Festivals 2020



23 – 26 January – Slapstick Festival This will be the 16th annual edition of what is now the UK’s biggest celebration of silent and vintage screen comedy with lots of high profile guests introducing the films and all silent films accompanied by live music .    Watershed, Bristol Link


 28 February – 17 March Borderlines Film Festival     The 18th  annual Borderlines Film Festival runs in the Shropshire, Hereford and Marches areas and screens some interesting silents.  Various venuesLink


18 – 22 March.  HippFest –  Hippodrome Festival of Silent Film,   Scotland’s premier silent film festival, now in its tenth year, takes place in Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema, with a range of British and international silent films all with live musical accompaniment.   Hippodrome Cinema, Bo’ness, Scotland  Link


TBC    British Silent Film Festival Symposium.  A mix of presentations and silent screenings TBC Kings College, London  Link

18 – 19 April   Kennington Bioscope Silent Comedy Weekend  A weekend of rare, rarely screened and high quality comedy moments.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth Link


5 – 17 May – Yorkshire Silent Film Festival   Now in its fourth year, having switched to an alternate year format, this festival promises a whole host of silent films spread all across the county of Yorkshire and all with live accompaniment.  Various venues TBC Link


TBC  The Kennington Bioscope 6th Silent Film Weekend  Going from strength to strength, this will be a quality programme not to be missed.  Cinema Museum, Lambeth Link


TBC  Cinema Rediscovered The 5th annual event bringing the finest digital restorations, contemporary classics and film print rarities back where they belong – on the big screen, including a selection of silents.   Various cinemas across Bristol. Link


TBC  London Film Festival    Now in its 64rd year.  Probably only a smattering of silents, but usually a couple of high quality ones including a new restoration.  Various London locations.  No link yet

TBCCambridge Film Festival     Now in its 40th year (and the third longest running film festival in the UK) the Cambridge festival always features a strong silent film theme. Various Cambridge locations Link




9 – 12 January –  Netherlands Silent Film Festival  Now in its third year the only details so far are for the festival’s Slapstick Saturday, featuring L&H in Angora Love, Charley Chase in What Price Goofy and Harold Lloyd in Safety Last.  Festival director and lead accompanists is the excellent Daan van den Hurk  Pand P Eindhoven, Netherlands  Link


20 February – 1 March   Berlin International Film Festival.  Usually containing a strong element of silent film with this year’s retrospective focusing on the work of King Vidor.  Berlin, Germany  Link

TBC    Kansas Silent Film Festival  In its 25nd year the Kansas Silent Film Festival’s mission is to provide an entertaining and educational forum for silent films and it’s one of the few  festivals to do so for free. The festival showcases films from the silent era with live musical accompaniment.   White Concert Hall, Washburn University   Link

26 Feb – 8 March  Dublin International Film Festival  Usually with a modest but quality silent film strand. Dublin, Ireland. Link


TBC   18th Karlsruhe Silent Film Festival   ZKM Medientheater, Karlsruhe, Germany Link


TBC  Toronto Silent Film Festival   Various cinemas, Toronto, Canada Link

TBC 17th Polish Silent Film Festival (Święto Niemego Kina).      Kino Iluzjon, Warsaw, Poland  Link

TBC  8th Loud Silents Film Festival  Finnish top-notch artists and internationally acclaimed silent film musicians compose new soundtracks for classic silent films.    Tampere, Finland  Link

TBC    Denver Silent Film Festival      The Denver Silent Film Festival was established in September of 2010. It presents a broad spectrum of silent film by programming a lively and thought-provoking mix of educational and entertaining films. American and foreign classics, as well as lesser-known rare and restored films will be presented.    Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Denver  Link

29 April – 3 May  San Francisco Silent Film Festival     Castro Theater, San Francisco, USA  Link


16 May  Catalina Island Museum Silent Film Benefit. Recognized as one of the world’s longest running annual celebrations of Silent Film, now in its 33nd year and this year featuring the great Valentino in Blood and Sand.    Avalon Casino Theatre, Catalina Island, Calif. USA Link

TBC  Cinevent 2019  This is a gathering of fans of silent and early sound films, and of collectors of motion pictures and related items, now in its 52st year. Movie screenings take place nearly continually every day of the convention.  Dealers fill over a hundred tables full of film, video, sound recordings, posters, stills, lobby cards, books, autographs…everything imaginable associated with film.    Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel, Columbus, Ohio, USALink

