2013 Kansas Silent Film Festival movie collage

Held February 22 & 23, 2013, at White Concert Hall on the Washburn University campus, Topeka, Kansas.


Seventeenth Annual Kansas Silent Film Festival


Our thanks go to event photographers
Larry/Enid Stendebach, Karl Mischler, Jane Bartholomew,
Greg/Melodie Foreman
Barbara Lerma & Carol Yoho.

2013 Festival Comments:

Marge Heeney, Topeka, KS:

What a show—far from silent. You brightened the "daze" for many buffs. The dinner was great. Having the opportunity to meet folks in love with films is always a treat. To each of you we say "thanks".

Marcy Tintera, Lincoln, NE:

Thanks again for a wonderful Festival! I looked forward to it all year long and was sad that, because of fear of snowbound roads, I was unable to come down Friday evening, but the films I saw Saturday were outstanding. I particularly enjoyed "The Gaucho." And the cinema dinner was excellent. Kudos to everyone involved with the 2013 KSFF!

Carol Brueggeman:

THANK YOU for the work put into all the fun I had at the Silent Festival this past weekend! My grandmother was born 1900 and I was imagining her watching the films when she was a teenager. It was a nice connection! My only complaint is the weekend wasn't near long enough! I would have gladly cleared my calendar for a whole week! Looking forward to next year!

Jackie Gfeller & Bob Cole:

Please convey our deepest appreciation to all the volunteers and organizers of this event! Without their dedicated hard work, there are a lot of people who would have a lot less joy. From Dick, who opens the door and invites us in, to every last person at the tables, they are treasures and are becoming 'old' friends they are so familiar to us. We always make the KSFF our no-miss event of the year! The blizzard didn't have a chance! Thank You, and EVERYONE for your dedication and hard work! You are an awesome and inspiring group to know!

Arlan V. Holthus:

Just wanted to say thanks for another great silent film festival, and say hope you're feeling better. So, thanks again on behalf of my 5 year old grandson, my daughter, and myself.

June Windscheffel, Topeka, KS:

Chris and I enjoyed dinner, and I enjoyed the films I saw. Thanks to you for your group for making this possible for us every year.

Louise Langberg, St. Paul, MN:

What a KSFF this was! I had a lovely time, and I'm so glad that Bill will be back to his usual self before too long! Perhaps next year we'll have to have t-shirts with a nice shot of Bill with his sore eye captioned, "I survived The Blizzard of Oz, 2013!" I'm so glad that the festival was not cancelled! I was sorry to hear about the problems that Mont Alto had, but with the great way that our musical heroes all pitched in it was still a marvelous program!

Jannett Wiens, Constituent Relationship Manager, Harvesters: The Community Food Network:

The Silent Film Festival collected 210 pounds of food items for Harvesters, which will provide 162 meals to individuals in our community. Please extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who helped make this drive a success and please share the results of this partnership with them.

Excerpt from wrap-up report by Kansas Silent Film Festival President BIll Shaffer:

Kansas got pummeled with ten-inches of snow in about four hours on Thursday. Mont Alto got to Hays (about a quarter of the way into the state from Colorado) and got stranded. They eventually turned back. Our projectionist (Richard Every) from Wichita got snowed in and couldn’t make it. I took a seven-point Ritz Brothers fall on the ice and landed face first. (Thank God nobody saw it or taped it. My eye swelled up and I looked like a guy with an eye patch all weekend. I don’t think I have ever looked worse—said “Rrrrr” like a pirate a lot though.

In spite of this, all parties in the KSFF crew banded together and shouldered on to make a great Festival weekend.

Jeff Rapsis comments on his "Silent Film Music" blog..

Bruce Calvert, Texas
Ccomments about KSFF:
KSFF on Nitrateville A
KSFF on Nitrateville B

Visit Greg Foreman's photos of 2013 KSFF [on Facebook, requires login.]

Visit Carol Yoho's photos of 2013 KSFF. [Carol constructed this page, photo collage and KSFF logo.]

Special thanks to these major donors for help with the 2013 festival:
Washburn University

Media Links

At annual film festival, silence is golden
—an article by Eric Melin @ lawrence.com

Classic stars highlight Silent Film Fest
—an Associated Press story

Kansas Silent Film Festival shows era's best
—by Bill Blankenship, Topeka Capital-Journal

KSFF teamed with non-profit Harvesters.org
Feed the hungry.




