Women Film Pioneers Project

Women Film Pioneers Project The Women Film Pioneers Project (WFPP) is a digital publication and resource that advances research on the hundreds of women who worked behind the scenes during the silent film era.
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WFPP features short career profiles on single individuals, longer thematic peer-reviewed overview essays, and shorter multimedia posts, all by film scholars, film curators, archivists, and historians. In our published profiles, we cover women who worked in national cinemas across six of the seven continents. This project began as a search for “women film pioneers” who challenged the established idea of the great “fathers” of cinema. Since researchers found more women than anyone expected to find, one principle came to organize the project: What we assume never existed is what we invariably find. Today, the goals of WFPP are to jumpstart historical research on the work of women filmmakers from the early years of cinema through the coming of sound; to facilitate cross-national connections between researchers; and to reconfigure world film knowledge by foregrounding the fact that women worked in many capacities behind the scenes on a global scale. Always expanding, WFPP is published in partnership with Columbia University Libraries, with support from Columbia University, School of the Arts, Film Program.

Operating as usual

𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐖𝐅𝐏𝐏: Richard Abel explores the careers of 7 different US film critics."...newspaperwomen deserve as much attenti...
01/08/2021

𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐖𝐅𝐏𝐏: Richard Abel explores the careers of 7 different US film critics.

"...newspaperwomen deserve as much attention as those working more directly in the industry, for they formed an essential node that linked film production with theater audiences and often shaped their experiences, especially those of women readers in love with the movies."

https://wfpp.columbia.edu/2021/01/06/us-newspaperwomen-dossier/

WFTHN Seeks Social Media and Website Editor
01/08/2021
WFTHN Seeks Social Media and Website Editor

WFTHN Seeks Social Media and Website Editor

Are you a budding social media enthusiast? If so, we’d love to hear from you! This voluntary role offers experience in terms of using social media platforms, research, administration and representa…

CFP deadline: January 15, 2021Doing Women's Film & Television History 5 is revised for 2021: New call for papers–‘Histor...
01/04/2021
Call for Papers

CFP deadline: January 15, 2021

Doing Women's Film & Television History 5 is revised for 2021: New call for papers–‘Histories of Women in Film and Television: Then and Now.’ A Hybrid Conference: July 10 – 11, 2021 (virtual and on-campus)

DWFTH 5 revised for 2021: New call for papers–‘Histories of Women in Film and Television: Then and Now.’ A Hybrid Conference: July 10 – 11, 2021 (virtual and on-campus) Supp…

Flicker Alley
12/30/2020

Flicker Alley

Released in December of 1916 on Christmas Day was Cecil B. DeMille’s first spectacle, JOAN THE WOMAN.

The film became a prototype for DeMille’s later spectacles. He sought a more formal and stylized mode of acting from stars Geraldine Farrar and Wallace Reid - a technique he continued in his late historical films. The film also features a dramatic hand-colored climax utilizing the Handschiegl stencil-color process.

Flicker Alley’s MOD release offers DeMille’s director’s cut and the original hand-colored climax. This DVD release is available now for 20% off during our End of Year Sales Event.
https://bit.ly/2KMXbnr

Discount code: “FlickerYearEnd20!”
Deliveries to arrive in 2021
Sale ends 12/31/20 🎞

Happy Birthday to Ida May Park! Her film BREAD (1918) was just added to the  National Film Registry!"Park flourished at ...
12/28/2020

Happy Birthday to Ida May Park! Her film BREAD (1918) was just added to the National Film Registry!

"Park flourished at Universal, where she wrote forty-four films, half of them feature length, between 1914 and 1919. Before 1917, Park’s husband, Joseph De Grasse, directed almost all of the films she wrote. In 1917, Park began directing her own scenarios and, according to a 1918 story in the Universal Weekly, a newspaper for exhibitors, editing them as well."

https://wfpp.columbia.edu/pioneer/ccp-ida-may-park/

12/27/2020

Happy Birthday to British scenario writer Enid Lorimer!