TBC  The 7th Silent Film Festival In Thailand Featuring an eclectic collection of quality titles Scala Cinema, Bangkok  Link


4 – 7 June  The 7th Nitrate Picture Show  This festival of film conservation  features screenings of vintage nitrate prints from international archives—including the Eastman Museum’s own collection—as well as lectures, workshops, and other opportunities to experience the art and science of film preservation, from print conservation to archival projection. “The Nitrate Picture Show is unlike any other festival of film preservation in that its ‘rules of the game’ are far more challenging—and often unpredictable,” said Paolo Cherchi Usai, Senior Curator, Moving Image Department, George Eastman Museum. “Our selection is based primarily on the physical condition and on the pictorial beauty of the prints; the quality and reputation of the works themselves comes next.”    Eastman Museum, Rochester, New York, USA Link

TBC  Nitrate Film Festival, Belgrade  Now in its 22st year this festival includes a considerable number of silent film screenings,  Few further details on festival programme or organisation.  Unable to find a festival link but further details apparently available from kinoteka.org.rs (in Serbian).

TBC Mostly Lost 9.  Fancy going to a film festival where talking during the films is not only allowed but positively encouraged? Then Mostly Lost is the one for you, as the audience seek to put a name to unidentified fragments of silent and early sound film.  There are also quite a few complete films being screened….where its probably best not to talk!  Library of Congress, Packard Campus, Culpepper, Va USA  Link

20 – 28 July     34rd Il Cinema Ritrovato  A festival dedicated to the rediscovery of rare and little-known films with a particular focus on the origins of cinema and the silent movie period. It is organised every summer by the Cineteca di Bologna and is one of the world’s major festivals of film restoration. Bologna, Italy  Link


TBC August Capitolfest – Capitolfest is Central New York’s premier summer Cinephile film festival—a place to see rarely-shown and newly-discovered films of the silent and early talkie era, held at the historic 1,788-seat movie palace, the Capitol Theatre, which opened in December, 1928. Tribute stars this year will be Constance and Joan Bennett.    Capitol Theater, Rome, New York, USA Link

TBC   Bonn International Silent Film Festival.  Another long running festival, now in its 36th year, featuring outdoor screenings in the courtyard of Bonn University,      University Courtyard, Bonn, Germany Link

TBC  Oslo Silent Film Festival Now in its third year this festival features some classics all with live musical accompaniment from a largely Norwegian team of musicians.  Cinematekit, Oslo  No link yet

24 – 30 August  Forssa Silent Film Festival   In its 21th year    All films have live musical accompaniment.  Forssa, Finland Link

30 August – 1 September  Manila International Silent Film Festival  Now in its 14th year  all films accompanied live by local musicians.   Samsung Hall, SM Aura, Manilla Link

TBC  Telluride Film Festival  This long-running (now in its 47th year) and star-studded festival usually has an interesting selection of silents.  Festival tradition is that the programme isn’t disclosed until the opening night so its all something of a surprise .  Telluride, Colorado, USA Link


12 – 22 September First Wave Film Festival – Now in its fifth year and focusing on films from the silent  and pre-war sound era the First Wave festival screens a broad range of films   Screenings come with live accompaniment by local musicians and a factual introduction.   Vilnius/Kaunas, Lithuania  Link or Link

25 – 27 September  Marie Dressler Foundation – Vintage Film Festival   In 1992, a group of film enthusiasts involved in the restoration of the Marie Dressler house had a wild idea. Why not hold a festival showing the films in which Marie Dressler had starred? This seemingly fantastic idea grew into the present form in which they show a variety of films generally made before about 55-60 years ago, often, although not always, including a film starring Marie Dressler.  This year’s theme is ‘Based on a true story’.     Capitol Theater, Port Hope, Ontario, Canada  Link


3 – 10 October   39th   Pordenone Silent Film Festival   Running since 1982 as a collaborative effort between La Cineteca del Friuli in Gemona and the Cinemazero filmclub in Pordenone, the Giornate del Cinema Muto, aka Pordenone Silent Film Festival, has established itself as the leading international event dedicated to the preservation, diffusion, and study of the first thirty years of cinema.   Cinema Verdi, Pordenone, Italy   Link