Jeff Rapsis, musical talent, Manchester, NH:
I want everyone to know that once again, we thoroughly and completely enjoyed the Kansas Silent Film Festival. It's not just the films and their presentation, but it's also the people—the folks "behind the scenes" as well as the audience that the event attracts. It's a real treat to experience these films under these conditions, as I think the atmosphere recreates a strong sense of the excitement that these films must have once generated.
Not being local, I don't think I truly understand the year-round effort that it takes to pull the festival together and make it work each year. But I do get a glimpse of it during the last-minute whirlwind leading up the event, and the amount of energy and attention to detail that goes into making it happen is really amazing.
But it's all worth it. I remember coming the first few times, not really knowing anyone, but walking into the lobby to be welcomed by people handing out programs, and then hearing audience-friendly introductions by Denise from the podium, and then taking in all the films with live music by Marvin or Greg or the Mont Alto folks, and it all seemed so effortless and open-hearted and rooted in celebrating these films and bringing them back to life and showing them off at their best.
And once you got talking to people—well, there was just no turning back. It's one of the reasons we kept returning, and continue to do so. I think that spirit has really taken root even as the festival has grown into a two-day event with so many details to coordinate, including now a dinner!
So, to everyone who contributes in any way, let me assure you as a visitor who blows into town at the last minute that the efforts are worthwhile. In talking with attendees, I couldn't count the number of people who were appreciative of the event and the chance to see a variety of films in this setting and encounter people who share this interest. I also think people very much felt what Bill Shaffer mentioned at the dinner—that if it's your first time, don't hesitate to go up and talk to anyone.
So it's a job well done! Take a bow!
Jim Dyra, Chicago, IL:
A great big thank you for all your asistance in setting me up for the dinner. I had an OUTSTANDING time at the entire event but the dinner put it right over the top. Great company, conversation, and food. How does it get any better than that? I'm putting next year's event on my calendar and will do everything in my power to attend. A+ on the programming also. How in the world will top yourself for 2011?
Marcy Tintera, Lincoln,
Thanks, Bill and to your great organizing committee, for another fantastic film festival! This was my fourth. It's no small thing putting on an event such as this and I just want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone involved! During one of the intermissions on Saturday, I took the opportunity to meet Melissa Talmadge Cox and had a short conversation with her. She was very gracious to take the time to talk with me. I so enjoyed hearing about her family and Buster and seeing the wonderful family photos during the on-stage interviews and the dinner. Could have listened to her longer but time just ran out. I look forward to whatever you have in store for us next year!
Melissa Talmadge Cox, guest speaker, CA:
I had such an enjoyable time and can't thank you enough for all the effort you put in. The audience doesn't see how much work it takes to put on an event that lasts one weekend but from my point of view it was a very professional and well run film festival. There were so many volunteer helpers and I hope you will give them my regards when you see them. I have caught up on sleep but have a pile of work sitting in front of me waiting for me to come back to reality. And my kids are now razzing me about being on youTube!
Herb Miller, Mission Hills, KS:
Topeka was an excellent program and well attended by hundreds of interested silent movie buffs. (easily over 1,000). There IS quite an interest nation-wide in silents. You would have been amazed at the COUNTLESS DVD's in the lobby at Washburn Univ....one title after another....all of our VAGABOND and every one of our own Chaplin titles; Keaton's THE GENERAL of course, on various DVD discs, many by the way, put out by the Topeka PBS station, as well as the Silent Film Festival organizers. "The General" was even on BLUE RAY now! Overall, it was one of the best put-together programs and included a great VARIETY of titles-- plus an excellent guest speaker.
Marty Fahncke, Kansas City, KS:
We loved it! I was so surprised my 4 year old sat still that long, but the movies were great and kept their attention! Everyone agreed the favorite was "Iron Mule" followed by "Our Gang". We'll be back next year for sure. It's already on my calendar. And I'll bring more people with me.
Marge Heeney, Donor, Topeka, KS:
Thanks for a wonderful "put Topeka on the map" silent film celebration. Barney & I attended
Our table conversation was dedicated to films - good talk!
After dinner, I looked in to see your stunning stage layout at White.
Wow-almost a full house anticipating the experience.
Clyde Kensinger, Donor, Topeka, KS:
This year's KSFF was an outstanding program! Kudos to all
involved for another truly memorable event
Wilda Sandy, Donor, Topeka, KS:
Such a splendid weekend at your 14th Annual KSFF. I wouldn't know where
to begin thanking you.
Suffice to say, the only amendments I'd be happy to see next year are two:
1. Eliminate the "talkie" Turner Classic Commercial
2. Give huge credit to Rick Every, the fabulous projectionist!! He should be
crowned King of the 15th for his invaluable contribution. (Why wasn't he
at the buffet dinner for a round of applause?)
We loved everything else...the shorts esp., Denise's commentary; cookies
and punch; the sailor's caps; the splendid buffet; and the full moon!
Couldn't have been better.
Keith Goering, Iola, KS:
I think this year's KSFF was one of your finest. Rodney outdid himself on Our Hospitality. I think it did everything a silent score should do and did it quite well. And the band never sounded better.
Ann Walter, Waterville, KS:
What a wonderful experience we had at the Silent Film Festival. I just sat back and enjoyed 2 hours of nostalgia!!!!!
I especially enjoyed the music, both the piano players and musicians. Thank you.
Kate Hampson, Washburn Review:
I had a great time at the festival on Friday night and was so
impressed with the whole set up! It looked to me that there were a ton
of people there! And thank you so much for setting up that interview
with Melissa. She was great and so inviting.
Bruce Calvert, Dallas, TX:
Just wanted to say thanks for a great time at the festival this year. You guys have a great thing going.