West of England








8 July

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)  The Battle of the Somme gave its 1916 audience an unprecedented insight into the realities of trench warfare, controversially including the depiction of dead and wounded soldiers. It shows scenes of the build-up to the infantry offensive including the massive preliminary bombardment, coverage of the first day of the battle (the bloodiest single day in Britain’s military history) and depictions of the small gains and massive costs of the attack. The Battle of the Somme remains one of the most successful British films ever made. It is estimated over 20 million tickets were sold in Great Britain in the first two months of release, and the film was distributed world-wide to demonstrate to allies and neutrals Britain’s commitment to the First World War. It is the source of many of that conflict’s most iconic images. It was made by British official cinematographers Geoffrey Malins and John McDowell. Though it was not intended as a feature film, once the volume and quality of their footage had been seen in London, the British Topical Committee for War Films decided to compile a feature-length film.  Find out more at wikipedia.org    Presented as part of the Somme100Film Centenary Tour.    Accompanied by a live performance from the Penzance Orchestral Society conducted by Judith Bailey.  St John’s Hall, Penzance Link

22 July

Battle of the Somme (Dir.Geoffrey Malins, 1916)  (Screening format – not known, 77mins)  For details see 8 July above.    Presented as part of the Somme100Film Centenary Tour.    Accompanied by a live performance from the Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra conducted by Glyn Oxley.  Guildhall, Gloucester    Link

30 July

Dawson City – Frozen Time (Dir. Bill Morrison, US, 2016) (Screening format – not known, 120mins) This documentary pieces together the bizarre true story of a collection of some 500 films dating from 1910s – 1920s, which were lost for over 50 years until discovered buried in a sub-arctic swimming pool deep in the Yukon Territory, in Dawson City, located about 350 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Using these permafrost protected, rare silent films and newsreels, archival footage, interviews and historical photographs to tell the story, and accompanied by an enigmatic score by Sigur Rós collaborator and composer Alex Somers (Captain Fantastic), Dawson City: Frozen Time depicts a unique history of a Canadian gold rush town by chronicling the life cycle of a singular film collection through its exile, burial, rediscovery, and salvation – and through that collection, how a First Nation hunting camp was transformed and displaced. Find out more at picturepalacepictures.com  .   Presented as part of the Cinema Rediscovered festival.  Watershed, Bristol    Link

In Search Of Colour (Dir, Various) (Screening format – DCP, 120mins)  A programme of striking shorts straight from this year’s II Cinema Ritrovato festival, including some brand new restorations from by L’Immagine Ritrovata labs.  This collection showcases Kinemacolor and the Pochoir colour technique, which employed elaborate stencils to add precise colour detail to two-tone Kinemacolor prints. Patented in England, this short-lived commercial film format produced a series of absolutely spectacular films, a strikingly colourful chapter from the mostly black and white days of early cinema.  Presented as part of the Cinema Rediscovered Festival.  With introduction by Gian Luca Farinelli of Il Cinema Ritrovato.  With live accompaniment from pianist Stephen Horne. Watershed, Bristol  Link

Panorama of India: A Journey Through the Archive (Dir. Various) (Screening format – DCP, 74mins) In this specially curated programme selected from the BFI National Archive, South West Silents presents an unparalleled collection of rare films of pre-Independence India, from the earliest days of Indian cinema.  From the oldest surviving film of India, Panorama of Calcutta (1899), showing the ghats of Varanasi, to the glorious Tins for India (1941) which finds poetry in the kerosene can, directed by Bimal Roy, one of Indian cinema’s greatest directors, these films are being made accessible to audiences in the UK and India for (largely) the first time.  Presented as part of Cinema Rediscovered Festival  in partnership with Asian Arts Agency.  With live accompaniment by pianist Stephen Horne.  Watershed, Bristol Link

NB. Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure that the information contained in these listings is accurate, silentfilmcalendar.org can take no responsibility for any errors or inaccuracies. You are strongly advised to confirm with the venue that the event remains as detailed, particularly if traveling any distance to attend.