2017 KSFF movie collage


Denise Morrison, film commentator

Live Musical Accompaniment by:
Ben Model,
piano and organ
Marvin Faulwell, organ
Bob Keckeisen, percussion
Jeff Rapsis, piano

Special Guest:
Dr. Harriet Fields, granddaughter of W.C. Fields , who introduced W.C. Fields films and shared memories at 2017 Cinema Dinner

Sergio Delgado
signed copies of his Pola Negri biography and introduced Barbed Wire

21st Annual Kansas Silent Film Festival, February 24 & 25, 2017

Held February 24 - 25, 2017, 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

2017 Festival Comments:

Brian Sanders
—Topeka, KS:
My wife and I have been coming to KSFF every year since 2012 and we're both wondering why we haven't discovered it sooner! We hope it goes on and on because rain, shine, sleet, snow or tornado - or whatever - we plan to be there year after year. [Brian volunteered after contacting us, and was an important help in putting on our 2017 celebration.

Want to volunteer for 2018? Contact us at ksffvolunteer@gmail.com

Jason Boles
—Kansas City:
Kudos on another outstanding festival! The talent, guests, films, Cinema-Dinner, and overall experience was in one word INCREDIBLE. Next year can't get here quick enough!

Keith Goering
—Iola, KS:
Kudos to you and your workers for an exemplary event this past weekend. One of your best.

Richard "Alex" Alexander
—Topeka, KS:
It was wonderful once again. Many thanks. One of my guests, an old banking colleague drove in from Oklahoma City. He has done this for the last several years and always thoroughly enjoys the experience. We both were enchanted with "Barbed Wire" with Pola Negri. It was the best of the lot.

Dr. Harriet Fields
—Fairfield, CT:
Dear dear Bill and your KSFF Team,
  Thank You so very very much for such a treasured time at KSFF. What a jewel the KSFF and Washburn U. are in the middle of the country, nationally, and internationally as well.
  I always embrace the opportunity to share the art through humor of my grandfather, for W.C. Fields comforts the human condition through the joy of his work and being. He helps all of us get through the day. The closing comment on Saturday night by a member of the audience in the back [John Kelso, Wichita, KS], not a question, but a comment to me sums it all up, Do we realize how much love and happiness W.C. Fields brought and continues to bring the world. That says it all and I am deeply grateful to the KSFF in honoring W.C. Fields, my grandfather, in 2017.
  The committed teamwork you have inspired is a ballet to behold. Thank you for the opportunity to share my insights into the spirit, character, and being of my grandfather, my spiritual inspiration, and what he means to me, and W.C. Fields' timeless gifts to the world. I particularly love telling the story through the films, as W.C. Fields did of his life. As you know, am committed to continue to share in all venues throughout our small global community.
  Brother Allen thanks you for the Happy Birthday chorus at the special dinner. How generous, touching and loving of all. It was indeed a humble privilege to share my interpretation of my grandfather with the wonderful KSFF audiences – the films and at the dinner, which I loved doing.
  Please do not hesitate to let me know if there is anything I can do to help the cause of the KSFF and your great work. The role of KSFF and Washburn University in the community, WU public television station, and KPR are jewels that enhance our quality of life and what it means to be human.
  Please feel free to share this deep and heartfelt Thank You.
Warmest regards always to all with love,
Harriet Fields

Carol Yoho
—Topeka, KS:
I've been to all 21 of the Kansas Silent Film Festivals. I've loved every one of them, but particularly enjoyed this year's event. Besides seeing many longtime friends from all over the country and seeing the hard work of the staff, musicians and special guests in pulling off the event, I particularly enjoyed seeing thirteen films--ONLY ONE OF WHICH I'D SEEN BEFORE: The Boat, starring Buster Keaton. My new favorites included the comedy short Crazy Like a Fox, starring Charley Chase, and my first-ever-seen Pola Negri feature film, Barbed Wire. All the music was fantastic: special musician guest Ben Model, and regulars Jeff Rapsis, Marvin Faulwell and Bob Keckeisen! The Cinema Dinner was delicious, and I enjoyed the variety of opportunities to hear Dr. Harriet Fields share memories about her grandfather, W.C. Fields.
  I send special thanks to Lyle Waring and Mike Sershen, both on the Washburn University White Concert Hall staff, and all volunteers who greeted attendees and managed the lobby tables of merchandise. Also, I send thanks to your projection help: you, Karl Mischler, Jim Reid and Bruce Calvert.
  Free punch and cookies, served at the mid-afternoon intermission, was a nice surprise at the FREE EVENT. I also enjoyed warm coffee shared by P.T.'s Coffee Shop.
  Looking forward to more festivals, more movies and more friends in 2018!

