French Female Pioneers
Originally conceived to premiere at this year’s Festival de Cannes, French Female Pioneers came to fruition with the support of the Institut Français. The restoration work for this all new program was carried out under the supervision of the National Center for Cinema and the Moving Image. Our special thanks go to the Bureau Français de Taipei for making it possible to show this program at WMWIFF.
French Female Pioneers is an inversion of male-centered cinematic history. This program invites audiences to reflect on the neglect of the female gaze and gender awareness in film. The five directors Alice Guy, Germaine Dulac, Marie-Louise Iribe, Musidora (Jeanne Roques), and Nicole Vedres enjoyed illustrious careers in a variety of professions. Their boldness in challenging technical conventions and putting into practice a multitude of theoretical ideas rightly established their importance on the ideological and artistic frontier.
The seventeen works curated in this program were first published between 1898 and 1946. These films epitomize film’s transition from silent to sound. They were once lost to history, but have thankfully been recovered and restored to shine a light on these female creators and their profound legacy.