restricted access Woman’s Place in Photoplay Production (USA, 1914)

A filmmaking pioneer and the first female director, Alice Guy-Blaché directed films for Gaumont in France, beginning with La Fée aux choux (The Cabbage Fairy, 1896), before creating the Solax Company in the United States in 1910. She penned the following statement on the role of women in the cinema. The manifesto does play on some unfortunately sexist stereotypes about the “feminine” nature of women’s emotions but nevertheless makes an early and compelling case for female directors’ being naturally superior to male ones at a time when the notion of the director as the driving force behind the cinema was inchoate but undoubtedly male.