In June, MUTE NIGHTS Silent Film and Contemporary Music Festival – the only one of its kind in Ukraine and the largest one of its kind in Eastern Europe – will take place. Traditionally, films will be screened in the two Ukrainian historical centers of the silent cinema – on 20-22 June, in Kyiv’s Dovzhenko Centre that maintains the country largest silent film archive, and on 22-23 June, in Odessa – a city that gave birth to the festival.
This year, the Festival programme features 6 silent films that were believed to be lost until recently with a new musical accompaniment by contemporary musicians from Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, the United Kingdom and Austria.
Films included in the programme have been discovered in the archives all over the world during last couple of years with common theme of exile and return that is really the case for both the movies themselves as they were believed to be lost for good and for their characters who left their homes searching for a better life, which is also expressed by a subtitle of the 9th festival – ‘The Prodigal Children’.
The movies will be traditionally accompanied by live mood music by contemporary Ukrainian and international performers and composers. This is the second time when soundtracks for archival films are written by the invited young composers who became a find of the Envision Sound, a programme for film score composers founded by the British Council Ukraine and Dovzhenko Centre. As a part of this collaboration effort, Envision Sound finalists received grants from the British Council and Dovzhenko Centre for writing and performing soundtracks for silent movies included in the programme of Mute Nights Silent Film and Contemporary Music Festival.
Programme section called ‘Shot in Ukraine’ features two films of Ukrainian production that had been forgotten for almost a century:
21 June, 7 pm
Second ‘first run’ of ‘Assault Nights’, 1931, an avant-garde movie directed by Ivan Kavaleridze and banned in the USSR with a film score written by a female composer Alla Zagaykevych (Ukraine), a Ukrainian supervisor of Envision Sound Programme.
22 June, 7 pm
Second ‘first run’ of ‘The Adventures of the Fifty’, 1929, directed by Axel Lundin, one of the few preserved comedy films for children that was recently repatriated to Ukraine from the Russian Gosfilmfond archive with a soundtrack by the Envision Sound finalist female composer Vol’ga Pidgayska, performed by Five-Storey Ensemble (Bilorus)