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LC Festival of Film & Sound logo, adpation of "Photoplay" magazine cover with Norma Talmadge seen in 1920s had and speaking into an overhead microphone

Festival of Film & Sound is Thursday-Sunday Featuring Individual Tickets, a Free Screening, Special Guests and more!

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It’s a very busy and exciting time here at the Library of Congress as we put on the final touches and prepare for the first Library of Congress Festival of Film & Sound.  We hope to see you this Thursday through Sunday (June 15-18), at the beautiful AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, featuring four days of rare films, special screenings, fascinating speakers, and a fun celebration with like-minded friends who love classic film and sound.

Thank you to everyone who has already purchased passes, and if you haven’t yet, there is still time.  In addition to the four-day passes, you may also purchase individual screening tickets, including tickets to the Ben Burtt presentations on Friday and Saturday.  We are also proud to offer a FREE screening on Sunday at 7pm of the Library’s recent restoration of “Carne de Cabaret.”

Below are some highlights, and for the complete line-up visit the festival webpage, and to purchase tickets visit AFI Silver


History of Motion Picture Sound Effects with Ben Burtt 

Friday, June 16, 12:30 pm

On Friday afternoon, Oscar-winning motion picture sound designer and sound mixer Ben Burtt (“Star Wars,” “E.T.,” “Wall-E,” “Indiana Jones,”) shares with us where sound effects, such as thunder, the ricochet of a rifle bullet, or a scream come from.  In the classic age, film studios had libraries of sound effects, so if a filmmaker needed a squealing car tire or train whistle, it could be found on the shelf and readily incorporated into a film.  In this remarkable presentation, Ben Burtt presents some of those familiar sounds and traces their origins and creative meaning back to specific films or a studio sound effects library.

Followed by SPY SMASHER STRIKES BACK(1942/2022) – Ben will then introduce the east coast premiere of his 2022 re-edit of the 1942 12-chapter Republic Pictures serial “SPY SMASHER,” based on a popular comic book character.

Ben Burtt with R2-D2


A Conversation with Ben Burtt, Interviewed by Randy Haberkamp

Saturday June 17, 1:00 pm 

Four-time Oscar-winning sound mixer, designer and editor Ben Burtt will participate in an on-stage Q&A about his motion picture career featuring excerpts from many of the iconic films he worked on. Burtt will discuss the inspiration and creation of the sound and voice effects that have become iconic in American cinema including the voice of Wall-E, the sounds of the lightsaber and Darth Vader’s breathing from “Star Wars,” and the crack of Indiana Jones’ whip.

Followed by a screening of THE PHANTOM EMPIRE – Chapter 1 (1935). Introduced by Ben Burtt. Your ticket also includes admission to the post-screening dessert reception in the AFI atrium.

Max Steiner and the Hollywood Sound with Steven C. Smith

Sunday June 18, 1:00 pm

Steven C. Smith, author of “Music by Max Steiner: The Epic Life of Hollywood’s Most Influential Composer,” shares with us  24-time Oscar-nominee Max Steiner, film music creator with screen classics as “King Kong,” “Casablanca,” and “Now Voyager.” and how he established many of the rules of scoring still used today. The presentation includes Steiner’s creative struggles and interactions with producers and stars.


“Carne de Cabaret”


On Sunday, June 18, at 7:00p.m., the Library of Congress is proud to show the premiere of the newly restored “Carne de Cabaret” from 1931.  This is a free screening to showcase the Library’s latest efforts in digital restoration, and will be introduced by film historian Maria Elena de las Carreras.

This Spanish language version of “Ten Cents a Dance” (1931) stars Mexican actress Lupita Tovar as a dance hall girl trying to navigate in a man’s world. Barbara Stanwyck originated the role and Tovar is her equal in communicating the challenges of living a hard life while facing the temptations offered by a rich man presenting an easy life. Tovar is best remembered for the lead female role in the Spanish language version of “Drácula” (1931), and her legacy including producer Pancho Kohner, actress daughter Susan Kohner and writer-director grandsons Paul Weitz and Chris Weitz.


“Memory Lane”


The festival will showcase rare restored archival 35mm prints from the Library’s collections and other preeminent archives, as well 4K digital presentations of new restorations and rarities. All silent films will feature live musical accompaniment.

Films shown in 35mm include:

W.C. Fields in “So’s Your Old Man” (1926),

“Submarine” (1928) from director Frank Capra,

James Cagney in “Ceiling Zero” (1936),

Director Dorothy Arzner’s adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Craig’s Wife” (1936),

Douglas Fairbanks’ final silent film, “The Iron Mask” (1929), and

the newly restored print by the Library and Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation of the lost classic, “Memory Lane” (1926).



Four-day festival passes are $150, and include entry to all screenings and speaker sessions. You can also purchase individual screening tickets, and passes to each Ben Burtt presentation and screening at



The Festival showcases and supports the preservation work of the Library’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center Packard Campus (NAVCC).  Located in Culpeper, Virginia, the Packard Campus is a state-of-the-art facility where the Library of Congress acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of films, television programs, radio broadcasts, and sound recordings. It is also home to the National Film Registry and the National Recording Registry helping to ensure the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America’s film and sound recording heritage.



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