"Lorimer’s one confirmed scenarist credit was for the Ideal Company. This was Her Greatest Performance (1916), which she cowrote with Benedict James."#BornOnThisDay

https://wfpp.columbia.edu/pioneer/ccp-enid-lorimer/

"From a poverty stricken immigrant to one of Hollywood’s highest paid screenwriters,  [Sonya] Levien’s life exemplifies ...
12/25/2020

"From a poverty stricken immigrant to one of Hollywood’s highest paid screenwriters, [Sonya] Levien’s life exemplifies the opportunities available to some women during the silent era of filmmaking." #bornonthisday

https://wfpp.columbia.edu/pioneer/ccp-sonya-levien/

Feminist Media Histories
12/17/2020

Feminist Media Histories

*CFP Alert!* (Deadline: February 1, 2021)
CALL FOR PAPERS
Feminist Media Histories: An International Journal

Special Issue on Speculative Approaches to Media Histories
Guest Editor: Allyson Nadia Field

To an overwhelming extent, the field of cinema and media studies has been organized around extant material, with histories closely tethered to surviving evidence. While this is especially—and notoriously—true of early cinema, the tendency persists across the history of multiple media, including media made outside of mainstream spheres, the work of women and LGBTQ+ and nonwhite people, and media made in areas that have experienced or are experiencing conflict, or where media archiving is precarious at best. The result has been a conspicuous bias, one that has overlooked the overwhelming percentage of moving image media that does not survive, is fragmentary, is in danger of obsolescence, or whose survival is contingent on specialized preservation practices.

As cinema and media studies becomes more inclusive in its scope and purview, its methodologies likewise must adapt to account for these material absences. This special issue of Feminist Media Histories seeks to aggregate current work in cinema and media studies that is grappling with questions of the paucity of evidence, whether these absences are due to archival lacunae or other factors. In particular, this issue reflects on and explores modes of speculative methodologies—not just as a way to mobilize an absent archive but also to engage with speculation as a productive tool for media history.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

-Examples of speculative approaches to media history
-Fiction and other creative approaches to dealing with archival absence
-Methods such as informed speculation, critical fabulation, alternative evidence for approaching ephemera and otherwise inaccessible materials
-Methods for accessing erased narratives of women and underrepresented workers in media industries
-Methods for approaching questions of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, etc. and for decolonizing and/or queering media archives
-The use of extrafilmic evidence and primary paracinematic evidence
-Theories of evidence and archival theories and practices
-Possibilities and limits of various historiographic methodologies (including oral history, biographic research, and official and unofficial discourses)
-Media obsolescence and precinema media archaeology; vulnerable media
-Specific case studies of lost or unmade films, elusive figures in media history, etc.
-Discussions of films or media works that engage in speculative practices
-Historiographical analyses of approaches to lost and fragmentary works
-Contested histories and problems of the archive and limitations of archival thinking and practice
-Speculation as a way of doing cinema and media history

As well as standard essays, we are also interested in oral history interviews, photo essays, and reprints of notable original documents.

Proposals should be roughly 300 words, should include a short bio, and should be submitted no later than February 1, 2021 to Allyson Nadia Field ([email protected]). Contributors will be notified by February 15, 2021; article drafts will be due May 15, 2021 and then will be sent out for anonymous peer review.

"In addition to being Robeson’s talent manager when he worked on Body and Soul (1925), Charles Musser argues that Esland...
12/15/2020

"In addition to being Robeson’s talent manager when he worked on Body and Soul (1925), Charles Musser argues that Eslanda managed many aspects of her husband’s film career as well his musical and theatrical career." #BornOnThisDay

https://wfpp.columbia.edu/pioneer/eslanda-robeson/

"Beginning as a staff writer at Vitagraph in 1911, Bertsch had risen by 1914 to become editor-in-chief of the scenario d...
12/14/2020

"Beginning as a staff writer at Vitagraph in 1911, Bertsch had risen by 1914 to become editor-in-chief of the scenario department—succeeding Beta Breuil—where she was responsible for evaluating hundreds of scenarios submitted weekly to the company, selecting promising properties, and revising scripts, all while continuing to write her own original scenarios." #BornOnThisDay

https://wfpp.columbia.edu/pioneer/ccp-marguerite-bertsch/

"Ouida Bergère was perhaps best known in the film industry as Mrs. Basil Rathbone and party hostess extraordinaire. Howe...
12/14/2020

"Ouida Bergère was perhaps best known in the film industry as Mrs. Basil Rathbone and party hostess extraordinaire. However, before her marriage, to Rathbone, Bergère was a prominent and top paid scenario writer." #BornOnThisDay

https://wfpp.columbia.edu/pioneer/ouida-bergere/

Selected films include Lois Weber's SUSPENSE (1913), Ida May Park's BREAD (1918), and Aloha Wanderwell's CAR AND CAMERA ...
12/14/2020

Selected films include Lois Weber's SUSPENSE (1913), Ida May Park's BREAD (1918), and Aloha Wanderwell's CAR AND CAMERA AROUND THE WORLD (1929)!

NEWS: Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today the annual selection of 25 of America's most influential motion pictures to be inducted into the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress.

