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Kino Lorber Launches ‘Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers’ Kickstarter

A collection of American films directed by women, digitally restored from archive film elements.

Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers

Last week Kino Lorber launched a new Kickstarter aimed to fund their latest project “Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers,” a collection of important American films directed by women, including Alice Guy Blaché, Lois Weber, Nell Shipman, Dorothy Davenport­, and many more, between 1910 and 1929.

The ambitious project will be presented in association with the Library of Congress and be the largest commercially-released video collection of films by female helmers. It will include HD restorations of both the most important films of the era, as well as lesser-known works, including short films, fragments and isolated chapters of incomplete serials.

“By showcasing the ambitious, inventive films from the golden age of women directors, we can get a sense of what was lost by the marginalization of women to ‘support roles’ within the film industry,” reads the Kickstarter page.

READ MORE: ‘The Eyeslicer,’ A New Variety Series By and For Indie Filmmakers, Launches Kickstarter Campaign

“Pioneers” will be executive produced by filmmaker and actress Illeana Douglas and produced by Bret Wood, who previously produced “Pioneers of African­-American Cinema,” as well as restorations of films for Kino Lorber. Shelley Stamp, author and Professor of Film & Digital Media at the University of California Santa Cruz, will curate the selection of films.

At the time of publication, the Kickstarter has obtained $24,076 of their $44,000 goal, with 24 more days to go.

“The names Alice Guy Blache, Lois Weber, Dorothy Davenport Reid, and other significant female directors deserve to have their names celebrated next to DeMille’s, and Griffith’s as the early pioneers of Hollywood,” said Douglas. “Just as these woman told powerful stories to raise awareness and educate, we must do the same! I am honored to be a part of ‘Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers,’ so that these films, and filmmakers, can be put in the pantheon of cinema where they belong.”

READ MORE: 20th Century Fox Film And AFI Enter Partnership To Increase Number of Female Directors On Major Studio Films

Kino Lorber previously launched the successful crowd­funding campaign for “Pioneers of African-American Cinema.” The funds from the Kickstarter allowed the project to expand from a modest collection of films into a monumental five­-disc collection, loaded with extras and an 80­-page booklet. They hope to do the same with “First Women Filmmakers.”

The full list of films is to be determined, but the collection will likely include works by:

Ruth Ann Baldwin: “49­’17″

Alice Guy Blaché: “Canned Harmony, A House Divided,” “The Ocean Waif”

Grace Cunard: “The Purple Mask” serial (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 Helen” serial (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”

For more information check out the video below and visit their Kickstarter page by clicking here.

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