Bo'ness Hippfest 2021 kicks off online next week

The 10th Hippodrome Silent Film Festival kicks off next week with a packed programme featuring Hollywood heart-throbs, world-class musical accompaniment, live Q&As and a whole host of interactive activities.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 3:26 pm
Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, photo courtesy Mary Pickford Foundation.
Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, photo courtesy Mary Pickford Foundation.

Affectionately known as ‘HippFest’ the annual Bo’ness festival is run by Falkirk Community Trust, and since its launch in 2011 has showcased over 220 films. This year the Festival will cover even more ground as it moves online for the first time, due to the pandemic, with the full programme available to view across the world.

The 10th programme is as packed and as varied as ever. A Festival Pass for this year’s HippFest costs £20 adult (£5 conc.) and will give you access to the full programme online.

Just announced is the addition of A Kiss From Mary Pickford (1927) a rare Russian comedy, about film-fan worship. There is the world premiere of a new restoration of Sparrows, starring Mary Pickford, with a specially commissioned soundtrack by Taylor and Cameron Graves. Other highlights include Marlene Dietrich in The Woman Men Yearn For, with accompaniment from Frame Ensemble, and The Eagle, with piano accompaniment from HippFest favourite Neil Brand

Festival director Alison Strauss said: “I am delighted to present our tenth HippFest, a year later than we originally planned but no less of a milestone!

"We are looking forward to welcoming back all the many fans of HippFest and to throwing open the virtual cinema doors for audiences joining us for the first time.

"It’s exciting to think that more people might take the plunge because attendance this year is as easy as turning up in your own front room.

"Whilst we will miss all being together under the star-studded ceiling of the Hippodrome we have tried to create a comparable cocktail of screenings with music, workshops, events and activities to sweep everyone up in the marvellous magic of early cinema. If dressing up is your thing, go for it! If you like mingling with other festival-goers, dive in to our virtual festival hub! However you do HippFest we’re sure you’ll have a great time.”

Festival Passes are available via Films will be ‘live’ online from the time stated in the programme and available to stream for 48 hours after.

Neil Brand, composer, writer, and broadcaster said: "I am so delighted to be involved again this year, and can't wait until time and vaccines allow me back on that stage before a packed, supportive HippFest audience. Until then, enjoy the show from the comfort of home, folks, and meet some of silent cinema's greatest stars and most dazzling films.”

Elaina Friedrichsen, Mary Pickford Foundation said: “The Mary Pickford Foundation is pleased to have HippFest 2021 premiere the newly restored and digitally mastered film, Sparrows.

"Sparrows was restored on film by the Library of Congress with all digital work completed by the Mary Pickford Foundation.

"Since Sparrows is known for its stunning visuals, the Foundation worked hard to ensure that audiences today can enjoy it in all its splendor.

"The Mary Pickford Company commissioned an original, orchestral score by the Graves Brothers, which was produced and recorded at the Savannah Studios in Los Angeles.”