John Kelso
—Wichita, KS:
Harriet's comments just help to reinforce this: It just goes to prove that good entertainment never dies.

Marcy Tintera
—Lincoln, NE
"Thank you" just doesn't seem enough to say to you, all those on your committee, and to all the volunteers that plan and execute the Kansas Silent Film Festival each year. We appreciate all the hard work and effort that is necessary to bring all these wonderful films to us. With my attendance this year, I can say that I've been to exactly half of them. I really enjoyed the Pola Negri film, "Barbed Wire" and would love to see more of her films. Thanks again, Bill, Committee, and Volunteers!

Jackie Gfeller & Robert Cole
—Brock, NE
Dear Bill and wonderful staff of organizers and volunteers:
   Well, the festival came of age this year! The music was perfect, the selection of films...superb, and the dinner was back to its usual divine delight. The speaker was easily heard and showed relevant clips. The smiles on the faces of all of the helpers were welcoming and warming! Perfect!
   Absolutely perfect!
Thank you all for all you do to make this event such a success. It is no small amount of work or energy. We all come and see all the movies, and you all work your tail-feathers off for our joy! Such a selfless and giving group I have never before encountered!
   Bill, enclosed is our donation for next year. Hopefully it will give you a starter for something special you all want to do. Let me know when you need dinner numbers. I hope to have more next year! We were a small group this year!
   The weekend of the KSFF is the one and only event that my husband and I put on our calendar in ink. No one touches it. Everyone knows that we will be 'out of town.' It gives us and our friends a place to gather for something special and unique. It bridges generations and our youngest one will be 9 this year. We hope to have him as well as our college student back with us again next year.
   Thank you again, for all you do! God bless you all!

Special thanks to these major donors for help with the 2017 festival:
Washburn University



Capital-Journal article

21st Annual Festival
— read the article published
in Topeka Capital-Journal,

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Set-up On-site work at Washburn University began on Friday afternoon. Many items were unloaded and carried into the lobby from veheciles by our staff, who live in Topeka, as well as many helpers from other spots in Kansas and all over the nation...as is usual. Sales items included 21st Anniversary t-shirts, movie jewelry, DVD, CDs and more. We set one display case of silent film collectibles, brought from Texas by fan Bruce Calvert. Another display case showed collectibles focused on silent actree Pola Negri, shared by guest Sergio Delgado, who introduced Negri Saturday afternoon in the movie Barbed Wire and signed copies of his biography of Negri in our lobby on Saturday afternoon. A third display case featured W.C. Fields collectables, shared by Steve Crum, Kansas City film critic. We also showed movie posters and displayed (and sold) a number of movie star stand-up cut-outs!

Beginning to cover tablesSilent movie star magnets for saleSilent movie star pins, plus jewelryMealnie puts out jewelrySue watches over merchandise tablesKarl Mischler, with new van-rental and dress clothingKarl Mischler and van2017 KSFF t-shirts, sizes S through XXLJane, Enid and Sue set out merchandiseBrian Sanders climbs the ladder while Larry and Sue steady itBrian Sanders on the White Concert Hall porch roofBrian Sanders on the White Concert Hall porch roof, as seen from aboveBrian climbs down the ladder, job DONE!Kansas Silent Film Festival banner is in place2017 festival logo and feature postersSetting out partsW.C. Fields collectables, shared by Steve CrumLobby desks as seen from aboveSilent movie collectables, in space shared by Bruce Calvert and Sergio Delgado Display Case BPieces on display in Case BPromotional poster for Pola Negri in "Barbed Wire"It's the Old Army Game poster on display in White Concert Hall lobbyFilm projectors shared by Jim Reid and Bruce CalvertDVD projectionist Karl Mischler assists at the theatre organ while Ben Model rehursesLobby space as seen from lower levelVoluteer help adds finishing touches to set-upSet up and ready for festival guestsPhyllis Campbell stays on duty while others take a work-breakLon Caney as Phantom of the Opera is offered for sale

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On-stage Talent Film Historian Denise Morrison introduced our films from the stage. Live music was provided this year by special musical guest Ben Model, who accompanied films on both the house organ and on piano. Jeff Rapsis (piano), Marvin Faulwell (organ), Bob Keckeisen (percussion). Festival director Bill Shaffer introduced Saturday morning schedule. Bill and Karl Mischler of New York City, were seen often onstage as they ran occassional DVD projection. Guests from Texas Jim Reid and Bruce Calvert assisted the festival by running film projectors for movies shown on film. Our special guest was Dr. Harriet Fields, granddaughter of comedic actor W.C. Fields. She introduced the Fields' feature It's the Old Army Game on Friday night and So's Your Old Man on Saturday night. She also signed copies of her biography of W.C. Fields in the lobby on Saturday. Sergio Delgado introduced the Pola Negri movie on Saturday afternoon, Barbed Wire.

