A documentary that looks at the dark side of the silent film era is being screened to the public – including at a venue that was once a workhouse where Charlie Chaplin lived.
The making of Looking for Charlie has been a three-year labour of love for its directors, Coventry University history lecturers Darren Reid and Brett Sanders.
Their film – which was made with the help of university students who were its cast and crew – will be screened at several venues in the south east of England in November and December.
The documentary tells the story of comedians Marceline Orbes and Francis “Slivers” Oakley and their connection to Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.
During the early 20th century the pair regularly entertained audiences of thousands of people in theatres in New York and across America.
They inspired the legendary silent film stars Chaplin and Keaton, who even recreated some of their routines.
But after cinema became more popular, Orbes and Oakley dropped out of the limelight and both ended up dying in obscurity after committing suicide.
A team of 18 history undergraduate students served as the Looking for Charlie’s crew, helping to produce and sound edit the documentary.
They also acted in it, playing key roles including Buster