Forrest Scene

January 2013 News Releases

Vintage stars highlight Kansas Silent Film Festival Feb. 22 and 23

TOPEKA –  Vintage stars ranging from Mary Pickford, Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton will light up the screen at the 17th annual Kansas Silent Film Festival scheduled Feb. 22 and 23 in White Concert Hall at Washburn University. All festival events are free and the public is welcome.

The event will also feature several short classic Keystone comedies produced by Max Sennett. Special guests at the festival will be Paul Gierucki and Brittany Valente, who recently produced a DVD boxed set of restored classics by Sennett.

Kansas City film historian Denise Morrison will provide introductions for the films and give an overview of the artists and the era of the silent films. Several films will be shown on 16mm film, while others may be projected digitally, due to the rarity of actual film material. 

Accompaniment for the feature films and shorts will be provided by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra; Marvin Faulwell and Greg Foreman, organ; Bob Keckeisen, percussion; and Phil Figgs and Jeff Rapsis, piano.

The annual cinema dinner will be at 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center.  Tickets are $25 per person (non refundable) and reservations are required.  Send payment to KSFF Cinema-Dinner, Box 2032, Topeka, Kan. 66601-2032.

For more info, go to

            The festival schedule:

Friday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m.:

  • “Fatty and Mabel Adrift” (1917), short starring Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and Mabel Normand.
  • "Sparrows” (1926), featuring the King and Queen of 1920s Hollywood, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks Sr.

Saturday, Feb. 23

10 a.m. – noon – Prehistoric comedy theme

  • “His Prehistoric Past” (1914), with Charlie Chaplin
  • “Flying Elephants” (1927), a Laurel and Hardy film
  • “Three Ages” (1923), starring Buster Keaton and Wallace Beery in a spoof of D.W. Griffith’s “Intolerance.”

1:30 – 5 p.m. – Wild West action

  • "Broncho Billy’s Adventure” (1911), short with first Western movie star, Broncho Billy Anderson.
  • “Broken Ways” (1912), drama with Blanche Sweet and Henry B. Walthall.
  • “The Narrow Trail” (1917), William S. Hart as the good bad guy Ice Harding. 
  • “The Man with a Punch” (1920), Hoot Gibson short.
  • “Hands Up!” (1926), a Civil War comedy featuring Raymond Griffith.

(Dinner break)

7:30 p.m.

  • Two Keystone comedies selected by special guests Paul Gierucki and Brittany Valenti.
  • “The Gaucho” (1927), a romantic adventure classic with Lupe Velez and Douglas Fairbanks Sr.


            The KSFF organization hosts the festival through sponsorships and donations. To learn more, contact Bill Shaffer at 785.670.3151.  


Contact:  Dena Anson, 785.670.1711
Editors:  Photos available upon request