Dr. Harriet Fields beside W.C. Fields features postersDr. Harriet Fields with KSFF president Bill ShafferHarriet, Bill and KSFF logo and postersBen Model takes a bow after performing music live for a movie featureBen Model's snazzy shoesBob Keckeisen and his percussion equipmentBob Keckeisen and Marvin Faulwell take a oow after performingJeff Rapsis, Larry Stendebach and Ben Model

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The Event In the concert hall Jim Reid and Bruce Calvert served as 16mm film projectionists. 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. Karl Mischler helped Bill Shaffer with stage stage set-up and with DVD projection. Technicans helped our special guests and musical talent carry off our showing of thirteen film over the period of Friday evening and all day on Saturday.

Marvin Faulwell, organ, and Bob Keckeisen, percussionKarl Michler runs DVD projectorBill Shaffer welcomes Saturday morning attendeesBruce Calvert helps run film projectorsDenise Morrison introduces nearly all films shownDr. Harriet Fields ADr. Harriet Fields BJeff Rapsis waits his turn to accompany a filmW.C. Fields in It's the Old Army GameLouise Brooks co-starred in It's the Old Army GameBill Shaffer runs the DVD projectorCrazy Like a Fox, Charley Chase ACrazy Like a Fox, Charley Chase BCrazy Like a Fox, Charley Chase CCrazy Like a Fox, Charley Chase DSergio Delgado introduces Barbed Wire, starring Pola NegriBarbed Wire, with Pola Negrievening attendeesDr. Harriet Fields CMarvin Faulwell at the organMusicians take a final Friday night bowKarl Michler and Bill Shaffer dance briefly onstageDenise Morrison introduces Saturday evening moviesThe Boat, with Buster Keaton AThe Boat, with Buster Keaton BMarvin Faulwell and Bob Keckeisen take bows after perfomringDr. Harriet Fields DMarvin Fauwell spins off his theatre organ seatFinal Saturday evening musician and special guests bow AFinal Saturday evening musician and special guests bow BFinal Saturday evening musician and special guests bow CJim Reid packs up film projection equipmentJim Reid

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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. Of special interest was our 21st Anniversary cookies-and-punch celebration in mid-afternoon on Saturday. Special thanks to Marj and Reagan Murray for making party arrangements!

Evening breakRichard Brown holds the door for Denise MorrisonEnid Stendebach  helps Jim Erickson (Wichita, KS) and Jim Lane (Sacramento, CA) Keith Goering sits between Buster Keaton and Lousie LangbergRichard Brown greets attendees at the outside doorLouise Langberg (St. Paul, MN) and Ron Pesch (Muskegon, Michigan) at booth run by Enid StendebachMelanie helps Louise shopAttendees enjoy display case showingMerchandise BMerchandise CJim Lane (Sacramento, CA) helps himself to Classic Bean coffeeOutdoor view, White Concert Hall, Saturday afternoonSaturday afternoon lobby breakNancy Lawrence, Ragen Murray and Marj Murray host break treatsTreats table, Saturday afternoon movie break ATreats table, Saturday afternoon movie break BVideo salesDr. Harriet Fields with Herb Miller ADr. Harriet Fields with Herb Miller BDr. Harriet Fields with Herb Miller CDr. Harriet Fields with Herb Miller DMerchandise DSergio Delgado signs books ASergio Delgado signs books BSergio Delgado signs books CIn line for Sergio Delgado book signing are Carla Bartunek (Irving, TX), Blair Tarr (Topeka, KS) and Vergil Noble (Ashland, NE) Checking inventoryLobby helpers Enid Stendebach and Brian SandersDr. Harriet Fields chats in lobby ADr. Harriet Fields chats in lobby BBuster Keaton and Herb MillerKSFF president Bill Shaffer greets Care Wallingford (Ashland, Nebraska)Jim Reid and Ben Model pose with W.C. Fields memorabiliaCarol Yoho shares story about KSFF from the Topeka Capital-Journal with Carla Bartunek (Irving, Texas), Larry Stendebach and Dr. Harriet Fields
Evening crowd gathers AEvening crowd gathers BDr. Harriet Fields and Gary Pratt sign copies of Gary's W.C. Fields drawing to be given to dinner guestsDr. Harriet Fields signs copies of her book about her grandfather, W.C. Fields. In line are Blair Tarr (Topeka, KS), Richard Allen Brown (Topeka, KS), and Vergil Noble (Ashland, NE)Richard AllenBrown talks with Dr. Harriet FieldsDr. Harriet Fields signs books

