Judith Buchanan is Professor of Film and Literature and Arts and Humanities Faculty Dean at the University of York. She is the Director of Silents Now. She is both a Shakespearean – with particular expertise in Shakespeare performance histories and performance practices on stage and screen – and a film scholar. Her film research focuses on the creative and cultural contexts in which silent films were made, distributed, exhibited, viewed and responded to in their early life. She also traces continuities of cinematic practice from the silent era to the present day. This research informs a range of activities in the present. Through Silents Now, she seeks to make silent films more than just documents of historical interest, but a source of pleasure, enrichment and creative engagement for contemporary audiences also.
Judith works with a range of industry creatives, cultural institutions and community groups to help re-shape ways of performing and enjoying silent films in the present moment. Her work, and the collaborative creative practices it generates, help to ensure the preservation and ongoing life of a valuable but threatened part of our film heritage.
Will Haydon is Digital Communications Officer for Silents Now, building and maintaining the website and advising on the development of digital presence more broadly. Given his own Masters in Renaissance Literature at the University of York, Silents Now’s innovative work with silent Shakespeare films is of particular interest to him.
Will has previously worked on the forthcoming GSP Studios feature film of Macbeth, directed by Kit Monkman and co-scripted by Judith, and is currently working in the Marketing Department of Jacksons Lane, an arts centre in north London.