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Something to Talk About: Celebrating 25 years of the Kansas Silent Film Festival

Part 1: The Announcement

February 24 – 26, 2022, marks the 25th anniversary of the Kansas Silent Film Festival.

Silent film fans and those eager to explore the grand silent film era before the talkies took over Tinseltown will have opportunities galore February 24 – 26 in Topeka to immerse themselves in the field. The films range anywhere between nine and 101 minutes in length and cover an era in film history between 1909 and 1929. 

Beginning Thursday night, February 24, 2022, at the Historic Jayhawk Theatre with a nine-minute comedy titled, Her First Biscuits, starring Florence Lawrence, a veritable lollapalooza of silent era cinema in Top City runs through Saturday, February 26, 2022, with a final set of showings at White Concert Hall on the Washburn University campus culminating with the film The Winning of Barbara Worth, a silent 1926 western directed by Henry King with an early appearance by Hollywood legend, Gary Cooper and featuring the thrilling flood sequence depicting the man-made creation of the Salton Sea. Gary Cooper would go on to star in his first talking film in 1929, to give some point of reference. 

A dinner with guest speaker, film historian and author, J.B. Kaufman will be served Saturday, February 26, 2022, from 5:15p to 7:15p at White Concert Hall. The cost for dinner is $40 per person. Saturday’s portion of the festivities will begin at 9:00 am and conclude with showings taking place after the evening’s dinner break. Dinner tickets are not necessary to attend the day’s screenings.

Screening and discussion events will be stretched across some notable venues in the city. The Historic Jayhawk Theatre, Grace Episcopal Cathedral, and White Concert Hall on the Washburn University campus will provide rich settings for cinephiles to soak in the indelible performances that represent the height of an era in professional filmmaking. 100 year old films will having you see the present surely in a slightly new way, as the future’s past. Run with it, be a character, try on costumes and masks and voices and personalities, roar like the 20’s!

Go to kssilentfilmfest.org for showing times and prices. Some events during the festival are free so check to see what your budget allows.

NOTE: More detailed info on schedule and pricing

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