Quiet! Silent film festival is in town

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Yorkshire Silent Film Festival arrives in Halifax and Hebden Bridge next month as it brings the magic of a golden era of film with live music to cinemas, theatres and community venues across the county.

With 40 screenings, ten solo musicians, two orchestras and a jazz band, Yorkshire Silent Film Festival is the UK’s biggest festival of silent film with live musical accompaniment.

The 2017 festival will visit Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Holmfirth, Huddersfield, Hull, Leeds, Leyburn, Ossett, Saltburn by the Sea, Scarborough, Sheffield, Settle, Thirsk and York.

Some of Yorkshire’s most historic and beautiful cinemas are taking part, including Leeds’ Hyde Park Picture House, Sheffield’s Abbeydale Picture House, Thirsk’s Ritz and Hebden Bridge Picture House.

Yorkshire has a special place in the history of film so it’s fitting that the UK’s largest festival of silent film should take place here: the first moving pictures were shot in Leeds in 1888 by Louis Le Prince, and Holmfirth’s James Bamforth was one of the pioneers of filmmaking in the first few years of the twentieth century.

Yorkshire Silent Film Festival presents silent film accompanied with live music.

Most screenings are accompanied by silent film pianists, and the festival also has a harpist, percussion and woodwind players, an electronic musician, two orchestras and a community jazz band. Every Yorkshire Silent Film Festival screening is also a live musical event.

The programme is full of legendary names; Buster Keaton, Greta Garbo, Cecil B. DeMille, Alfred Hitchcock, Georges Melies, Ivor Novello, There are films from the USA, UK, Denmark, Soviet Russia, Japan, Spain, France and Germany.

An audience at Square Chapel will be treated to Tall Tales and Incredible Journeys - a series of fantasy films by Georges Méliès and Segundo de Chomón at 8pm on Friday, May 12 (tickets £12 from 01422 349422.

The following day (May 13) at 5pm, Hebden Bridge Picture House will show Hitchcock’s The Lodger with Ivor Novello. Tickets £10 from www.hebdenbridgepicturehouse.co.uk