Selected because of their cultural, historic or aesthetic importance to the nation's film heritage, the 2020 titles include blockbusters, musicals, silent films, documentaries and stories adapted from books.

View the full list: loc.gov/item/prn-20-082/?loclr=fbloc

"Olga Printzlau was a prolific writer who began her career as an artist, but turned to screenwriting after becoming inte...
12/13/2020

"Olga Printzlau was a prolific writer who began her career as an artist, but turned to screenwriting after becoming interested in the 'literary possibilities' of film. By 1920 she was credited with having written 352 produced scenarios." #bornonthisday

https://wfpp.columbia.edu/pioneer/ccp-olga-printzlau/

𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐖𝐅𝐏𝐏: Richard Abel profiles American film publicist & press agent Beulah Livingstone."After Schenck made her the ...
12/09/2020

𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐖𝐅𝐏𝐏: Richard Abel profiles American film publicist & press agent Beulah Livingstone.

"After Schenck made her the 'publicity director of all the West Coast feature productions' released through United Artists in 1927, numerous newspaper stories described her as 'the highest paid publicity woman in the United States.'”

https://wfpp.columbia.edu/pioneer/beulah-livingstone/

The Silent London Poll of 2020 is here!
12/08/2020
The Silent London Poll of 2020 is here!

The Silent London Poll of 2020 is here!

Happy December! The good news is that 2020 is almost over, and the even better news is that it is Silent London Poll time again. I don’t need to remind you that this year has not been like ot…

Happy Birthday to Bessie Barriscale!"The Bessie Barriscale Feature Company released eight films in 1918 and from reviews...
12/08/2020

Happy Birthday to Bessie Barriscale!

"The Bessie Barriscale Feature Company released eight films in 1918 and from reviews, it is clear that she abandoned the ingenue role with which she had been associated at Triangle in favor of more varied, mature, and challenging parts."

https://wfpp.columbia.edu/pioneer/bessie-barriscale/

"Tazuko Sakane was the first female director in Japan. By 1936, Sakane had taken a variety of positions at virtually all...
12/07/2020

"Tazuko Sakane was the first female director in Japan. By 1936, Sakane had taken a variety of positions at virtually all stages of film production, ranging from director and editor to script supervisor and assistant director." #bornonthisday

https://wfpp.columbia.edu/pioneer/tazuko-sakane/

"If there is a pattern to Eve Unsell’s eighteen-year career, it would be alternation between freelance and studio contra...
12/06/2020

"If there is a pattern to Eve Unsell’s eighteen-year career, it would be alternation between freelance and studio contract work. A year after leaving the Lasky company, and having just opened her own offices in New York to handle the large amount of work that had come to her, Unsell was offered a contract to write for what in 1916 would become Famous Players-Lasky Corporation." #BornOnThisDay

https://wfpp.columbia.edu/pioneer/ccp-eve-unsell/

"Research thus far has only illuminated one Colombian silent film made by a woman. She was not a native Colombian, but a...
12/05/2020

"Research thus far has only illuminated one Colombian silent film made by a woman. She was not a native Colombian, but a self-taught anthropologist born in the United States. The travelogue, made by Kathleen Romoli, was independently produced ten years after the end of the silent film era in the United States." #BornOnThisDay

https://wfpp.columbia.edu/pioneer/kathleen-romoli/

"Christiane Mendelys’ career as a mime, actress, film critic, and acting teacher mirrored the major developments in Fren...
12/03/2020

"Christiane Mendelys’ career as a mime, actress, film critic, and acting teacher mirrored the major developments in French cinema culture, from the early days of cinema as a music-hall attraction, through the first attempts at “theatrical cinema” for middle-class audiences in the mid-1900s and the emergence of newspaper film criticism in the mid-1910s, to, finally, the height of cinema popularity in 1920s Paris."

https://wfpp.columbia.edu/pioneer/christiane-mendelys/

𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐖𝐅𝐏𝐏: Martin Johnson explores the career of educational film advocate Ruth Gould Dolesé!"In particular, her estab...
12/02/2020

𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐖𝐅𝐏𝐏: Martin Johnson explores the career of educational film advocate Ruth Gould Dolesé!

"In particular, her establishment of the Educational Department at the General Film Company in 1911, and, that same year, her publication of the Catalogue of Educational Motion Pictures made her a widely celebrated figure in the educational film movement..."

https://wfpp.columbia.edu/pioneer/ruth-gould-dolese/

Happy Birthday to screenwriter and director Lillian Ducey!“'The skeptical may not believe it… Hundreds of directors may ...
11/26/2020
Lillian Ducey – Women Film Pioneers Project

Happy Birthday to screenwriter and director Lillian Ducey!

