Kansas Silent Film Festival 2005

Our Ninth Annual Kansas Silent Film Festival was held February 25 & 26, 2005 at White Concert Hall, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas. Denise Morrison provided film commentary and all films were shown with live musical accompaniment, including the talents of Dr. Marvin Faulwell on the concert hall organ and the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. A 24-page program was provided to attendees. A silent auction was held and Alan Brehm provided a displayed collection of movie memorabilia from the days of silent film.


• Select a photo to see the larger version


Saturday evening house
Helms talk with friendSaturday morning lobbySaturday evening lobbySaturday lobby
Friday evening lobby The pit area of White Concert Hall lobby Silent auction items Saturday evening house more crowd
movie-goers take a break many guests were children making friends discussing films Red Hat Society members attend films
       Our Fearless Leader: Bill Shaffer, President of Kansas Silent Film Festival, Inc.
These aren't the same guy--are they? Well, the one on the right is Bill Shaffer, President of Kansas Silent Film Festival, Inc.
Bill Shaffer was festival coordinator. He and Denise Morrison picked 2005 films. Bill then acquired the films, coordinated festival promotion, contacted donors and raised festival funding, coordinated facilities with Washburn University, arranged meals and lodging for our staff, provided videotaped credits, and ran the event.

Denise Morrison

Denise Morrison enhanced all festival films with her sparkling and fact-filled film commentaries. Her love of the Silents is evident.
Dr. Marvin Fauwell, organist
   For the ninth year: Dr. Marvin Faulwell, Organ
and for the second year:
Bob Kecheisen
, percussion
organ and percussion, When the Clouds Roll By Marvin Faulwell and Bob Kecheisen take a bow Dr. Faulwell at the organ Bob Kecheisen, percussion

Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
warming up the orchestra Mont Alto plays a prelude
Rodney Sauer and his Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
of Boulder, Colorado
Rodney Sauer, piano Brett Swenson, violin Dawn Kramer, trumpet Brian Collins, clarinet Kevin Johnson, cello

         curtain call for musical performers

Rick Every, 16 mm projectionist Lyle Waring, White Concert Hall facility technican Eric Grayson, 35 mm projectionist
Technical Staff
There would be no festival without our projectionists and technical staff, Rick Every,
Lyle Waring
, and Eric Grayson.
Rick rests before the show

Festival logo display
White Concert Hall facilities are clean and comfortable, an excellent resource.

Barbara Lerma, movie review writer, lends a handDon StocktonPhilip Figgs is also a KSFF board member
KSFF depends on the help of volunteer greeters, information and sales staff.

Thank you, volunteers!

Herb Miller greets KSFF donor Paul PostHerb Miller shares a festival program with a guestcharacter cut-outs created by the team of Gary Krohe, Bill Shaffer and Carol Yoho

Denise Morrison plans the program, Jane Bartholomew manages the greeting area, and Leslie Evans coordinates volunteer efforts. All are KSFF board members. Karl Mischler joined us from New York City, arriving early to help behind the scenes Carol Yoho designed the festival logo. She set up the festival program for printing, works on publicity and manages the KSFF web site.
KSFF Board Members and select dedicated silent film lovers pool resources to aid in planning and coordinating the festival.

display case, low angle Alan Brehm shares memorabilia

Alan Brehm shared movie memorabilia
from the silent era.
display case from the landingitems on display

Rick Every missed lunch on Saturday, but he had a pre-show break Doug Moore, college professor, grades papers between showings Larry Stendenbach, from Hannibal, MO, with Denise Morrison. This photo provided by Larry.
Jane Bartholomew and Jeff Rapsis
John Kelso with Denise Morrison Donors Marjorey Savage-Heeney and Carol Jory Glorie, with 35 mm projectionist Eric Grayson Denis Morrison and Bill Shaffer
Louise Langberg of St. Paul, MN, with her Saturn, Lily Carol Yoho chats with Jeff Rapsis Larry Stendenbach with Rodney Sauer. This photo provided by Larry. Carol and Max Yoho


These comments were sent to Bill Shaffer, coordinator of the KSFF event, by Jeff Rapsis, who attended from New Hampshire. Jeff is Associate Publisher, The Hippo magazine and e-zine, www.hipponashua.com. He also wrote music for Dangerous Crosswinds, the latest feature film
by New Hampshire filmmaker Bill Millios: www.dangerouscrosswinds.com

I thought the films this year were great. Every year there's at least one magic silent film moment at the Kansas Silent Film Festival, and this year it was the long sustained medium shot on Dorothy Gish near the end of Nell Gwyn, when the king dies off camera but all we see is her react and go through a range of emotions. Nothing like it! It's opera without the singing. Also, I had never seen the Douglas Fairbanks film and thought it was a hoot, with the food running around and the climax with all those people stranded in the tree.

That was quite the print of Phantom you screened. It was well worth watching, though it's too bad the projector didn't have the candlepower to bring it completely to life. Still, the color sequence looked great.

I am continually amazed at the reaction of modern audiences to the Hal Roach silents - not just Laurel and Hardy, but the Max Davidson and Charley Chase and All-Star comedies featuring lesser-known people. Nearly a century later, they continue to produce gales of laughter. The Harold Lloyd films are like this as well - if you screen them under the right conditions (music, a large crowd, etc.) they spring to life in a way that's impossible to duplicate in someone's home.

They really were designed to work with large audiences in a darkened theater, and they still do. I saw Pass the Gravy a few years back in Columbus, Ohio, with Philip Carli improvising a score at the piano, and the place went nuts. Same with Limousine Love, another film you've also programmed. They really stand the test of time, don't they?

Thanks again for all the hard work (all year round) that goes into putting this together. I continue to ponder the mysteries of this strange and short-lived art form, and the Kansas Silent Film Festival is a big part of keeping it alive for me and a huge number of other folks, judging by the attendance you get. Susan and I are looking forward to the 10th one next year.

Jeff Rapsis

Read online comments about this year's festival.


Questions? Contact us:
bshaffer2@cox.net P.O. Box 2032, Topeka, Kansas 66601-2032