Tomorrow sees the publication of William Haggar: Fairground Film-maker (Accent Press), by Peter Yorke. Yorke is the great-grandson of William Haggar, fairground entertainment and pioneer of Welsh cinema, whose energetic dramas such as A Desperate Poaching Affray (1903) and The Life of Charles Peace (1905) were hugely popular in their time and are treasured by early film historians now. Yorke’s biography draws on oral reminiscences, unpublished family memoirs and contemporary press reports to tell the rags-to-riches story of a travelling theatrical who became one of Britain’s select band of pioneer film-makers. The Bioscope understands that the mispelling of Haggar’s name on the book cover being publicised on Amazon has been corrected since…
The Northeast Historic Film Summer Symposium will be held in Maine on 20-21 July, under the title Time Out: Images of Play and Leisure. The symposium will focus on moving images that offer a new historical, cultural, and critical understanding of play and leisure, focusing on images of play and leisure made by amateurs and for noncommercial purposes. The programme of events includes several subjects relevant to silent cinema and pre-cinema. Peter Morelli’s talk “A Night at the Moving Pictures – Before Cinema” looks at pre-cinema entertainments such as the magic lantern and the diorama; Martin Johnson looks at home movies of the 1920s-40s and the intriguing subject of people who turn their faces away from the camera; Ishumael Zinyengere looks at the work of Burton Holmes, pioneer producer of travelogues (he coined the term); Mark Neumann looks at early films of the Grand Canyon. An excellent programme which demonstrates the value of looking at amateur film from the silent film era quite as much as the commercial. More details from the festival web page.
Early film and pre-cinema publishers The Projection Box have announced a new award for essays on projected and moving images to 1915. The aims of this award are to encourage new research and new thinking into any historical, artistic or technical aspect of projected and moving images up to 1915; and to promote engaging, accessible, and imaginative work. The first prize of £250 is for an essay of between 5,000 and 8,000 words (including notes).
The deadline for entries is 18 January 2008. The winning essay will also be published in an issue of Early Popular Visual Culture (Routledge). At the discretion of the judges, two runners-up will each receive books and CD-Roms of their choice (published by The Projection Box), to the value of £100.
The award is open to all. Although the judges welcome international submissions, all essays must be in English. Each applicant may submit up to two essays. Work must be the author’s own, and must not have been previously published. There is no time limit on when the work was originally written. Co-authored essays can be accepted. Authors are encouraged to provide appropriate accompanying illustrations, as the winning essay will be published in Early Popular Visual Culture, an illustrated journal. Permissions will need to be sought by the author before publication of the winning entry. Notes and references must be included. Read the guidelines for the required method for referencing your text.
For further information, visit www.pbawards.co.uk.