Winter Storm

For the first time in our seventeen-year history, winter weather adversely affected our festival. It kept some people who were part of the show from coming: Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, from Boulder, CO, and projectionist Rick Every, from Wichita, KS, were among them. Others went out of their way to arrive early, before the storm hit, and teamed to fill-in. The show went on! Not all weather was bad. The sun came out and the moon showed up nearly full. The hard part was removing excess snow from streets and walks. Topeka and Washburn University did great jobs with that.

Height of the winter storm, Thursday, February 21, 2013Best Western sign, where our staff stayed during the festivalPortico at the Best WesternPortico 2After the stormKarl Mischler, in Topeka from New York City, relaxes outdoor after exiting the motel saunaStan and Ollie try to cope with winter weather. At least they are indoorsFriday morning look through the lobby window at Washburn University's White Concert HallGrounds crews scooped snow from in front of White Concert Hall. The sun came out and the day looked much brighter than Thursday noon hour had!Karl photographed the entrance area in late afternoonThe moon was in evidence long before the sun went downView to the west on Washburn campus, Friday eveningLast light, through White Concert Hall lobby window, just before evening attendees began to arrive

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On-site work began on Friday, Feb. 22, with the set-up of the audiorium and lobby spaces. Music rehearsals were a part of preparation...particularly for those filling in for Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, who could not attend because of the winter storm we'd had. Staff gathered and worked together.

Lining up the t-shirts and other saleables Jane put in much work researching prices for our book saleJane marks book pricesEnid made our life-sized star cut-outsEnid moves Laurel and Hardy to the other side of the lobbyStunning Hands Up poster on loan from Bruce CalvertJohn Kelso unrolls the Hands Up banner for displayTrevor hangs the banner while Larry steadies the ladderKarl clowns as he brings in the Harvesters bin. We teamed with Harvesters food pantry for the first time in 2013.Trevor contemplates what needs going nextDenise organizes while John and Carol admire her attention to detailAgain, Trevor climbs, Larry steadies, Carol records the event, and Karl is already on the roofPutting up the banner APutting up the banner BPutting up the banner CPutting up the banner DGuys on the roof, working hardKarl has a great screamKarl, with his end of the bannerGreen 2013 t-shirt2013 lineup on t-shirt backThree years of KSFF t-shirts2013 program bookletSome of the many videos for sale, a portion of the sales price goes to KSFFProjector is threadedTrevor and Larry set up silouettesOliver and Trevor AOliver and Trevor BGrand piano Concert organ, very clean thanks to MarvinPercussion is set upBob Keckeisen will sit among these drums and cymbolsPhil Figgs arrives with his Edison cylinder playerPhil starts setting up his cylinder playerHooking up the bellPositioning "just so"The celluloid cylinder spins hereThe trademark logoSeveral cylinder, each containing music or voiceThe gizmo, plus lid

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On-stage Talent

Special honors were earned this year by our on-stage talents, many of them filling in last-minute for changes to the live musical accompaniment schedule, based on trouble our snowstorm had caused. Marvin Faulwell accompanied two additional features and Greg Foreman and Phil Figgs both pitched in to handle accompaniment for short films. Denise Morrison kept track of all last-minute changes to our program and made sure attendees understood needed changes. Jeff Rapsis came all the way from New Hampshire to play piano for our movies. Bob Keckeisen played percussion. All talent did a first-ever poster-signing twice during festivities!

Denise Morrison introduced and gave background for each silent movie shownMarvin Faulwell and Greg ForemanGreg Foreman at the grand pianoJeff Rapsis at the grand pianoPhil Figgs played piano and worked in the lobby. Here he is entertaining backstage.Bob Keckeisen played percussion at times throughout the eventSpecial guests Brittany Valente and Paul Gierucki, Sennett film restorers, from Michigan.Denise speaks ADenise speaks BDenise speaks on Saturday evening, with Bill Shaffer, who had a tough day, pausing stage rightGreg Foreman plays the concert organPlaying for festival credits APlaying for festival credits BGreg Foreman at the concert organMarvin Faulwell plays an overature while Karl Mischler, on stage to run a DVD, listensTypical silent Western genre dialogueWilliam S. Hart and his fair leading ladyRaymond Griffth faces a firing squad in the comedy Hands UpRaymond Griffith works to distract troops from shooting himJeff Rapsis descends from stage rightGreg Foreman, Charlie Chaplin and Jeff RapsisMary and Marvin Faulwell with Greg ForemanSaturday evening bow from musical talent and our projectionist for the eveningSaturday evening bow, from the house perspectiveLeaving stage at the end of the festivalA signed first-ever KSFF display-posterDenise, Jeff, Greg, Marvin and BobMarvin and Bob please a poster-purchasing fanMarvin Faulwell and Bob KeckeisenJeff Rapsis, Greg Foreman and fanJeff and GregGreg, Marvin and Bob enjoy the opportunitylooking at the signing from the stageDenise Morrison signs a posterFans line up for poster signingsMore fans, more posters, more signaturesView from the stage stepsThe last of the signings

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Lobby Activity

Chatting, displays, DVD sales and T-shirt sales, comment boxes, freebies, and historic memorabilia. All events free.

