Photo of BIMA’s Frank Buxton Silent Film Festival Returns with 8 Films Accompanied by Live Music

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. – Bainbridge Island Museum of Art in collaboration with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival (SFSFF) is proud to present the return of the Frank Buxton Silent Film Festival, a three-day cinematic excursion exploring the pleasures, history, and lost art of silent film. Spanning classic comedies, dramatic features, and rare cinematic treats, these film classics are brought to life with live piano or ensemble accompaniment and original scores. Selected to draw attention to the powerful chemistry that exists between the cinematic image and music, these offerings are outstanding examples of how musical scoring can be more powerful than dialogue, imbuing the cinematic material with rich significance and expression. The Frank Buxton Film Festival takes place Friday, September 15 through Sunday, September 17 in BIMA’s Buxton Auditorium located at 550 Winslow Way East, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110. Tickets are on sale now at

The Festival is a tribute to Frank Buxton, a longtime champion, advocate and appreciator of the arts. During his lifetime, Frank made significant contributions in film, television, comedy, and theater. Beyond his own contributions, Frank was a consummate champion, advocate, historian, and fan of the work of other artists. He was particularly delighted in sharing special work with others, increasing their understanding and appreciation of adventurous, excellent, and innovative cinematic works.

Returning after a COVID-19 hiatus, this year’s Festival is curated by Buxton’s friend and frequent creative partner John Ellis with help from musician, composer, and arts advocate Andrew Joyslyn, and collaboration from the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. The Frank Buxton Silent Film Festival is made possible through support from Capital Group Private Client Services, Perkins Coie, and VWC CPAs & Business Managers.


September 15, 7:00pm
Earth (1930 NR 83 min. Russian and English subtitles)

This film by Ukrainian director Oleksandr Dovzhenko concerns the process of collectivization and the hostility of kulak landowners under the First Five-Year Plan in the Soviet Union. It is the third film, with Zvenigora and Arsenal, of Dovzhenko’s “Ukraine Trilogy” and is considered one of the greatest films ever made. Earth begins with the death of a grandfather, which leads to tumultuous times for his son Opanas and grandson Vasily. When wealthy landowners appropriate the land of farmers, Vasily, influenced by communism, leads a youth movement to form collectivized farming in Ukraine. Live accompaniment by Michael Owcharuk.

September 16, 1:00pm
The Black Pirate (1926 92min)

Our tribute to the Saturday matinees of yesteryear, join us for swashbuckling action on the high seas. Starring Douglas Fairbanks, and shot in color! Live accompaniment by Gideon Freudemann.

September 16, 3:00pm
Two-Reel Comedies Triple Feature

Laugh with the legends of silent film in this gut-splitting triple feature: Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle in The Cook (1918), Laurel and Hardy in The Finishing Touch (1928), and Charlie Chase in Fluttering Hearts (1927). Live accompaniment by Dr. Andrew Shields.

September 16, 7:00pm
Our Hospitality (1923 1h5min)

Since it’s in honor of Buxton, we gotta have a Buster! A man (Buster Keaton) returns to his Appalachian homestead. On the trip, he falls for a young woman—the only problem is that her family has vowed to kill every member of his family. Filled with amazing stunts, come see why Buster Keaton was a Buxton favorite. Live accompaniment by Dr. Andrew Shields.

September 17, 3:00pm
The Shakedown (1928 65min)

Dave Roberts (James Murray) is a professional boxer who is part of a group who sets up corrupt boxing matches. Dave’s life on the margins changes after he meets a mother and son. As he begins to care for them, he must decide to continue in his low-life ways or turn the tables on those who have forced him to participate in them. Live accompaniment by Miles and Karina.

September 17, 7:00pm
Beggars of Life (1928 1h24min)

After killing her treacherous step-father, a girl (Louise Brooks) tries to escape the country with a young vagabond (Richard Arland). Disguised as a boy, they hop freight trains, quarrel with hobos, and steal a car in their attempt to escape the police and reach Canada. Live accompaniment by BC Campbell.

For tickets, go to

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Bainbridge Island Museum of Art inspires curiosity, wonder, and understanding by connecting people with the contemporary art and craft of the Puget Sound region. The art museum exhibits, interprets, preserves, collects, and promotes works of proven cultural value as well as new works by emerging artists and craftspeople.

The art museum is open daily, year-round, from 10am-5pm, and admission is always free. From June 30-September 2, 2023, the museum will be open until 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays. BIMA is located in beautiful downtown Bainbridge Island, at the corner of Hwy 305 and Winslow Way, just steps away from the ferry terminal, and with easy access via public transportation or by car from the Kitsap Peninsula.

BIMA is supported through contributions by members and donors like you, with ongoing support from the National Endowment for the Arts, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Laird Norton Wealth Management, Stoel Rives LLP, BIMA PRISM Fund for Cultural Programs & Celebrations.

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