When most of us think about movies we think of them as being an entity that’s completely of “modern times.” This thought is accurate if you consider the 19th century to be modern. We also tend to think of all the filmmaking pioneers as being men. This thought is also accurate if men have vaginas and are named Alice Guy-Blache.
Alice Guy-Blache was a filmmaking pioneer and you’ve never heard of her. She was a filmmaker, director, screenwriter, producer and actress and she started doing all of this in the 1890s. Blache was the first woman to own her own movie studio, the Solax Company, which is widely believed to be the first motion picture to be made with an all Black cast.
In addition to being a groundbreaking filmmaker when it came the color of her actors, she was also a pioneer in color tinting and special effects well before her colleagues.
Filmmaker Catherine Stratton has put together a very nice short documentary that highlights some of Alice Guy-Blache’s achievements and films.