DEPICTIONS of Scotland onscreen are in focus at this year’s Silent Film Festival which will also spotlight contemporary talent and vintage Hollywood stars.

HippFest will open with a film that was once thought lost, titled Peggy, which follows New York socialite Peggy Cameron, played by Billie Burke, as she moves to Scotland to live with her new guardian, “a man as stern and unyielding as the rocky hills of his native land”.

Also on the programme is a rarely screened “masterpiece”, The Rugged Island: A Shetland Lyric (1933), a poignant “story documentary” about crofting families in Shetland. Presented with a new music commission by Inge Thomson, an award-winning multi-instrumentalist and composer from Fair Isle, with Shetland-born Catriona MacDonald, it is described as a tender and beautiful dramatisation of Shetland life.

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The transition to sound in film features again in this year’s Platform Reels with an outdoor screening of hybrid-talkie The Flying Scotsman (1929) on the platform of the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway. A daring thriller set on the journey from London to Edinburgh, the film is notable for its dangerous stunt work and stars the original, iconic steam locomotive.

In addition, Lon Chaney and Jackie Coogan star in one of the earliest adaptations of Dickens’s work, Oliver Twist (1922) by Glasgow-born director Frank Lloyd.

There are more big names from the silver screen including Joan Crawford in the film that catapulted her to stardom, Our Dancing Daughters (1928). The film was originally released with a synchronised soundtrack but the festival will show the film with accompaniment from Maud Nelissen.

The National: Lilian Gish starred as Letty Mason in the 1928 silent film The Wind, which will be streamed at HippFest

Rounding off the line-up is a programme of talks and a Bo’ness Witch Trials Walking Tour with local historian Ian Scott.

Festival 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, from the exceptionally talented Inge Thomson and Catriona MacDonald.

“We can’t wait to welcome everyone to discover these and the many other brilliant films and musicians that we have lined up.”

Named after the Hippodrome, its home cinema in Bo’ness, the festival will take place from March 20 to March 24.