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Retrospective "Women Pioneers of Cinema" will be shown at the 11th Odesa International Film Festival

It includes 6 pictures

Retrospective "Women Pioneers of Cinema" will be shown at the 11th Odesa International Film Festival, which will take place online from September 25 to October 3. The program includes 6 films that will pay tribute to women who became pioneers in cinema, including Alice Guy, who is the first woman director.

While the first directors of cinema are undoubtedly the Lumière Brothers, the first fiction filmmaker often remains unrecognized. And it was a woman. Her name was Alice Guy, and she was not only the first female filmmaker in history but also the first fiction film director, with « The Cabbage Fairy » in 1896. She had a long and fruitful career, from her native France to the USA, becoming the founder and director of the largest pre-Hollywood studio in 1910. Alice Guy’s name has been erased from the books of film history. She was never fully recognized by her peers and few people know about her as one of the pioneers of cinema. Only recently has she been rediscovered and her name, given the importance it always should have had”, the OIFF programme director Anthelme Vidaud noted.

The retrospective program of "Women Pioneers of Cinema" includes the following films:

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché” is a documentary produced and narrated by Jodie Foster that reveals the story of the first woman director in cinema history, with a combination of archives, interviews with prominent personalities and fragments from Alice Guy’s filmography.

The Ocean Waif” was made in 1916 - more than a century ago. The film can be seen as a classical melodrama but its modernity is quite impressive for the time. This modernity can be seen in a complex narrative structure (with the use of flashbacks), and more particularly in the direction of actors, that respond to the motto of Alice Guy, “be natural”.

The Cigarette” is a 1919 film directed by the French avant-garde filmmaker, theorist and critic Germaine Dulac, who was a prominent feminist figure as well as a pioneer of the Impressionist and then Surrealist cinema. “The Cigarette” tells the story of a liberated young woman who awakes her husband’s jealousy; using a seemingly naturalistic style, Dulac deconstructs traditional gender roles.

For a Woman about a Woman” is a 1931 Ukrainian film, directed by Evheniya Hryhorovych and shot in the Odesa film studios. It is a documentary and educative film about the female body, with recommendations for women's health in everyday life, in particular during pregnancy. The film is silent and will be displayed with the comments of Oleksandr Teliuk, curator of the Dovzhenko Centre, that restored the film.

Olivia” is a French film by Jacqueline Audry, directed in 1951. Audry was the only woman filmmaker in France directing fiction films after Alice Guy and Germaine Dulac, and before Agnès Varda. It is a rare but cult film, being the first openly lesbian movie in cinema history. According to the plot, the heroine Olivia joined a boarding school for girls. There is a connection between her and English teacher Julie.

The Perfect Candidate” (2019) is the fourth film by Haifaa Al Mansour, the first female director of Saudi Arabian cinema. Her first film, “Wajda” (2012) got her international fame and numerous prizes. “The Perfect Candidate” was selected in the last Venice film festival. The main character is a doctor who is running in the local elections in Saudi Arabia. The director with humor shows the real situation of women in this country.

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