Ticket sales for this year’s Hippodrome Silent Film Festival increased by 17%, with seven sell out shows across its five-day programme.
HippFest, as it is known, takes place in Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema – the Hippodrome in Bo’ness.
Each year the Festival programmes films, workshops, and tours, and commissions new music to accompany rarely screened silent films.
Two of these will tour in 2019: Norwegian silent Laila (1929) with a new musical accompaniment composed and performed by award-winning traditional musicians Rona Wilkie and Marit Fält; and Rob Roy (1922) with new accompaniment composed and performed by multi-instrumentalist David Allison which will tour Scotland at the end of 2019.
The HippFest Audience Award went to the family-favourite screening of three of Laurel & Hardy’s early shorts including With Love and Hisses, Wrong Again and one of the pair’s best-loved silents – You’re Darn Tootin’.
This triple bill will be screening again on Saturday 27 April 2019 with live piano accompaniment from Jane Gardner.
The runner-up was Laila (1929) which received five-star reviews.
The Shop Window Display Trophy presented by Bo’ness’s Fair Queen at the Closing Night Gala went to newcomer Forget Me Not which stocks antique, vintage and second-hand items.
The runner-up was Inkspot and Silverleaf bookshop.
Thanks to support from the Hugh Fraser Foundation the Festival provided BSL interpretation and electronic note-taking for D/deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences at all of its talks and at the introductions to its Opening Night and Friday Night Gala screenings.
Alison Strauss, Festival Director (Falkirk Community Trust) 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.
“The line-up of musicians has also grown, with more talent performing than ever before.
“It makes me tremendously proud that the Festival has become a genuinely world-class experience.
“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.”