Laid outBooks for saleFans browse. Larry Sanglas from Newton, KS, chats with Susan Rapsis, New HampshireBetween the showsDisplays provided by Bruce Calvert AAttendees enjoy the displays ADisplays provided by Bruce Calvert BDisplays provided by Bruce Calvert CJim Rhodes chats with Denise MorrisonThe lobby, Saturday a.m.Brittany Valente and Paul Gierucki, special guestsSun floods the lobby, mid-afternoon on Saturday ASun floods the lobby, mid-afternoon on Saturday BSun floods the lobby, mid-afternoon on Saturday CJeff Rapsis, bathed in sunlightEvening browsersHarvesters bin is nearly full AHarvesters bin is nearly full BNetworkingShoppingEvening lobby activityThe cylinder player gets attentionPhil Figgs resets his Edison playerPlaying music on cylindersCylinder containersEdison's bell amplifies the soundA delicate spring holds the bell but allows for vibrationEmptying the Harvesters bin, Saturday evening AEmptying the Harvesters bin, Saturday evening A

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5th Annual Cinema Dinner

This event requires a reservation and pre-payment of the dinner fee. A nice meal, many door prizes, and a talk by guests of honor Paul Gierucki and Brittany Valente about their work in restoring Sennett Comedies were hits.

Brittany and Paul set up ABrittany and Paul set up BJeff Rapsis provides supper music, with door prizes on the grand pianoJeff at the keyboardBrittany and Paul mug for Jane's photoPaul inspects a film clipOthers inspect their film clipsBrittany Valente and Paul GieruckiBill Shaffer chats with guestsTable centerpiecePlace settingsEach diner got a snippet of filmFlower decorationsRebecca Long and Melanie LawrenceSome attendees await their turn at the buffet tableChatting with other silent film lovers AChatting with other silent film lovers BChatting with other silent film lovers CJeff at the keyboardBuffet lineSam Knecht has just finished going through the buffet lineBrittany draws a door prize winnerBrittany and Paul share their film restoration adventuresEnid holds a door prize poster while Bill reads the winner's numberDinner guests Kellee Pratt and Trevor Marvin Faulwell chats with Inge and Bill BeningfieldLouise Langberg came from St. Paul, MNPaul and Brittany chat with Bruce Calvert and Jim ReidGroup proposes a toast to another year of KSFF funThis young man came to our festival from ChinaTrevor Jost deadpans in his Keaton hatBill Shaffer addresses our dinner audiencePaul draws a door prize numberJane Bartholomew extends the hat for Paul to draw another door prize winnerDoor prize winner Herb MillerBill Shaffer addresses dinner guestsBill was on duty despite his tumble on ice earlier Saturday, resulting to a trip to the hospital and stitches above his right eye. Bill is a tropper!Brittany and Paul talk of their Sennett preservation effortsMelodie takes a group photoJane Bartholomew, Karl Mischler, Enid and Larry StendebachSarah and Bob KeckeisenCarol Yoho and Melanie LawrenceJeff Rapsis chats with dinner guests including Jim Reid and Bruce CalvertMelanie Lawrence in her Lousie Brooks outfit

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Steadfast fans are our backbone of support, from as far away as New York, New Hampshire, California, Texas and Minnesota...and all points in-between. Thanks go to all Kansas Silent Film Festival Fans!

