Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers

Watch Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers

  • 2019
  • 1 Season

Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers is a documentary series that explores the early days of the film industry in the United States and the women who played a pivotal role in shaping it. The series consists of a collection of short films made by female directors between 1910 and 1929. Produced by Kino Lorber, the series showcases the work of pioneering women who faced immense challenges and discrimination in order to create art and advance the young industry.

The series offers viewers a rare glimpse into the past, highlighting the talents of women who were often overlooked by mainstream Hollywood history. These women, who were once celebrated and respected for their work, were largely forgotten by society. However, their work remains important in the context of film history, and the series offers a long overdue recognition of their contributions.

The series is divided into six parts, each highlighting the work of different female filmmakers. The films themselves vary in genre, from comedy to drama, and show the breadth of talent and vision of these filmmakers. The series is narrated by Amy Schumer and features an original score by renowned composer Allison Leyton-Brown.

The first part, "Alice Guy-Blaché," focuses on the work of the titular filmmaker who is widely considered the first woman director in the world. Guy-Blaché was a pioneer in many ways, not only in terms of her gender but also in her experimentation with new techniques and storytelling methods. Her films were innovative for their time, featuring complex narratives, special effects, and avant-garde techniques. The series showcases some of her most famous shorts, including The Consequences of Feminism and A Fool and His Money.

The second part, "Rediscovering Loïs Weber," highlights the work of another trailblazing female filmmaker. Weber was unique for her time in that she often tackled social issues in her films, such as women's rights and political corruption. Her films were bold and unapologetic, and often featured strong female characters. The series showcases some of her most famous films, including Suspense and Shoes.

The third part, "The Hollywood Studio System," explores the role of female filmmakers during the height of the Hollywood studio system. During this time, female directors were often relegated to the fringes, and their work was often obscured or overshadowed by their male counterparts. However, the series highlights the work of directors like Dorothy Arzner and Ida Lupino, who managed to succeed despite the obstacles they faced.

The fourth part, "Genre Pioneers," highlights women who carved out their own niche in the industry, often in genres dominated by men. Female directors like Grace Cunard and Mabel Normand proved that women were just as capable of directing westerns and action films as men. The series showcases some of their most famous shorts, including The Hazards of Helen and Won in a Closet.

The fifth part, "Social Commentary," explores the work of female filmmakers who used their art to comment on social issues of the day. Directors like Zora Neale Hurston and Marion E. Wong tackled issues of race and ethnicity in their films, providing a rare and important perspective on a world often overlooked by mainstream Hollywood. The series showcases some of their most famous shorts, including The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress and The Curse of Quon Gwon.

The final part, "Independent Voices," highlights the work of female filmmakers who worked outside of the studio system. These women often had to rely on their own resources and ingenuity to create films, but their work was often more intimate and personal as a result. The series showcases directors like Helen Hill and Alice Bouvrie, who explored personal themes like motherhood and family in their work.

Overall, Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers is a must-watch for anyone interested in both the history of the film industry and the contributions of women to that history. The series provides a fascinating and illuminating look into a world many have forgotten, and serves as a reminder that women have always been an important part of the film industry.

Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers
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Seasons
Where Are My Children?
17. Where Are My Children?
January 17, 2019
Summary not available
The Ocean Waif
16. The Ocean Waif
January 17, 2019
Summary not available
The Dream Lady
15. The Dream Lady
January 17, 2019
Summary not available
The Call of the Cumberlands
14. The Call of the Cumberlands
January 17, 2019
Summary not available
Suspense
13. Suspense
January 17, 2019
Summary not available
Something New
12. Something New
January 17, 2019
Summary not available
Salome
11. Salome
January 17, 2019
Summary not available
Motherhood: Life's Greatest Miracle
10. Motherhood: Life's Greatest Miracle
January 17, 2019
Summary not available
Mabel's Blunder
9. Mabel's Blunder
January 17, 2019
Summary not available
Her Defiance
8. Her Defiance
January 17, 2019
Summary not available
Falling Leaves
7. Falling Leaves
January 17, 2019
Summary not available
The Curse of the Quon Gwon
6. The Curse of the Quon Gwon
January 17, 2019
Summary not available
Caught in a Cabaret
5. Caught in a Cabaret
January 17, 2019
Summary not available
Broadway Love
4. Broadway Love
January 17, 2019
Summary not available
A House Divided
3. A House Divided
January 17, 2019
Summary not available
A Daughter of the Law
2. A Daughter of the Law
January 2, 2019
Summary not available
49-17
1. 49-17
January 2, 2019
Summary not available
Description
  • Premiere Date
    January 2, 2019