Turn of the century films to screen at Ningaloo

71749722Exmouth school students are promising to put on one of the more unique shows at this months’ Ningaloo Whaleshark Festival in Exmouth from May 24 to 26.

The students from Exmouth District High School together with teacher Jarrad Blackburn have composed a music score they will play to a May 25 screening of a rare collection of silent films dating to the turn of the century.

The EXFX Silent Short Film Festival features films by the Corrick Family, who toured Australia, Asia and Europe between 1897 and 1914, showing their collection of short films along the way.

The Corricks were travelling entertainers, who produced two-hour performances of poetry recitals, comedy acts and sing-alongs.

But one of their most popular segments was when, in 1901, they began projecting a program of silent films to their audiences that showcased the latest newsreels, travelogues and dramas from around the world.

“The Corricks displayed a taste for innovative special effects films, including RW Paul’s The Hand of the Artist (1906) and morality tales such as Pathés La Poule aux Oeufs d’Or (1905, The Hen that Laid the Golden Egg),” the film and sound archive writes on its website.

“For many in the audience, films such as Pathé’s Du Caire aux Pyramides (1905, From Cairo to the Pyramids) offered a rare glimpse of the outside world, while others hinted at the dramatic technological and social changes that marked the early 20th century.”

In 1907, the family bought their own motion picture camera and made films, such as Street Scenes in Perth (1907), which they shot, edited and screened in one day.

This became a marketing tool for the family when they travelled to new towns as they would draw locals in by advertising their intention to make a movie at a set location and then screen it that night.

The result for modern audiences is a fascinating look into turn of the century art and life in Australia and the across the world.

For the Exmouth music students, the performance not only gives them the chance to learn about these rare films but to also develop event management and production skills.

The Corrick Family films have been provided by the National Film Sound and Archive Australia with Rio Tinto sponsoring the event.

The Ningaloo Whaleshark Festival is a community event to celebrate the return of the whale sharks to Ningaloo each year.

Festival packages, including whale shark swims, accommodation and tickets to festival events, are available at the Exmouth Visitor Centre 9949 1176.

Tickets to the EXFX Silent Short Film Festival can be purchased for $10 per person from Idaho Boutique 9949 2746.

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