FPC to DIP adapter arrived and I went straight to testing my screen. Its not quite DIP but whatever, I got a universal one from Adafruit called "FPC Stick" It has 0.5mm pitch on one side and 1.00mm pitch on the other supporting up to 20 pins on both sides. An adapter with amazing quality though kind of expensive; I needed one quick, no regrets at all though since I'll probably need to use this again and it will last.
I didn't solder the mechanical pads because I don't really need to and makes it easier to remove (I haven't practised using hot air on plastic connectors much and don't want to melt it when I need to remove it)
Adafruit also sell a bigger version: https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit-FPC-SMT-Adapter-PCBs
Screen works, now I need to design optics