Midnight Sun Film Festival’s Silent Film Concerts Offer Big Laughs and Bigger Feelings

The Midnight Sun Film Festival will be held for the 39th time on June 12-16. The traditional silent film concerts will be held on three festival nights this time around.

On Sodankylä’s Friday night, the audience will be dazzled by masterful F.W. Murnau’s City Girl (1930), which completed the director’s Hollywood career, which began with the classic Sunrise (1927). The film will be accompanied by the music of pianist Neil Brand, whose career in music for silent films has lasted for nearly 40 years, and the band The Dodge Brothers from the United Kingdom. In Murnau’s work, the romance between a Chicago waitress and a young farmer takes us to the wheat fields of Oregon, where the Americana-tinged bluegrass music of The Dodge Brothers with their banjos and washboards fits perfectly. One of the members of the band is Mark Kermode, one of the most famous film critics in his country, who will also host a Masterclass in Sodankylä.

In the Saturday concert, we present possibly the last great French film of the silent era, Dans la nuit (1929), directed by Charles Vanel, better known for his prolific career in acting. In his only directorial effort, Vanel also plays the leading role of a man who must hide his wounded face behind a metal mask to save his new marriage following a horrifying accident. The music for the film will be created in their unique style by two members of the Sodankylä audience favourite Cleaning Women, CW03 and CW04.

On Thursday night, the Big Tent will be filled with laughter, as the hilarious short films of top entertainers of the silent era will be accompanied by Neil Brand’s piano. Onscreen hijinks will be performed by some of the biggest comedy stars of their time, including Laurel and Hardy and Harold Lloyd, known for his wild stunts. In addition to providing the music, Brand will host the concert, telling stories of the films, filmmakers and his music in his own impeccably qualified way.

The entire programme and filmmaker guests of the 39th Midnight Sun Film Festival will be released on May 2024. The festival will be held on June 12-16, starting from early on Wednesday all the way until late Sunday night.

Serial card sales start on Monday, May 27, and the festival schedule will be released on Tuesday, May 28. The screening ticket sales begin online on Thursday, May 30.

Midnight Sun Film Festival would like to thank our partners:

Ammattiliitto Pro ry, Finland Festivals ry, EU/Creative Media, Laitilan Wirvoitusjuomatehdas, Niilo Helander Foundation, The Ministry of Education and Culture (OKM), The National Audiovisual Institute (KAVI), Finnish Film Foundation (SES), The Sodankylä Municipality, Taike, YLE Teema, The French Institute in Finland