Guests with Melodie ForemanSarah Shaffer poses with Bill the PirateSusan and Jeff RapsisJames Erickson from Wichita and Herb Miller from the Kansas City areaBill with Nikki and Brian McKimFans wearing hatsBill with guestsRebecca Long shakes hands with Paul GieruckiGreg Foreman and friendGreg Foreman with Mary and Marvin FaulwellJane, Jim and KarlPaul and LarryBill Shaffer and Paul PostCharlie stands guard while a fan relaxes with his programBook donor Herb MillerGreg and Melodie ForemanJeff and GregLouise (Cookie) Langberg's warm mittensBrian and Nikki McKim with Trevor JostRandy Kahle with friend Akee and Bill ShafferA film discussion in the lobbyPhile works with his machineryRebecca Long shakes in her flapper pearlsMelanie Lawrence and her mom, NancySusan and JaneSteadfast fans

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2013 was exemplary of the way the KSFF staff pulled together and made our event work smoothly, despite bad weather and multiple changes in strategy. Those devoting extra time and efforts for the 2013 festival were Denise Morrison, Bill & Becky Shaffer, Jane Bartholomew, Karl Mischler, Trevor Jost, Phil Figgs, Larry & Enid Stendebach, Lyle Waring, Jim Rhodes, Marvin Faulwell, Jeff & Susan Rapsis, Carol Yoho, Melanie Lawrence, Marj and Ragen Murray, John Kelso, Brittany Valente, Paul Gierucki, Bruce Calvert and Jim Reid. Many thanks to our dedicated staff and assistants!

Trevor JostEnid Stendebach and Jane BartholomewKarl Mischler checks his tweetsJim Rhodes and Larry Stendebach Bill Shaffer and Carol Yoho, on Friday night, before Bill's fallDenise Morrison and Mary PickfordPhil Figgs and his Edison cylinder playerOrganist Marvin FaulwellGreg Foreman, between his acts on piano and organJeff Rapsis, keyboard magicianMelanie Lawrence in her Louise Brooks "bob"Lyle Waring, in his White Concert Hall control boothKarl Mischler by the projector AKarl Mischler by the projector BKarl Mischler dismantling the DVD projector onstageBruce Calvert takes apart his displayPaul Gierucki and Trevor JostJane Bartholomew and Larry StendebachJane Bartholomew, Jim Rhodes and Larry Stendebach Trevor JostBill and Marvin take a Friday afternoon set-up break in the White Concert Hall lobbyBill and Marvin hang outKarl Mischler, Carol Yoho, Larry Stendebach and Denise MorrisonPhil Figgs sets up the Edison playerEnid and JaneEnid kisses LarryJeff RapsisKarl at restA pause on the way to the emergency roomOur Fearless Leader after his emergency room episodeBill, with injury patch, with Melanie Lawrence and John KelsoCarol comforts Bill after he his stitches near his right eyeJeff Rapsis, Saturday nightJane is in charge of businessDenise Morrison and Jane BartholomewTrevor climbs the ladder to dismount the Hands Up bannerLarry, Trevor and Bruce, with Bruce Lawton's Hands Up bannerOur event over, Larry rolls up the banner

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Phil Figgs is our Board of Directors Volunteer Chair. Phil and the entire board would like to thank this year's volunteers who came to help our staff by answering questions, selling merchandise, playing the Edison Phonograph, counting attendance, greeting our attendees, and passing out programs. Thank you, 2013 KSFF volunteers!

Just having arrived, Jim Rhodes dons Trevor's "Buster hat"Angel RameroJane with Angel RameroRichard A. BrownJim Rhodes greets Fred AppelhanzEnid rolls up posters for saleBehind the cylinder playerRichard A. BrownBlakelyRobin FiggsBruce Calvert sets up a display case with treasuresJim Rhodes helps hand out programsGalenVolunteer DVolunteer EBlakely, Bill and EnidCarol and Richard wear their hatsZandra Myrick & Jackie GfellersLife behind the counter

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Meal Out, Friday at Bobo's Drive-In

Denise, Bill and JohnBurgers, fries, onion rings and drinksKarl's chocolate maltDenise's apple pie and ice creamKarl, Carol and Enid wait for lunch to be served

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Afterhours Celebrations

KSFF staff and guests were royally treated by Raj Gupta and his family at the Best Western Topeka Inn on Fairlawn Road. The Guptas even hosted a post-fest Friday night celebratory party in the breakfast room for us! Thanks, Raj, for your cordiality. Namaste.

Paul, Karl and BrittanyJane and RajRaj and LarryRaj, host at Best Western party, with his familyRaj and KarlParty time AMalanie, Bob, Carol and MarvinParty time BParty time CParty time DParty time EParty time FSarah Keckeisen at the Saturday afterglowFood line at afterglowSome food sent by Robert Webb from Colorado for this event.Inflatable statuetteAfterglow hostess Marj Murray with Greg Foreman and goodies from Bob WebbRagen MurrayPhil and Greg near the piano keyboardMany, not all, of the support staff for 2013 KSFF

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