England

Festival to celebrate Yorkshire's silent cinema legacy

Charlie Chaplin Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Charlie Chaplin is one of the silent film actors to be featured as part of the festival

A series of silent movie screenings will celebrate Yorkshire's links to the early pioneers of film.

The Yorkshire Silent Film Festival will show more than 30 films featuring stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Laurel and Hardy.

Organisers said the event would also mark the region's "special importance in the history of film".

The world's first film is reputed to have been shot in Leeds by Louis Le Prince in 1888.

Image copyright Handout
Image caption The antics of Harold Lloyd will also feature in the festival

Film producer Jonathan Best said: "The first moving images were shot in Leeds, and Holmfirth was the home of one of the earliest British film makers, James Bamforth.

"Yorkshire is one of the places in which silent cinema was born."

The Lumiere brothers and Thomas Edison are usually credited with pioneering the moving image, but their work came several years after Le Prince shot footage in Leeds.

Image copyright Handout
Image caption The Phantom of the Opera, starring Lon Chaney Sr, is among the films being shown

Talking about the event, which celebrates the first 40 years of cinema, Mr Best urged people not familiar with silent film to come along, saying "it's like nothing else".

The festival, which starts in Doncaster, includes events in Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and Scarborough and runs at 13 venues from 6-30 July.

Each film will be accompanied by a pianist playing an improvised musical score.


Made in Yorkshire

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionLouis Le Prince's Roundhay Garden Scene and Leeds Bridge
  • Louis Le Prince made a film in Roundhay, Leeds, on 14 October 1888, several years before the Lumiere brothers filmed Employees Leaving the Factory in 1895
  • Le Prince also filmed carriages and people travelling over Leeds Bridge the same year, but never capitalised on his invention, disappearing without a trace in 1890
  • His films are said to be amongst the earliest examples of British comic film
  • His cameras and footage are now held in the National Media Museum in Bradford
  • James Bamforth, creator of saucy seaside postcards, started making films in Holmfirth in 1899
  • In the following 15 years, he shot and produced more than 50 films in and around the town - all starring local people
  • A large part of his collection is held at the Tolson Museum in Huddersfield

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites