Salute to stars of silent films

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The curtain lifts this month on the first Yorkshire Silent Film festival with two trailblazer events at Square Chapel - the first, three of Charlie Chaplin’s best short comedies which happened last night, the second this evening (June 17).

The festival will tour Yorkshire complete with musicians who will play live at all 30 screenings.

Highlights include a centenary celebration of twelve of Charlie Chaplin’s short comedies and the first opportunity for Yorkshire audiences to see a newly discovered silent film starring Harry Houdini. Tonight (Friday) at Square Chapel (call 01422 349422) fans get the opportunity to see a British silent film – Shooting Stars.

The movie, set in a 1920s film studio, is a fascinating glimpse of what it was like in the British silent film industry and an engrossing story of love and betrayal.

It is visually stunning, and with a nail-biting final scene. This is a drama of big emotions, and will be accompanied on the Steinway piano by Jonathan Best. The official festival opening is in Holmfirth and Leeds from July 1-3.

Producer Jonathan Best said: “Yorkshire has a special importance in the history of film – the first moving images were shot in Leeds and Holmfirth was the home of one of the earliest British film makers, James Bamforth.”

The festival visits Hebden Bridge Picture House and also venues in Leeds, Sheffield, Scarborough, Helmsley, Doncaster, Leyburn, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Hebden Bridge and Hull throughout July. Go to yorkshiresilentfilm.com for details