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Arts / Gilbertson documentary one of the highlights of silent film festival

The Rugged Island - A Shetland Lyric (1933). Image: Courtesy of National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive

ONE OF the gems of Shetland film making will feature in the 14th Hippodrome Silent Film festival, held in Bo’ness near Falkirk, between 20 and 24 March.

The Rugged Island: A Shetland Lyric is one of Jenny Gilbertson’s classics from 1933 and will be shown on the opening day. It will also be streamed online.

Described as a “poignant ‘story documentary’ about crofting families in Shetland” the film will be presented with a new music commission by award-winning multi-instrumentalist and composer Inge Thomson and leading fiddler player Catriona Macdonald.

Festival organisers said the film was a “tender and beautiful dramatisation of Shetland life [that] surpasses the bounds of both fiction and non-fiction filmmaking”.

Over a five day period, the Hippfest as it has become known, will present a line-up of silent films from around the world with live musical accompaniment plus talks, workshops and an exhibition.

HippFest director Alison Strauss said: “HippFest is proud to have grown a real community of people who share an adventurous appetite for extraordinary cinema and live music.

“I am particularly thrilled that this year we have been chosen as the festival to host the world premiere of the prestigious new restoration of The Wind from New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and I am over the moon that we have secured the means to commission a new accompaniment for Jenny Gilbertson’s rarely screened Scottish masterpiece The Rugged Island for the exceptionally talented Inge Thomson and Catriona Macdonald.”

The full programme, including how to watch online, can be found here.

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