Watch: The Herstory of the Female Filmmaker
How much do you know about the history of women in film?
Cinema has a rich history of visionaries, dreamers, and movers and shakers, from Eadweard Muybridge who basically invented it by accident to Industrial Light and Magic who ushered in the age of CGI. Countless filmmakers have influenced, changed, and evolved our beloved art form with their brilliant innovations, but more often than not the contributions we talk about belong to male creatives.
If you're interested in boning up on some film history to give you a more well-rounded understanding of how cinema went from novelties captured with bulky Kinetoscopes to grand pieces of art captured in UHD with an ARRI Alexa, filmmaker Kelly Gallagher's short The Herstory of the Female Filmmaker is an excellent place to start.
Even though Gallagher's short is starting to show signs of aging (she made it seven years ago), the basic history of women in film is still there. Just to name a few pivotal filmmakers, you've got Alice Guy-Blaché, the first female filmmaker who made over 700 films, you've got Maya Deren who was one of the most influential experimental filmmakers of all time, and you've got Kathryn Bigelow, the first women to ever win an Oscar for Best Director.
Admittedly, this is just a primer on the topic. Not only does the short predate Bigelow's historical Academy Award win, but it's missing all of the advancements and accomplishments of female filmmakers from the last seven years, like Patty Jenkins directing a Hollywood blockbuster superhero flick...about a female superhero...that dominated at the box office all summer...that landed sequel...that will be directed by the same female director. That's big!
Though the conversation about women in film has been had much more in the last several years, there is still a lot more to talk about and learn. So, I really encourage you to check out the work of all of the filmmakers mentioned in the video in order to get the full picture of how cinema came to be.