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9th Annual Cinema Dinner At this nineth annual Cinema Dinner attendees enjoyed good food, door prize give-aways. Special guest Dr. Harriet Fields spoke about her grandfather, W.C. Fields. The event was well attended, with fans scurrying just across the street from the White Concert Hall lobby—very convenient. The festival committee appreaciates the support of attendees of each festival's Cincema Dinner!

Enid Stendebach greets dinner patronsJane Bartholomew greets dinner patronsDoors open for Annual Cinema Dinner Supporters arrive ASupporters arriving include Gail Trottier (Lawrence, KS) on left and Mick Ranney (Lawrence, KS) on rightSupporters arrive BSupporters include Jim Van Sickle (Topeka), ____, and Richardand Jane Bartholomew (Overland Park, KS)Supporters include Kieth Goering Supporters arrive CJune Windschefel and escort, GarrettMusic by Alexandra Kovach, harpistDinners are seated as sun setsSeated diners ASeated diners BSeated diners CSupper buffet line ASupper buffet line BSupper buffet line CBen Model, Beverly Campbell and Sue RapsisSerious dinnerSupper buffet line DSupper buffet line DDiner Jeff RapsisSupper buffet line EBill Shaffer and Dr. Harriet Fields in dinner lineBill Shaffer and Dr. Harriet FieldsAtrium lighting is glass art by Washburn alum Jon KuhnDinner meal at tableBill Shaffer welcomes dinersBecky and Bill ShafferEric Grayson and Glory June (Indiana) Kelly and Mark Kitchens (Dallas, Texas)Settling in for programEvening sky AEvening sky BWashburn president Jerry Farley welcomes guestsWashburn president Jerry FarleyTable decoration, Lousie BrooksTable decoration, Charlie ChaplinTable decoration, Buster KeatonTable decoration, W.C. FieldsBill starts announcing door prize winners ABill starts announcing door prize winners BFramed poster for So's Your Old Man, Sat. evening feature movie Custom-made movie star pillow by Carla Bartunek features Laurel and HardyRichard Brown won this door prizeDinner tables ADinner tables BDinner tables CDinner tables DDinner tables EDinner tables FDinner tables GDinner tables HDinner tables IDinner tables JDinner overview ADinner overview BFestival musicians take a bowHostess Denise Morrison waves to crowdHonored guest Dr. Harriet FieldsW.C. Fields projected on the screenDr. Harriet Fields takes of her grandfather ADr. Harriet Fields takes of her grandfather BDr. Harriet Fields takes of her grandfather C

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Fans Steadfast fans make planning and presenting each Kansas Silent Film Festival worth the work. 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!

Bill Shaffer greets Sam Knecht (Wichita, KS)Louise LangbergFans check out display in caseMark & Kelly Kitchens (Dallas, TX) / Gary & Kellee Pratt (Lawrence, KS)Karl Mischler shows guests the shot he got of themEric Grayson shares films with KSFF. Thank you, Eric!Jane Bartholomew with Walt KennedyKeith Goering, Carol Yoho and Louise Langberg with Buster KeatonKeith Goering, from Iola, KS, with John Kelso, Wichita, KSLouise Langberg and Carol YohoCarol's step-son, Stuart, with Stuart's grandson, Joel. This was Joel's first visit to KSFF.David Graham (Kansas City), Jane Bartholomew, and Kellee Pratt (Lawrence, KS)A young fan gets movie star necklace Larry Stendebach and Barbara LermaLarry Stendebach and Phil Figgsfrom left: Robin Figgs, Phil Figgs, Carol Bunnings and Gil Bunnings

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Staff Staff devoting their time and efforts for the 2017 21sth Annual Kansas Silent Film Festival were Denise Morrison, Bill Shaffer, Jane Bartholomew, Karl Mischler, Larry & Enid StendebaFestival favorite Phil Figgs visits again in 2017. We love seeing Phil!ch, Lyle Waring (manager of White Concert Hall), Mike Sershen (Washburn maintenance staff), Jim Rhodes, Marvin Faulwell, Jeff & Susan Rapsis, Carol Yoho, Melanie Lawrence, Nancy Lawrence, Marj and Regan Murray, Bruce Calvert and Jim Reid. Many thanks to our dedicated staff and assistants!

