When: 22nd – 26th March 2017
Where: Bo’ness, Falkirk, Scotland
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event
What is it?
Scotland’s only silent movie festival, HippFest will take place from Wednesday 22nd to Sunday 26th March in Bo’ness.
Iconic Scottish-Italian artist Eduardo Paolozzi, trail-blazing Canadian film-maker Nell Shipman, award-winning musician RM Hubbert and Chinese superstar Ruan Lingyu will all feature in this year’s festival programme.
Other highlights of this year’s festival, centred in Scotland’s oldest cinema, include the original screen version of Chicago (from 1927), The Informer, a film set in revolution-torn Dublin in 1922, and What’s The World Coming To? a gender-swapping 1926 film that takes place “100 years from now when men have become more like women and women more like men” and was co-written by Stan Laurel. A Couple of Down and Outs meanwhile, is the poignant 1923 tale of a soldier’s friendship with a war horse; made six decades before Michael Morpurgo’s best-selling War Horse brought a similar story to a global audience.
All films in the programme feature live scores by an international line-up of musicians. These include the UK debut of Dutch Filmorchestra The Sprockets (with their vivacious score for delightful Cinderella comedy The Patsy, this year’s Friday Night Gala), Günter Buchwald and Frank Bockius from Germany (with their chilling soundtrack to 1928 psychological horror The Hands of Orlac), and familiar festival faces Neil Brand, Stephen Horne and John Sweeney.
The 2017 festival includes four special musical commissions, with brand new scores composed by Scottish Album of the Year award-winning musician RM Hubbert, Raymond MacDonald and Christian Ferlaino, and Jane Gardner and Friends. The fourth HippFest commission sees the return of New Found Sound, a unique schools initiative that invites talented young people to respond musically to silent film, led by mentor Susanne Bell.
A strong theme at HippFest this year is the pioneering but largely forgotten women of early cinema, a time when there were more women working at every level in the film industry than there are today. The festival opens on Wednesday 22 March with The Grub Stake. A 1923 adventure created by the remarkable Nell Shipman, a silent movie star who turned down a studio career to work entirely outside of the Hollywood system; running her own production company, directing, writing and starring in her own films, and doing all her own stunts (assisted by a menagerie of around 80 animal co-stars).
Other events during HippFest include the HippFest Speakeasy at No 26 Bar and a hat workshop at the Town Hall.
More info: www.hippfest.co.uk