With International Women’s Day coming this Friday, we're happy to announce a two-day event entitled Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers that showcases the contributions of female filmmakers in the early days of cinema.
Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers is a special two-day event highlighting works by filmmaking trailblazers, including Alice Guy-Blaché, Zora Neale Hurston, and Mabel Normand. Running April 19-20 at the historic Oriental Theatre, this three-part celebration of cinema’s early female innovators will feature live performances by local musicians, who have composed new scores for the screenings.
Popular Milwaukee musicians, including Anthony Deutsch, Amanda Huff, SistaStrings, and Nickel & Rose, have been tapped to create original scores and exclusively perform the unique compositions live at the event. The musical genres paired with each program span from jazz piano to American folk, providing each screening with a contemporary twist on silent cinema.
Dr. Tami Williams, associate professor of Film Studies and English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, curated the three programs in conjunction with the UWM Women in Film Pioneers Symposium, taking place the same weekend.
“Women’s participation in the first decades of cinema was much more extensive than previously thought,” states Dr. Williams. “As screenwriters, directors and producers, women played an integral role in the early artistic development of the medium, bringing unique viewpoints and an imaginative exploration of crucial topics of the time, many of which remain surprisingly relevant today.”
The first program is the Popular Session and features an assortment of exciting shorts with masked heroes, river rescues, and queer cowboys. The second, Social Commentary, presents a stimulating variety of socially-minded shorts, including some shot by Zora Neale Hurston. The Avant-Garde third program is a feature-length presentation of Alla Nazimova’s Salome, a bit of art noveau by way of Hollywood grandeur.
You can either purchase tickets to each program separately, or for $25, we are offering an all-access pass - which includes a ticket to all three programs as well as a commemorative screen-printed poster illustrated by local artist Britta Naslund and printed by Split Fountain Press.
All Pioneers events will be held at Milwaukee’s historic Oriental Theatre, 2230 N. Farwell Ave., Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202.
Popular Session | Friday, April 19 | 7 p.m.
Featured musician: Amanda Huff
Purple Mask (USA |1917 | DCP | Director: Grace Cunard)
A Daughter of “the Law” (USA | 1921 | DCP | Director: Grace Cunard)
That Ice Ticket (USA | 1922 | DCP | Director: Angela Murray Gibson)
Algie the Miner (USA | 1912 | DCP | Director: Alice Guy-Blaché)
Mabel’s Blunder (USA | 1914 | DCP | Director: Mabel Normand)
Social Commentary | Saturday, April 20 | 12:30 p.m.
Featured musicians: Nickel and Rose; SistaStrings
Ethnographic Films: Fieldwork Footage, ep. 1-4 (USA | 1928 | DCP | Director: Zora Neale Hurston)
When Little Lindy Sang (USA | 1916 | DCP | Director: Lule Warrenton)
Bread (USA | 1918 | DCP | Director: Ida Mae Park)
The Risky Road (USA | 1918 | DCP | Director: Ida Mae Park)
Eleanor’s Catch (USA | 1916 | DCP | Director: Cleo Madison)
Ethnographic Films: Fieldwork Footage, ep. 5-8 (USA | 1928 | DCP | Director: Zora Neale Hurston)
Avant-Garde | Saturday, April 20 | 7 p.m.
Featured musician: Anthony Deutsch
Salome (USA | 1923 | DCP | Director: Alla Nazimova)