Friday, October 28, 2016

Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers

Earlier this year, when Kino Lorber released the five-disc Pioneers of African-American Cinema, J. Hoberman wrote in The New York Times, "From the perspective of cinema history — and American history, for that matter — there has never been a more significant video release.” Inspired by the enthusiastic grassroots support that enabled the creation of the project, Kino Lorber has decided to expand the foundation of Pioneers with a new, equally ambitious project: PIONEERS: FIRST WOMEN FILMMAKERS.
Like Pioneers of African-American Cinema, this new project will be a deluxe five-disc box set, with a booklet of historical essays, film notes, and photos. And, as before, we are mounting a Kickstarter campaign to help defray the massive up-front production costs of such a huge undertaking.

Presented in association with the Library of Congress (and drawing from the collections of other world-renowned film archives), Pioneers will be the largest commercially-released video collection of films by women directors, and will focus on American films made between 1910 and 1929—a crucial chapter of our cultural history.

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.

The collection will be comprised of new HD restorations of both the most important films of the era, but also the lesser-known (but no less historically important) works: short films, fragments, isolated chapters of incomplete serials. The five-Blu-ray box set will include approximately twenty hours of material—showcasing the work of these under-appreciated filmmakers, while illuminating the gradual changes in how women directors were perceived (and treated) by the Hollywood establishment.

Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers is executive-produced by filmmaker and actress Illeana Douglas (Goodfellas, Cape Fear, Ghost World), and produced by BretWood, who previously produced Pioneers of African-American Cinema, as well as restorations of films of Buster Keaton, D.W. Griffith, Erich von Stroheim, and many others for Kino Lorber. The selection of films will be curated by Shelley Stamp, Professor of Film & Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz and author of two award-winning books, Lois Weber in Early Hollywood and Movie-Struck Girls: Women and Motion Picture Culture after the Nickelodeon.

Please visit their Kickstarter page for lots more information and consider making a contribution.

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