“'The skeptical may not believe it… Hundreds of directors may scoff—But—There is one director who is efficient—and without the aid of puttees. Introducing Lillian Ducey, directing Youth Triumphant for the newly formed Fisher Productions. Efficiency plus is said to be Miss Ducey’s middle name,' heralded the Los Angeles Times in reference to Ducey’s first job as a motion picture director in 1923."

https://wfpp.columbia.edu/pioneer/ccp-lillian-ducey/

Women Film Pioneers Project is a scholarly resource exploring women’s global involvement at all levels of film production during the silent film era.

Happy Birthday to Silent London! 🎉🎉
11/26/2020
A cool decade of Silent London

Happy Birthday to Silent London! 🎉🎉

Happy birthday to us! Break out the socially distanced celebrations! Today Silent London reaches double digits. The blog was born on 26 November 2010, with a sketchy tumblr and a humble tweet. Sinc…

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Comments

MARCA PERUANA,DE HISTORIAS ILUSTRADAS Y COMIC-ANIME!
Does anyone own a copy of "Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema"? I was thinking of getting a copy and would like to know if there is any references in it to Mabel Normand.
Bell & Howell 2709 hand crank movie camera 1917, first camera owned by Barriscale Features Co, Bessie Barriscale complete and ready to shoot , with L.A. motion picture tripod. for sale , info message me
Let's all tune in for Steve Massa and Ben Model's Silent Comedy Watch Party this Sunday at 3pm EST (8pm UTC+1, 9pm UTC+2)—the best quarantine blues antidote in town: https://domitor.org/news-and-events/your-quarantine-blues-antidote-steve-massa-and-ben-models-silent-comedy-watch-party/
Alice Howell in 3 rare silent gems on 1 DVD - Cinderella Cinders, One Wet Night, Under A Spell
Here's a promo that I did a couple of years ago for a Mabel Normand book. She deserves to be better appreciated.
Hi, I have a biographical link to Blanche Walsh, who may have been the first American movie star. I'm currently writing a book about her. Though a major star of stage, and the prototype for a movie star in Adolph Zukor's original production for Famous Players, "Resurrection" (1912)--Walsh, like many great woman of the past, has been sadly forgotten. I'm on a one-man campaign to resurrect her memory. I'd love to learn more about your group as well. https://www.facebook.com/Who-was-Blanche-Walsh-597864870661085/?modal=admin_todo_tour
Alice Howell had a hand in creating the gags in her films, I'm convinced, and possibly more.
MARION DAVIES: actress, producer, writer
Seems like this book should be on this page:
Once again Marion Davies is ignored. Davies was one of the most successful actresses of the silent era (despite the persistent legends to the contrary), She wrote the scenario for her first film (pre-Hearst) and was a film producer and businesswoman. Davies starred in 30 silent films between 1917 and 1929 and appeared in 10 Broadway productions between 1914 and 1920. She also "appeared" on radio and wrote and produced a television pilot. A recent re-examination of her work has led to two (so far) blu-ray releases (WHEN KNIGHTHOOD WAS IN FLOWER and ENCHANTMENT) and DVDs from multiple sources to include SHOW PEOPLE, THE PATSY, BEAUTY'S WORTH, THE BRIDE'S PLAY, THE RED MILL, QUALITY STREET. and GETTING MARY MARRIED. Davies was a trailblazer in comedy, a screwball comedienne before the genre existed. Two of her films, KNIGHTHOOD and LITTLE OLD NEW YORK, rank among the biggest box-office hits of the silent era.
The International Different Faces Different Voices Film Festival in historic Cambridge, Massachusetts has expanded for '18 and is open for film submissions in five categories! Filmmakers may submit an original Flicks4Chicks contest short that must be made between now and April 20th. Or they may opt to submit an already completed film under one the Casting A Light categories. PLEASE NOTE: we are interested in seminal films made within the last 40 years to round out our screenings. There will be two top cash prizes for the Diversity and Beyond the Bechdel Test winners, plus many other cash and gift awards. The festival runs from June 27th - 29th. Specific guidelines for Flicks4Chicks film: - feature a woman as one of the central characters (men can be featured too!) - must have at least one woman in a creative leadership role – producer; writer; director; main actor; editor - must be based on one of the 100 loglines the festival team has created - we send them once you sign up (submit application) and YOU choose - films must be 10 minutes or under in length - films must be in English or captioned. For details and to sign up: https://filmfreeway.com/DifferentFacesDifferentVoicesFilmFestival. Please pass the word as this is time sensitive, specially for Flicks4Chicks participants.