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A Campaign to Restore and Release Early American Films Directed by Women

Nov 15, 2016

Kino Lorber is crowdfunding an effort to rerelease more than a dozen movies made in the US by female directors between 1910 and 1929.


The late actress Dorothy Davenport launched her career early, making a name for herself at Universal Studios by the age of 17. She later turned to directing and producing films — although her name often appears in the credits as Mrs. Wallace Reid, even in the years after her husband passed away. At least one of those films, The Red Kimono, is now set for rerelease under her given name, nearly 100 years after its premiere, as part of the largest ever commercially released collection of films by female directors.

Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers” is a massive undertaking by film distributor Kino Lorber to celebrate motion pictures made by female American directors between 1910 and 1929. That period marks the end of the silent film era, by which time many women had anchored themselves at the top of the studio system, sitting behind the camera with the authority to control what it recorded. Yet their films are not well known today — many exist only in poor condition or fragments; others were not regarded as good enough to be released on video.

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