The Early Women Filmmakers Blogathon is here!

It’s here at last! Some wonderful participants are going to join me in celebrating women directors from the dawn of cinema to 1970! Do join us on this tour of this forgotten realm of film history.

Flicker Alley is sponsoring this fabulous event in celebration of their new Early Women Filmmakers box set (it will be released May 9, 2017). So come on in, relax and prepare to greatly expand your watchlist for your #52FilmsByWomen project.

And while you’re reading, here is a delicious Lois Weber-inspired sandwich to enjoy:

By Linda Luther-Veno, reprinted with permission (click to enlarge)


I will be updating this roster over the course of the event so check back often.

Actually come to this page, don’t look through a salt shaker. I mean, you CAN, I won’t stop you but it would be difficult to read the updates.


France pioneered many film innovations and they also can claim the very first known woman director, Alice Guy.

Bible Films | Alice Guy’s La naissance, la vie et la mort du Christ (1906)

An examination of Guy’s religious film, which puts women front and center.

Cinematic Scribblings | Reflections: Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962)

A discussion of Agnes Varda’s examination of self-absorption and identity.

Century Film Project | Alice Guy-Blaché: Mother of Film

An examination of the first known woman director’s career.

The Movie Rat | Germaine Dulac

The career of a brilliant feminist filmmaker.

Movies Silently | Germaine Dulac’s The Smiling Madame Beudet (1922)

A marriage in crisis, a suicide hoax and live bullets.

Cinema Gadfly | Agnes Varda’s Le bonheur (1965)

Varda’s gorgeous, complicated drama.


Yes, women directed films in the mainstream American film industry! Here are some of them.

Peyton’s Classics | The Films of Mabel Normand

A whirlwind tour of Mabel Normand’s surviving works as director.

The Motion Pictures | Dorothy Arzner’s The Bride Wore Red (1937)

Arzner directs Joan Crawford in this Golden Age soaper.

Big V Riot Squad | Dorothy Davenport: Her Life and Career

Davenport’s long career celebrated; she was more than just Mrs. Wallace Reid.

Prince of Hollywood | Mabel Takes the Wheel

Mabel Normand’s directing skills were tested in Mabel at the Wheel (1914).

The Stop Button | Lois Weber’s The Blot (1921)

An examination of Weber’s social justice drama about underpaid educators.

Moon in Gemini | Ida Lupino’s The Hitch-Hiker (1953)

Lupino’s desert noir gets its due!

Reelweegiemidget Reviews | 3 TV Tales with a Twist: A 1960s TV Trio Directed by Ida Lupino

Lupino’s big career on the small screen.

Old Hollywood Films | Dorothy Arzner’s Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)

Arzner directs Lucille Ball and Maureen O’Hara in a backstage melodrama.

Ferdy on Films | Lois Weber’s Shoes (1916)

Weber’s drama has a heaping helping of social issues.

Silver Scenes | Ida Lupino’s The Trouble with Angels (1966)

Lupino directs a comedy about mischievous Catholic schoolgirls.

The Wide World

Women filmmakers can be found in almost every industry.

Silver Scenes | Leontine Sagan’s Maedchen in Uniform ( 1931 )

Sagan’s influential drama set in a girls’ school during the last days of the Weimar Republic.

Film Ruminations | Olga Preobrazhenskaya’s The Peasant Women of Ryanzan (1927)

One of the women directors of the Soviet Union gets her due.

The Motion Pictures | The Career of Muriel Box

Never heard of her? Don’t worry, they’ve got your back!

Critica Retro | Gilda de Abreu: Unmatched

An examination of the career of Brazil’s forgotten director.

Dennis J. Duffy | “Evangelist”: The Films of Dorothy (Fowler) Burritt

An examination of the Canadian amateur filmmaker and cineaste.

Not This Time, Nayland Smith | Forough Farrokzhad’s The House is Black (1963)

Review of a documentary from an Iranian director.

VCINEMA | A Discussion of Three Pre-1970 South Korean Female Directors: Park Nam-ok, Hong Eun-won, and Choi Eun-hee

Meet three women behind the camera in South Korea.

Sound Transition and the Flirty Thirties

Women directors were present in most of the major film industries when sound arrived and they contributed their innovations to the new art.

Caftan Woman | Dorothy Arzner’s Merrily We Go to Hell (1932)

An examination of Arzner’s final film for Paramount.

Once Upon a Screen | Dorothy Arzner’s The Wild Party (1929)

Arzner helms Clara Bow’s first talkie.

The Second World War: Before and After

The lead-up and aftermath of WWII included many opportunities and much inspiration for women directors.

Silver Screenings | Director Leni Riefenstahl: Artistry and Propaganda

An examination of Riefenstahl’s most chilling motion picture.

Cinematic Scribblings | Holding Pattern: Wings (1966)

Larissa Shepitko’s beautiful, melancholy examination of a Soviet pilot’s life after her return from the war.

Hear Me Talk of Sin | The Films of Maya Deren

A celebration of Deren’s unique career.


Women were pioneers and innovators in the field of animation as well– often outside the realm of the standard cel technique.

The Last Drive In | The Art of Lotte Reiniger: The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)

A celebration of Reiniger’s masterpiece of silhouette animation.

Movies Silently | Claire Parker’s The Nose (1963)

A glorious monochromatic adaptation of the famous Gogol short story.

Skalpell und Katzenklaue | The Magical Lotte Reiniger

An overview of Reiniger’s career. (Be sure to hit the translate button if you don’t speak German!)

55 Replies to “The Early Women Filmmakers Blogathon is here!”

      1. Yes I see many of the topics are taken. In that case, there is an Indian film producer called Devika Rani, I could write about her life in contradiction with her film, Achut Kanya. Would that be ok?

  1. I’m so sorry I’ve not been able to partecipate in this. I’m up to my neck in the preapration of my AtoZ Challenge posts and I’m so behind (will blog about film noir, by the way 😉 ). But I can’t wait to read the entries. I’ve already seen lots of intersting ones.

  2. Feel free to delete this once you correct it: you’ve misidentified the author of the Maedchen in Uniform post. It’s “Silver Scenes” not “Silver Screenings.”

  3. Thanks so much for hosting this. I’m going through the posts now, and am learning SO MUCH about film history.

    Also: Thank you for the sandwich recipe. I might just make one right now.

  4. I’m so sorry I won’t be able to participate. I really tried getting my post ready by this week, but I fell ill to a stomach bug recently and it’s pushed a lot of things back for me. I’m looking forward to reading all these interesting posts though!

  5. Hi Fritzi. I finally finished reading every post and commenting on every one I could. This was one of my favorite blogathons. People came up with some excellent posts. Thank you to you for all the hard work and to all the people who posted.

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