Whisper it quietly, but Scotland’s only festival dedicated to silent film is back! The Hippodrome Silent Film Festival – affectionately known as HippFest – returns to Bo’ness next month for its 10th iteration.

From the 18th to the 22nd of March, the country’s oldest purpose-built cinema (which recently scooped the ‘Best Venue for Silent Film’ award at the Silent London Poll) will host a feast of soundless cinematic delights.

The extravaganza kicks off in madcap fashion on the eve of the fest with a Tuesday morning custard pie fight, as you do. In an homage to Laurel and Hardy and other pie-flingers of their ilk, local schoolchildren will welcome all-comers for a messy fun time.

The festival proper kicks off the following day with an opening night screening of Dawn, while other highlights from the cinematic programme include:

  • The Mask of Zorro (the headliner in this year’s Friday Gala, at which attendees are encouraged to don their own Zorro costumes)
  • An international smorgasbord of movies on the Saturday showcasing films from France, Germany and China, among others
  • A screening of the lavish drama City Girl, accompanied by a live performance from Mark Kermode’s skiffle band The Dodge Brothers (with Neil Brand) on the Saturday night
  • A Laurel and Hardy triple bill on the Sunday, featuring Duck Soup, Two Tars and Liberty
  • Celebrated actor Paul McGann undertaking a live narration of the classic L’Homme du Large in the Closing Night Gala

That’s just a taster of the treats in store – for a proper gander at the full programme, head on over to the HippFest website. As well as downloading the brochure and finding out logistical information, you can also guarantee your spot at any screening of your choosing by booking those all-important tickets.

Don’t forget your jam jar!