flatpack Film Festival t-shirt, National Rail guest badge and led towards a very strange mysterious black box on the platform of Grand Central Station.
Looking like a cross between a bomb shelter and a bike shed I was intrigued to find out what might be behind it’s closed doors. I could hear drilling and hammering coming from within and wondered if it was still under construction or if maybe someone was locked inside.
I soon learnt that the ‘box’, labelled the Kino Train, had been constructed in just a few hours and housed a pop up cinema, complete with a brand new projector and enough bench seating for approx. 10-15 people.
But why exactly was it called the Kino Train?
Flatpack explained to us:
“In the years following the Russian Revolution, ‘agit trains’ were an important tool for spreading the Bolshevik gospel to workers across the land. Brightly decorated with rousing propaganda, their carriages functioned as printing presses, libraries and cinemas – the latter enabling many rural Russians to encounter film for the first time.
We’ve always dreamt of taking to the rails with a mobile film unit, and our Kino Train is definitely a step in the right direction. For four days during Flatpack 11 you can find us camped out on the main concourse at New Street Station, offering bite-sized chunks of cultural nourishment to the busy throng. The programme will include:”
Over the course of the two days I handed out programmes for the weekend’s events and encouraged shy customers to jump on board the Kino Train and discover some of the amazing short films showing inside. I met some really talented people volunteering alongside me and running the event, as well as some lovely members of the public.
Working for Flatpack has really raised my confidence levels, and encouraged me to meet and talk to more people, as a simple smile or hello can spark a conversation that can lead to interesting new opportunities.
Next year I would love to return to Flatpack Film Festival and hopefully become more involved in their Marketing and Social Media campaigns after my recent experience of running #YourLibraryStory online.
Flatpackfestival.org.uk. (2017). Kino Train | Flatpack. [online] Available at: http://flatpackfestival.org.uk/event/kino-train/ [Accessed 8 Apr. 2017].