2015 poster collage


Denise Morrison, film commentator

Live Musical Accompaniment by:
Marvin Faulwell, organ
Bob Keckeisen, percussion
Jeff Rapsis, piano
Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

Special Guest:
David Shepard, film preservationalist
19th Annual Kansas Silent Film Festival, February 27-28, 2015

Held February 27 & 28, 2015, at White Concert Hall on the Washburn University campus, Topeka, Kansas.

Our thanks go to event photographers
Larry/Enid Stendebach, Karl Mischler, Jane Bartholomew,
& Carol Yoho.
Choose a photo to see the larger version

2015 Festival Comments:

Marcy Tintera
Lincoln, NE
"Thanks, Bill and Committee, for another fantastic weekend of silent films. I'm so happy to have found you nine years ago. Looking forward to next year!!"

Don Bishop
Kansas City
"Goodness, there just isn't enough I could say about how positive was my experience at KSFF. "Anyone's experience at KSFF would be subjective -- what appeals to one might not appeal quite as much to another. It just so happens that I liked everything about the festival, from the films to the music, the discussions, the dinner and the venue. I even had two of the best possible dinner companions, Bruce (I think) and Sally (I'm sure). "Also at KSFF, I enjoyed shooting some video. My thanks to you, the consummate video professional, for tolerating me, the video beginner. I don't know when I might be able to edit the footage into something, but at least I have it!"

Jim Reid,
Dallas, TX
"I really enjoyed this year's festival. Jon Mirsales was an excellent guest in that the people who attended were able to enjoy him all weekend. His Cinema Dinner talk was a little technical for a lot of folks I'm sure, but it was in my wheel house and I totally geeked out on it!

"I enjoyed all the comedies greatly, even having seen them before. The Little Church Around the Corner was enjoyable, if not great. But with it's local tie-in and Steve's Claire Windsor displays in the lobby, it was perfect (especially since it didn't break!).

"My feelings about BOAN are the same as Bruce's. I'm glad I saw it again, so now I don't have to wonder when I can use my print. I can just sell it.

"Loved The Sea Hawk! But as nice as the print was, it would have looked spectacular with xenon projection.

"As always, your folks are the greatest! Very welcoming. I've talked to people who have been to KSFF and the main thing they always say is how wonderful the people in Kansas are."

NOTE: Jim loaned us some of the shorts we ran for the KSFF (like Battle of the Century).

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

Visit Carol Yoho's photos of 2015 KSFF. [Carol constructed this page, photo collage and KSFF logo.]

Visit NitrateVille, a site run by Bruce Calvert, to read comments on the 2014 KSFF.

Watch video comments by Kevin Willmott in our panel discussion of The Birth of a Nation, shared by Larry Stendebach.

Watch mulitple videos from the 2015 Kansas Silent Film Festival, shared by Larry Stendebach.

Student reviews from the live showing of a silent comedy short at Carroll Chapel, Washburn University campus, with live musical accompaniment by Jon Mirsalis, on Fri. morning, Feb. 27, 2015. Students were mass media majors. Reviews are available online, as shared by their instructor.

Story Corp covered on KPR Presents, Sun., Feb. 22, 2015, 8 PM
Listen to "KPR Presents,"Kaye McIntyre's interview with Denise Morrison, film historian and hostess of the 19th Annual Kansas Silent Film Festival. The Sunday, February 22 program also featured a number of StoryCorps interviews recorded in Topeka concerning the Brown v. Board of Education desegregation decision, 1954. The show also featured McIntyre's interview with Dick Lehr.

Showing director
D.W. Griffith's The Birth of A Nation
in honor of 100 Yrs.
Read article, Topeka Capital-Journal, by Bill Blankenship

Special thanks to these major donors for help with the 2015 festival:
Washburn University



Set-up On-site work began on Friday, Feb. 27, with the set-up of the audiorium and lobby spaces. Music rehearsals were a part of preparation. Weather was mild on Friday afternoon. Staff has worked together for several years, and the set-up went smoothly.

