This year’s five-day HippFest silent film festival was another huge success.
The event, held at Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema in Bo’ness, The Hippodrome, had seven completely sold out shows and saw a 17% increase in their ticket sales.
The Hippodrome Silent Film Festival, or the HippFest, is Scotland’s only silent film festival and took place last month.
It was launched in 2011 and organised by Falkirk Community Trust with key funding from Creative Scotland and Falkirk Council.
In addition to various film screenings, workshops and tours, this year’s highlight is the tour screening of Norwegian silent Laila (1929) with a new musical accompaniment by Rona Wilkie and Marit Fält and Rob Roy (1922) performed by instrumentalist David Allison.
The HippFest Audience Award went to the family favourite screening of three of Laurel & Hardy’s early shorts – With Love and Hisses, Wrong Again and You’re Darn Tootin’.
This triple bill is always a popular sell-out and will be screening again on Saturday 27 April 2019 with live piano accompaniment from Jane Gardner.
The Audience Award runner-up was the epic-scaled Norwegian drama Laila (1929) and will be screening for a second time as part of the Edinburgh Folk Film Gathering at the Filmhouse next month.
Alison Strauss, the festival director said: ‘Our ninth HippFest has been a triumph. We packed an enormous amount into this edition, extending our programme to include more screenings, events and cultural partnerships.
‘Word has spread about what an exceptional event this is and now the audiences on our door-step are taking their seats alongside those who have travelled from the all corners of the UK, the States, Canada and China to enjoy this unique cinema experience.’
David White, chair of Falkirk Community Trust, said: ‘The Hippodrome Silent Film Festival plays a significant part in delivering the Trust’s ambitions to provide access to excellent cultural opportunities and to shine a light on the vibrancy of the Falkirk area. It has a key role in regeneration of the area, boosting audiences year round, supporting local tourism, contributing to the distinctiveness of the town, providing learning, engagement and volunteering opportunities and ultimately contributing to local pride and the local economy.’
Sambrooke Scott, Film Hub Scotland manager added: ‘This year’s HippFest built confidently on past editions, bringing great silent film to vivid life with exceptional live music. Scotland and the UK have an array of great film festivals and HippFest is amongst the best the country has to offer.
‘It continues to thrill audiences and we’re proud to be a long-time supporter, helping the dedicated team deliver a fantastic celebration of cinema and music. With the touring work enabling audiences across Scotland to enjoy some of these rare cinematic and musical gems later this year we look forward to celebrating HippFest’s continued success.’
The Hippodrome Silent Film Festival is organised by Falkirk Community Trust with key funding and support from Falkirk Council, Film Hub Scotland (BFI Film Audience Network), Creative Scotland and Visit Falkirk.
The 10th Hippodrome Silent Film Festival will run from 18-22 March 2020. Click HERE for more details.