Friday, June 26, 2015

Opening Tonight: Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival At Niles

The 18th Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival starts tonight. The event includes a walking tour of Niles, as well as the customary lineup of vintage films shot in and around the area for the Essanay company.

The Essanay productions shall include Broncho Billy westerns and comedies from the Snakeville series starring Harry Todd, Margaret Joslin, Victor Potel and Ben Turpin (who boxes future director Lloyd Bacon in Snakeville’s Champion).

Author and film historian David Kiehn has been the curator and prime mover behind the festival, now in its 18th year.

David arrived in Niles in 1995 to conduct research for a screenplay on the western division of the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company and ended up writing the book on filmmaking at Niles, Broncho Billy and the Essanay Film Company, as well as discovering the historic "walk down Market Street" footage shot just before the 1906 earthquake.

The three-day event starts with a reception at 5:30 p.m. For more info, see Mary Mallory's article on the festival, posted earlier this week as the June entry of her Hollywood Heights column in the LA Daily Mirror.

Festival passes and tickets are available on the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum website. The festival schedule is here for download.

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