As the bitter winds sweep down direct from the North Pole, and the first Winter snows settle upon the roof of Bioscope Towers, it is time to look to new hopes for the new year, and the return of the Bioscope Festival of Lost Films. Yes, it’s a year since we startled a complacent film world with the very first festival of lost films. Other festivals will show you newly-made films, classic films, obscure films, films you know well and films you’ve never heard of – only the Bioscope Festival of Lost Films will exhibit films that were shown once but can be seen no more.
The festival will follow the pattern last year, with some innovations. Over five days, we will feature five silent films that, so far as our researchers are able to determine, no longer exist. Each will come with a programme of extras, such as short films, guest interviews and so on. Each will be shown in a venue that was once a cinema but is now dedicated to other business. There will be appropriate live accompaniment from some noted silent music practitioners of the past. As before, it is not possible to announce what any of the films to be shown will be. Partly this is to maintain the element of surprise, partly because the most stringent efforts need to be taken right up to the last minute to ensure than none of the films on show does, in some far-flung corner of the film archive world, exist.
The festival will take place 5-9 January 2009. Please cancel all other engagements. A year ago we had excellent participation from the Bioscopists, who very much got into the spirit of things, though none quite so much as the person who became so enthused that he asked if his own work could be considered for a future festival. The idea of producing films that are lost before they are even made (the dreams that never made it to celluloid reality) is for another festival, at another time. These are the films that were once, and are no more.
As before, the Bioscope Festival of Lost Films is dedicated to the anonymous person who visited this blog with the search request “lost films download”. We must all continue to live with such hopes.