Alison Strauss, Arts Development Officer (Film and Media) and Director of HippFest came along in November 2019 to talk to the Odenwald Association about the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival (HippFest), Scotland’s only silent film festival.
The festival takes place mainly in the Hippodrome in Bo’ness, Scotland’s first purpose-built cinema, originally designed by Bo’ness architect Matthew Steel and owned by Louis Dickson. It re-opened after restoration in 2009 and the first HippFest took place in 2011. It will be the 10th anniversary next year.
Alison talked to us mainly about the German connection which began in 2012 with a partnership with the Goethe Institute to show Ernst Lubitsch comedy, “The Oyster Princess”, accompanied by Günter Buchwald. Since then, there have been many German films shown including “Der Letzte Mann”, “The Hands of Orlac” starring Conrad Veidt, and “Der Schatz” (The Treasure).
Several German musicians have appeared including Frank Bockius and Alois Kott. The festival attracts audiences from all over Britain and from abroad, putting Bo’ness firmly on the tourist map. Next year’s festival will be 18th – 22nd March, and there may be a group OA outing arranged to one or more of the films. Save the date!