This is a topic close to my heart, and hopefully yours too. After a successful campaign to produce the handsome Pioneers of African-American Cinema box set, Kino Lorber are back on Kickstarter with another project that makes film history a bigger, more inclusive, and more representative space. This time, Kino Lorber is coming for the women, with a set called Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers.
Has someone reminded you recently that more women worked in creative roles in the film industry during the silent era than do today? It’s a boggling fact, but it’s true. And keep repeating it, please. On the one hand, that titbit should spur today’s business into some serious equality action, now. On the other, it means we have a lot (I mean a LOT) of great but neglected work by female directors, screenwriters and producers to look over.
The key word there is “neglected” – much of this material has not been shown for years and needs restoring, let alone remastering and scoring. So once again, Kino Lorber is asking for your cash. And so is the wonderful Illeana Douglas, who is executive producing the set. The set will be curated by Shelley Stamp, author of the brilliant Lois Weber in Early Hollywood, and produced by Bret Wood, who masterminded the African-American Cinema project.
Kino Lorber plans to offer about 20 hours of material. Here is a selection of some of the films that the set will include, just to make your mouth water:
- Ruth Ann Baldwin:49-’17
- Alice Guy Blaché:Canned Harmony,A House Divided, The Ocean Waif
- Grace Cunard:The Purple Maskserial (misc. episodes)
- Dorothy Davenport Reid:The Red Kimona
- Gene Gauntier:A Girl Spy Before Vicksburg,Further Adventures of the Girl Spy
- Helen Holmes:The Hazards of Helenserial (misc. episodes)
- Cleo Madison:Her Defiance,Eleanor’s Catch
- Frances Marion:Just Around the Corner
- Mabel Normand:Caught in a Cabaret,Mabel’s Blunder
- Ida May Park:Bread
- Nell Shipman:Something New
- Lois Weber:Fine Feathers,From Death to Life, The Rosary, Suspense, Hypocrites, Where Are My Children?
- Elsie Jane Wilson:The Dream Lady
- So, if you can support the plan with a little of your cash, please do so – you can find out more, and pledge here.
- Don’t have any money to spare right now? Then please share this exciting project with your friends.