Karl E. Mischler Jr. points to His Royal Highness Bill ShafferJim Reid and Bruce Calvert did film projection in 2017Jane Bartholomew creates a selfie with volunteer Brian SandersKarl Mischler and Denise MorrisonJim Rhodes and Carol YohoMelanie Lawrence on display in the lobbyNancy Lawrence with guest musician Ben ModelEdnid and Larry StendebachMarj and Ragen Murray Lyle Waring will retire this spring. Thanks for years of help, Lyle!Mike Sershen, Washburn maintenance staff AMusician Jeff Rapsis with board member Nancy LawrenceBill Shaffer enjoys the grin of pet dog of Melanie LawrenceJane Bartholomew and Jim RhodesKarl E. Mischler Jr. enjoys P.T.'s CoffeeMike Sershen, Washburn maintenance staff BJane Bartholomew with Mike SershenLarry & Enid StendebachRagen Murray chats with Jeff RapsisLarry Stendebach, Karl Mischler and Bill ShafferStendebach, Mischler and Shaffer are exhaustedBill Shaffer and Jane BartholomewBill Shaffer takes a quick break

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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, 2017 KSFF volunteers!

Susan RapsisRichard Allen Brown and Roberta Dodie Richard Allem Brown and Roberta Dodie againBill Shaffer and Brian SandersCake servers ACake servers BCake server Regan Murray

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In Memoriam:
David Shepard

David Shepard (1940-2017)
   David first appeared at the KSFF in 2006 for our tenth anniversary. He returned in 2009, 2011 and 2016. He was always available to talk to fans and patrons who appreciated his work as a film preservationist. Since his first visit we relied on David to bring us unusual, rare and sometimes never-before-seen material unearthed during his own work in preserving films. He rarely charged us a dime for his film prints and was always concerned about making our event look great. We will miss him dearly...

We gratefully dedicate this festival to David Shepard (1940-2017)

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at KANU radio
On Thursday morning KSFF Special Guests Ben Model and Dr. Harriet Fields appeared live on KANU Public Radio in Lawrence, KS. The two were accompanied on their excursion by KSFF presdient Bill Shaffer and by festival photographer Karl E. Mischler Jr., in Kansas from New York City. Ben played music on the studio's piano and both Ben and Harriet talked to the program's host. Our thanks go to KANU for taking the time to help us promote the 22nd annual festival!
— Listen to Bill Shaffer, Ben Model and Dr. Harriet Fields speaking and performing live on KANU on Thursday morning: February 24, 2017 (26:21 min.)

Ben Model sets up grand piano Ben Model plays KANU paino liveBen Model and the grand pianoSetting up microphonesBill Shaffer, Dr. Harriet Fields and a photo biography of Fields' grandfather, W.C. FieldsBen speaks on radioBill Shaffer speaks on radioBill Shaffer, Ben Model, KANU host Darrell Brogdon, Dr. Harriet FieldsGroup at live broadcast pianoDr. Harriet Fields speaks of her grandfather, W.C. Fields

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at WIBW television
On Thursday afternoon KSFF Special Guests Ben Model and Dr. Harriet Fields appeared live on WIBW Channel 13 live television in Topeka, KS. The two were accompanied on is excursion also by KSFF presdient Bill Shaffer and by festival photographer Karl E. Mischler Jr., in Kansas from New York City. The local live program is know as "On the Red Couch," and the program's host is Ralph Hipp. Segments included a one-on-one discussion with Dr. Fields about her grandfather, W.C. Fields, and a discussion about the event to come with both Harriet and Ben. Our thanks go to WIBW-TV for taking the time to help us promote the 21st annual festival!
Watch Dr. Harriet Fields share memories with Ralph Hipp on The Red Couch.
Watch film clip & musical accompaniment & conversation on The Red Couch.

Entering WIBW-TV stationThe Red Couch setDr. Harriet Fields talks with host Ralph HippMore converstion, Dr. Harriet Filelds and Ralph HippRalph Hipp holds up W.C. Fields statueBen Model joins Dr. Harriet Fields and Ralph Hipp on The Red CouchSharing information about the 21st Annual Kansas Silent Film Festival

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Meals on-the-go The many out-of-town guests talent and helpers for this event meet early and late for special meals as the organized, set-up and, later, took down equipment, displayed items and merchandise made available for this event. Our thanks to all talent and helper for their efforts and comradery.

Jon, Susan, Jim and CarolBill, Enid and KarlKarl snaps photosKarl at corner boothLarry and EnidLarry and Enid 2Karl at corner boothLarry and Enid
Larry and Enid 2

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