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Women to Watch: Alice Guy-Blaché, the First Woman Director

by Sydney Levine
August 28, 2013 3:10 PM
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Alice Guy-Blaché
Alice Guy-Blaché

Kickstarter has raised more than the $200,000 goal with 6 hours to go. We will get to see an entire researched transmedia and filmed project to rediscover the first woman director, 1895, Alice  Guy-Blaché, a French woman who was raised in Chile and went on to build the first studio in Fort Lee, New Jersey and her films. The filmmakers, Pamela Green and Jarik van Sluijs, have 6 hours to begin raising post-production funds now.

Each time they announced, they got more coverage - The Wrap covering women directors Julie Traymor, Catherine Hardwick and Julie-Anne Robinson and why they support this project, and now A Fool and His Money, the first film on record with an all African American cast in contemporary times, hopefully will be covered by Shadow and Act.  Here you can see some footage and hear about its discovery at a flea market in Bakersfield.

If this link is open to the public, you can follow the entire campaign which was really a lot of fun because I cared so much about this film.  

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché is documentary searching for Alice Guy-Blaché, who at 23 was the first female director, became a powerful figure in film, then vanished. 

Robert Redford himself is the Executive Producer.  How could this NOT have raised its small budget? This is one I wanted to give my money to, and so did everyone else who heard about it. 3,800 donors gave.

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More: Video, Women in Film, Robert Redford

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  • MS | August 27, 2013 11:10 PMReply

    It's Julie TAYMOR.

  • JSee | August 29, 2013 4:06 AM

    I'm sure she know but grammar nazi's are so 2012. you bring no value to this discussion.

  • No | August 20, 2013 8:57 AMReply

    "The Story of Film: An Odyssey, a five discs series on the history of filmmaking by Mark Cousins, mentions Alice Guy-Blache as the first woman director.

  • gah | September 21, 2013 7:12 PM

    Yes, they do, but I noticed that they failed to caption her name or the title of the clip shown, as they did with all of the other male director showcased in the film. They also fail to mention that she was the first director to incorporate narrative into their filmmaking, or one of the first to produce fiction film, and only use one line to describe her: "Also in France, the world's first female director, Alice Guy-Blanché, became as interested in magic as Melies". Guy-Blanché's La Fée aux Choux, or The Cabbage Fairy, was released in April 1896, two months before Melies released his first fiction film. I mean, they were both present at the Lumière brothers' first screening, and were contemporaries for the duration of their careers, so why they decided to suggest that her work was derivative, secondary or could only be discussed in relation to his is a bit annoying/disappointing.

  • Jsee | August 29, 2013 4:08 AM

    That's awesome - hopefully this will bring Alice to the masses and her contribution is really studied in the class room. I'm glad it was shown so much support.

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