Setting up tablesKarl checks the Birth of a Nation display caseBirth of a Nation memorabiliaSteve Richardson prepares the Claire Windsor display caseSteve Richardson with a photo of Claire WindsorClaire Windsor display caseBirth of a Nation display caseSteve Richardson wipes a display case cleanFilling the display tablesEnid adds skirts to the tablesJane oversees lobby displaysTrevor Jost captures attentionStaff takes a supper break2015 Festival t-shirtTrevor and Karl post the KSFF banner at White Concert Hall, Washburn University, TopekaStretch look up at TrevorKarl and Trevor set up the tall ladderTevor ties down a corner of the bannerTrevor and Karl atop the portico, White Concert Hall

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On-stage Talent Film Historian Denise Morrison introduced our films from the stage. Live music was provided this year by Jeff Rapsis (piano), Marvin Faulwell (organ), Bob Keckeisen (percussion), and special guest Jon Mirsalis. Jon joined our other special guest Lisa Stein Haven. Festival director Bill Shaffer introduced Saturday morning schedule, and was also seen often onstage as he coordinated efforts and ran DVD projection.

Denise Morrison welcomes our Friday evening audienceMarvin Faulwell plays for a short subjectBob Keckeisen plays percussion, with Marvin Faulwell on the concert hall pipe organMarvin and Bob take a bowJeff Rapsis at the grand pianoJeff Rapsis at the grand piano 2Jeff Rapsis takes a bow Marvin Faulwell at the organBob Keckeisent playing percussionBill Shaffer welcomes guests on Saturday morningDenise Morrison introduces the films to be shown on Saturday morningJeff Rapsis performs on the grand pianoMarvin at the keyboardBirth of a Nation panel discussionModerator Denise Morrison with guest panelists Kevin Willmott and Jon MirsalisJon Mirsalis and Kevin Willmott at the Saturday afternoon discussion at the 19th Annual Kansas Silent Film FestivalBill Shaffer, festival director, thanks Jon and KevinMarvin Faulwell performs on Saturday evening during The Sea HawkDenise introduces Saturday evening movies to be shownJon Mirsalis at the podiumDenise celebrates silent films on Saturday eveningMusicians take a final stage bow
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The House In the concert hall Karl Mischler served as 16mm film projectionist. Lyle Waring is on Washburn University music department staff as Facility Technician II. He runs the concert hall and helps in every way with on-stage setup, sound and lighting for the entire duration of our festival. Trevor Jost and Karl Mischler helped Bill Shaffer with stage work also.

A tribute to Kansan and Washburn alumnus Claire TrevorStar cutout onstageBill Shaffer's DVD projection unitWallach, Coppola and Brownlow at the 2010 Governors AwardsMarvin Faulwell and the White Concert Hall organThe Battle of the Century, accompanied by Marvin FaulwellMarvin and the pipe organBuster Keaton in CollegeWhite Concert Hall organ, Washburn University Bob Keckeisen equipmentJim Reid, from TexasJeff Rapsis accompanies a movieWashburn staffer, Mike, helps Jane monitor audience participationJon's equipment is packedJon Mirsalis and his electronic keyboard

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Weather Another year of snow was on hand for the festival, starting on Saturday morning, February 28, 2015. We've had weather as a concern for several years in a row, but are locked into our last-Fr./Sat.-in-February schedule at Washburn University. Planners keep thinking, "Next year, odds are in our favor for good weather for this event." We keep dreaming it will be so...

a look to the southwest from lobby of White Concert HallView straight west from White Concert HallObserving the weather situationMain doors, White Concert HallView of Bradbury Thompson Alumni CenterSnow and parkingThe sidewalks stayed fairly clearMelanie hostesses the coffee bar

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Lobby Activity Chatting, shopping, relaxing and sharing in the lobby of White Concert Hall, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas. Our thanks go to P.T.'s Coffee House. They furnished hot coffee all day on Saturday afternoon, with donations accepted. Warm coffee was appreciated on a snowy day!
— Our thanks to Steve Richardson, John Kelso, Bill Shaffer, Bruce Calvert and Jim Reid for lobby display items!

