The 9th Hippodrome Silent Film Festival, otherwise known affectionately as HippFest will run over five days next month in Bo’ness.

Tickets will go on sale today 5 February 2019 at 9.00am for the festival held at Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema.

HippFest the annual event produced by Falkirk Community Trust will run from 20 to 24 March 2019 and is the only festival dedicated to silent film in Scotland.

One of the main highlights this year is the UK premiere of the restored 90 year-old feature ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’ – the final Sherlock Holmes silent ever made. Until only 10 years ago, the film was missing and believed lost. It has an international cast with six leads from six different countries.

Pianist Mike Nolan will play for many of the films but here he is posing as Sherlock Holmes

Found in the basement of a Polish priest, this feature was the holy grail of the silent film world and this surviving print had only Czech intertitles. After a full restoration by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival and Poland’s National Film Archive last year, new English intertitles and minor missing scenes were bridged with a series of stills.

Alison Strauss, Festival Director, said: “We’re so excited to be launching the 9th Hippodrome Silent Film Festival. We’ve come a long way and now we’re just heading towards these five days of fantastic premieres of restorations, musicians coming from all over the world and audiences coming from all over Scotland.”


“The music for many people is the highlight. When you add the live music element to the silent films everything’s lifted.”

Alison Strauss

“Accompanying all our films, including the Sherlock Holmes film, will be musicians many of whom are improvising or using semi notated scores or new commissions. The music for many people is the highlight. When you add the live music element to the silent films everything’s lifted, and it’s extraordinary to witness musicians unrolling this other level of story.”

“The opening screening which is going to be ‘Rob Roy’ was filmed in 1922, on location not far from here and with hundreds of soldiers from the Argyll Regiment. It’s just wonderful to see a Scottish story and Scottish intertitles upon the screen in Scotland’s oldest cinema.”

Rob Roy (1922) will open the 2019 festival programme

“This wasn’t the first film version of the subject but it is certainly the most epic, and it hasn’t been screened since it took Scottish picture houses by storm in 1922. Now, and with the added wow-factor of David Allison’s new score, we are sure people will experience all the thrill and excitement of seeing this significant Scottish production on the big screen, just like the audiences one hundred years ago.”

Musician David Allison said: “I’m really looking forward to coming back to this wonderful festival at the Hippodrome which is truly an extraordinary venue. ‘Rob Roy’ is an ambitiously staged tale of romance and nationalist pride and it’s an honour to get to write and perform music to one of Scotland’s most iconic figures.”