Who Was Alice Guy-Blache? 20th Century Female Filmmaker Gets Spotlight in New Documentary

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The name Alice Guy-Blache might not ring a bell yet, but the 20th century female film pioneer is about to come back in a big way.

The French filmmaker – who may have been among the first in the world to use common film techniques like close-ups and synchronized sound  – is being featured in a new documentary, “Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache.”

“She wasn’t just a writer, director, producer, studio owner making all of these films,” director Pamela Green said. “She was an artist and an entrepreneur in a time when we thought women didn’t exist doing these things.”

Guy-Blache was active between the late 1800s and the early 1900s, and was believed to be the only female filmmaker for most of her career.  

While she did most of her early filmmaking in France, Guy-Blache moved to the United States in the early 1900s with her husband and set up a motion-picture studio in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, New York.

Learn more about the ground-breaking filmmaker and the new documentary in the video above.

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