Preparing the clapper-signLobby as seen from the balconyFor sale are movie books and filmsMarquee advertises Friday night showing of Harold Lloyd in Gramdma's BoyCostom dolls created at the time of filming The Birth of a NationCostom dolls created at the time of filming The Birth of a Nation BDenise's Douglas Fairbanks jewelry, created by Eryn MerwartMore Eryn Merwart jewelry for salePoster for Buster Keaton in CollegeClaire Windsor display close-up AClaire Windsor display close-up BClaire Windsor display close-up CClaire Windsor display close-up DBirth of a Nation display case close-up ABirth of a Nation display case close-up BEveing guests begin to congregateBruceCalvert chats with Steve RichardsonSteve Richardson at the Claire Windsor display caseTrevor welcomes guests at the doorfresh, warm coffee available all day on Saturdaychatting and networkingGuests troop in on SaturdayShopping and chattingViewing displays and restingClaire Windsor business cards were displayedLooking up at the lobby from beneathSaturday's crowd ASaturday's crowd BInteractingThe Birth of a Nation posterStill warm coffee is available on Saturday eveningPacking up on Satuday evening APacking up on Satuday evening B DVDs for sale of silent moviesPacking up on Satuday evening C

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7th Annual Cinema Dinner At this seventh annual Cinema Dinner attendees enjoyed good food, door prize give-aways, a welcome from the president of Washburn University, Dr. Jerry Farley, and a discussion by Jon Mirsalis about "Lost Films." The event was well attended, with many film fans finding good food and the trip back—and-fort-just across the street from the White Concert Hall lobby—to be very convenient. The festival committee appreaciates the support of attendees of each festival's Cincema Dinner!

Jon Mirsalis and the crew set up for Jon's presentation, to come after supper on Saturday eveningChecking the projection system for Jon's presentation Enid takes dinner ticketsJane Bartholomew takes dinner ticketsBill Shaffer escourts June WindscheffelMelanie Lawrence looks stunning in black gownCinema dinner patrons await their turns at the buffet tableLive music is provided at the event by Jeff RapsisJeff mugs for the cameraGood crowd for the Saturday evening Cinema DinnerPatrons have door prizes awaiting each of themMarvin Faulwell and Melanie Lawrence are decked out for the evening's celebrationMelanie welcomes dinner attendeesA view across the room at the Cinema DinnerRichard Brown and his ladyBill Shafafer welcomes guestsDressed as Carol Burnett as she parodies Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the WindBuffet line ABuffet line BJim Rhodes chats with Dr. & Mrs. Jerry FarleyDinner buffet, check out Trevor Jost in the backJon Mirsalis, special guiest, plus Dr. and Mrs. Jerry FarleyEating with a curtain rod across her shouldersA plate-fullJon draws door prize winning numbersOne winner accepts his giftDoor prize activityDoor prize winnerFinishing the mealDr. Jerry Farley, Washburn University president, welcomes guestsJon Mirsalis speaks AJon Mirsalis speaks DJon Mirsalis speaks BJon Mirsalis speaks C

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Fans Steadfast fans make planning and presenting each Kansas Silent Film Festival worth the work. This year we were pleased to have good attendance despite snows falling during the day on Saturday. The 2014-15 winter has been another long one. We extend our thanks to the many fans from Kansas and states north, south, east and west as far as both coasts and nation's northern and southern borders. All are welcome, and our event remains free to the public!

Barbara Brown Ryan celebrates door prize win with Jane BartholomewBill Shaffer with special guest Jon MirsalisJohn Kelso explains his love for silent filmHe brought his hand-cranked projector_______ with his projectorHand cranking the projectorFans ATrying on a t-shirtBill with __________Larry and ______ takes a camera shotBill Shaffer greats guests Trevor Jost greets guestsBill Shaffer greets more guestsJim Rhodes, Regan Murray, Jon Mirsalis, Marge Murray and unknownUnknown, with Jane Bartholomew and Trevor JostBill Shaffer with John KelsoKeith GoeringBill Shaffer, Keith Goering and Denise MorrisonJohn Kelso talks with JaneAwaiting arrive of afternoon crowdBetween featuresGetting a move on____ with John KelsoHerb Miller talks with Enid StendebachLouise LangbergRegan Murray at evening's ending

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Larry's Selfies Larry Stendebach comes each year from Hannibal, MO, with his wife, Enid, to help with our festival. Each year he brings his camera and many photos on this page are shared by Larry. Below is a special group of photos Larry took with some special guests and dedicated attendees...photos for us all to enjoy.

