Not-so-silent Cinema

current Project

Not-so-silent Cinema is a large-scale, outdoor, free community event that comprises of a series of iconic films with live music scores by Australia’s leading artists and music producers.

Pull up a deck chair at Federation Square's outdoor stage and join us in celebrating the early days of cinema.

Presented by
Federation Square
in partnership with
Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI)
Produced by
Insite Arts

Free, classic silent films with live soundtracks by Australian composers and bands in front of the big screen in Melbourne’s Federation Square.

The Silent Films with Live Scores returns for its third consecutive year, with a program of classic silent films set to bespoke live scores performed by some of Australia’s most exciting electronic, jazz and breakthrough composers and musicians.⁠

The 2024 program includes:

  • The 1918 Australian romantic classic The Sentimental Bloke accompanied by a live score by Paul Mac (13 February)
  • A screening of Surrealist Shorts with a contemporary jazz live score by Peter Knight and Dũng Nguyễn (20 February)
  • The timeless 1923 American film Our Hospitality with an original live score by 5-piece ensemble Blue Grassy Knoll (27 February).⁠

Films start from 8pm each night at sunset on the outdoor stage at Fed Square.⁠

Performance History

  • 2023
  • 2022
  • 2021

The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Lotte Reiniger, Germany 1926) with live score by Phillip Johnston

Sherlock, Jr. (Buster Keaton, USA 1924) with live score by Blue Grassy Knoll

Metropolis (Fritz Lang, Germany 1927) with live score by The New Pollutants

Dr Plonk (Rolf de Heer, Australia 2007) with live score by the Stiletto Sisters


The Scotsman on The Blue Grassy Knoll

“This splendid entertainment is a breathing, shared creative triumph”

Avalon Sperring, DB

“Their sheer brilliance, inventiveness and musical humour added the perfect touches to Keaton’s whimsical adventures… The Blue Grassy Knoll could not have scored the film any better.”

“Not-So-Silent Cinema 2022 sees the return of Australia’s only free festival of silent classics accompanied by stunning live scores. It’s a wonderful experience to watch these films at Fed Square on a summer’s evening, as the sun goes down behind the big screen and the city lights begin to come to life around you.”

Time Out


This event is produced by Insite Arts International in partnership with Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI) and Federation Square.
Not-So-Silent Cinema has been supported through the Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund, a partnership between the Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne.



Jason Cross → Email