From the timeless slapstick of Buster Keaton to the magnificent excesses of D W Griffiths' historical epics, from the first thrillers of the young Alfred Hitchcock to the mysterious splendour of great stars like Gloria Swanson and Pola Negri, silent film is a treasure trove of extraordinary experiences for audiences today. Yorkshire Silent Film exists to bring these experiences to audiences across Yorkshire and the North.
Without music a silent film is incomplete and live music in particular can bring a silent to vivid life - that's why we work only with live music. We take a particular interest in the craft of the improvising silent film pianist, though we also work with other instrumentalists, ensembles and orchestras.
Yorkshire Silent Film Festival is a biennial occasion, taking place in villages, towns and cities across the region. The fourth edition is 5 - 17 May 2020. In addition to the festival, YSF works with its venue partners in Hull, York, Sheffield, Leeds and Huddersfield year-round to present live-scored silent film events.
Yorkshire Silent Film creates opportunities for professional musicians to develop the skill of improvising with moving image through the Playing Pictures Academy. Live-scores commissioned or premiered by Yorkshire Silent Film Festival go on to be programmed by festivals and venues worldwide. Recently, YSFF scores have been programmed by San Francisco Silent Film Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and La Giornate del Cinema Muto, Pordenone.