‘Six years old and in ruder health than ever, Bo’ness’s Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema just seems to get bigger and better every time. This year festival director Alison Strauss cast her net impressively wide to discover little-known early movies from Germany, Poland, Ukraine, China and elsewhere. And the musicians Strauss involved felt more unexpected, more of a gamble, but more revelatory as a result.’
- The Scotsman on HippFest 2016
The Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema is toasting the success of its most ambitious festival yet – with over 2000 tickets sold, seven shows completely sold out, and a string of four and five star reviews for a programme that set out to push the boundaries of what a silent cinema festival can offer.
This year’s HippFest featured a wider range of international musicians performing live than ever before - including Scottish debuts by Polish supergroup Czerwie and German percussionist Frank Bockius – and films from China, the USSR, Germany and the USA, as well as the National Library of Scotland’s Moving Image Archive and the BFI National Archive.
Festival highlight Wunder der Schöpfung - an extraordinary German documentary from 1925 about the ‘wonders of creation’ featuring a brand new score by jazz duo Herschel 36 – is now set to tour Scotland following its sold out premiere on Saturday 19 March. Rapturous responses to Wunder der Schöpfung
included a five star review in the Scotsman, describing it as “a bold but beautifully judged reappraisal of a ground-breaking movie from almost a century ago (that) captured HippFest’s ambitious, pioneering spirit magnificently”.
Alison Strauss, Festival Director and programmer of the Hippodrome year-round, said: “Our sixth Festival offered the audience events that stretched people’s imaginations and their appreciation of what silent cinema can be – along with many easy pleasures. The audience response to that offering - to the music and the films, the workshops and the entire Festival - has been astonishing. Overwhelming in fact. The venues across the town have been buzzing with a mix of returning, loyal HippFest fans and many who have discovered what the Festival has to offer for the first time. Looking at the feedback and critical reviews already in, it’s clear that HippFest is prized by all who engage with it. It’s been a triumph. Roll on next year.”
Ian Scott, Chairman of Falkirk Community Trust, key funder of the Hippodrome Cinema, said: “After the success of last year I didn't think it would be possible to achieve the same or better in 2016. I was wrong! This latest celebration of silent film was magnificent and a credit to the Trust's arts team and the staff at the Hippodrome. We are all delighted by the response of the local community and by the numbers of visitors from outside the district who have taken HippFest to their hearts. Next year can't come quickly enough. "
Natalie Usher, Director of Film for Creative Scotland, said: “I would like to congratulate Alison and everyone else involved in the Festival on what was a truly inspiring programme of film, events and imaginative community engagement. Over the past six years, HippFest has established itself as an excellent, innovative multi-art form festival presenting a fantastic programme of rare and unique film screenings, accompanied by new music commissions from established and emerging artists.”
For further information please contact Festival Media Officer Andrew Eaton-Lewis on 07475 210703