Larry and friends at Bobo's drive-inLarry and wife, EnidLarry with Jeff Rapsis, guest musician Larry with Jon Mirsalis, guest speaker and musicanLarry with Barbara Lerma, festival supporterLarry with Louise Langberg, down from Minnesota, and wife, Enid Larry, Jane, Enid and LouiseLarry with Marj Murray, hopitality staff memberLarry with Herb Miller, festival guest from Kansas City

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Staff Staff devoting their time and efforts for the 2015 festival were Denise Morrison, Bill Shaffer, Jane Bartholomew, Karl Mischler, Trevor Jost, Larry & Enid Stendebach, Lyle Waring, Jim Rhodes, Marvin Faulwell, Jeff & Susan Rapsis, Carol Yoho, Melanie Lawrence, Nancy Lawrence, Marj and Ragen Murray, Steve Richardson, Bruce Calvert and Jim Reid. Many thanks to our dedicated staff and assistants!

Festival staff includes Bill Shaffer, Larry Stendeback, Carol Yoho,m Denise Morrison, Enid Stendebach, Melanie Lawrence, Karl Mischler and Trevor JostEnid, Denise, Jane, Karl, MelanieKarl loves the BOTN dollsJim Rhodes, festival founderDenise, Enid, Melanie and KarlJane Bartholomew and Karl's cameraJane, Larry and EnidEnid sorts t-shirts to help a customerKarl Mischler and projectorKarl and projector in White Concert Hall as he readies for performanceLyle Waring, auditorium manager, with Bill Shaffer, our fearless leaderMarvin rehurses at Washburn pipe organMusician Jeff Rapsis, on a breakTevor Jost greets guestsBobk Keckeisen, festival percussionist, on breakKarl Mischler and Jane Bartholomew Denise Morrison and Karl MischlerJane and EnidBill Shaffer, our fearless leaderKarl Mischler, projectionistKarl Mischler, Budist Enid and Larry Stendebac hMike Sershen, Washburn maintenance staffJeff and Susan Rapsis/Carol Yoho, Tevor Jost, Melanie Lawrence and Karl MischlnerMelanie Lawrence and Karl MischlerKarl Mischler and Bill Shaffer

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Volunteers Melanie Lawrence is our Board of Directors Volunteer Chair. Melanie and the entire board would like to thank this year's volunteers who helped our staff by answering questions, selling merchandise, counting attendance arrivals, greeting fans and passing out programs. Thank you, 2015 KSFF volunteers!

Marj and Melanie populate the product tablesSusan Rapsis and Melanie LawrenceRegan Murray, Trevor Jost and Melanie LawrenceNancy Lawrence, Jane Bartholomew, Karl Mischler, Enid Stendebach and, seated, Marj MurrayEnid Stendebach and _________

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Meals Out Bobo's Drive-In and beyond...

Jon, Susan, Jim and CarolBill, Enid and KarlKarl snaps photosKarl at corner boothLarry and EnidLarry and Enid 2Carol Yohoi, Denise Morrison and Bill ShafferInterior, Boblo's Drive-In Larry, Enid, Jane, Trevor, Melanie, Carol and BillJane Bartholomew, Trevor Jost and Melanie LawrenceJon Mirsalis, Jeff Rapsis, Susan Rapsis and Jim RhodesJeff RapsisDenise Morrison and Bill ShafferSteve Robertson, helping this year from Cawker City KansasBobo's homemade cherry pie, no ice creamBobo's t-shirtAfternoon break, White Concert Hall lobbyAfterglow, Best Western on Fairlawn AAfterglow, Best Western on Fairlawn BGoodbye breakfast at Capitol Plaza, Topeka AGoodbye breakfast at Capitol Plaza, Topeka BEnid, Larry, Herb and Nancy

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Extras Musical talent branched into the community in 2015, including Jeff Rapsis playing for Chaplin's THE RINK at Auburn Elementary School, Jon Mirsalis playing at Carroll Chapel on the Washburn campus for Mass Media college majors, and Marvin Faulwell playing at Topeka's Landon Middle School.

Jeff Rapsis performs at Auburn Elementary SchoolBill Shaffer introduces Jeff Rapsis and Charlie Chaplin in The RinkAbout 500 Auburn Elementary students prepare to see a silent film with live accompanimentCharlie Chaplin in The Rink, accompanied by Jeff RapsisJon Mirsalis plays at Washburn University's Carroll ChapelJon Mirsalis spoke to college communications majorsJon Mirsalis at grand pianoiJon Mirsalis and Washburn University students