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Yorkshire Silent Film Festival returns to Abbeydale Picture House

Day of live-scored silent films includes Man With A Movie Camera and Strike, with music from In The Nursery, Frame Ensemble and others, as part of venue’s centenary celebrations.

Sheffield silent film fest at abbeydale picture house

A previous live-scored silent film event at Abbeydale Picture House.

A socially-distanced return to Abbeydale Picture House is coming this month with a day of silent films accompanied by live music, as the venue celebrates its 100th year.

Returning to the space, Yorkshire Silent Film Festival will host back-to-back screenings of Filibus The Mysterious Air Pirate and Buster Keaton’s The High Sign (2pm), both live scored by pianist Jonny Best.

The afternoon double bill will be followed by Soundstripes (4pm), a compilation of new short films chosen from more than 140 submissions, accompanied by a rotating cast of improvising musicians.

In the evening (6:45pm), veteran Sheffield band In The Nursery will play along to famously innovative and influential Soviet film Man With A Movie Camera, reprising a performance at the same venue more than ten years ago.

Closing the event (8:30pm) will be a screening of Strike by Sergei Eisenstein, who famously went on to direct Battleship Potemkin, with music from improvising quartet Frame Ensemble.


Buster Keaton in The High Sign (1921).

Tickets are available in groups of up to six, with social distancing in place at the historic venue, which is celebrating its centenary year in 2021.

Under 18s get free entry, although the organisers note that Strike is a certificate 12 film. Attendees will be able to order food and drink directly to their seats.

Jonny Best, festival coordinator and musician, said: “Abbeydale Picture House was built for live-scored silent film and there is simply nowhere else in the UK like it. The acoustic is beautiful, the screen towers over the audience – it’s an immersive experience.”

In The Nursery added: “We are excited to be stepping back into the live arena with a revisit of our live score for Man With A Movie Camera – and especially happy that our return to live shows is here in Sheffield, at the beautiful Abbeydale Picture House.”

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