Director Pamela Green is embarking on an ambitious, but thought-provoking, documentary film examination of the life and work of Alice Guy Blache, the first woman director, titled BE NATURAL. Guy was a French woman who, in 1895, was one of the first people to shoot moving pictures for a major company. Guy is also the first woman to direct a horror, sci-fi, or fantasy film, as well as possibly the first person to shoot a narrative film (that's debated widely).
The Alice Guy documentary BE NATURAL will explore exactly why Guy disappeared from the mainstream film scene in the early 1920s, as well as her legacy. Watch Green's trailer, (narrated by director Jodie Foster):
Appearing in the film are female directors Diablo Cody, Catherine Hardwicke (TWILIGHT), Floria Sigismondi (THE RUNAWAYS), Cheryl Hines (SERIOUS MOONLIGHT), Julie Delpy (THE COUNTESS), Julie Taymor (THE TEMPEST), and Guy biographer Alison McMahan. The film is currently raising funds, and I can't think of a better way to waste 20 bucks today (first world problems).
Guy is a big part of the first chapter of my taking-forever-to-finish book about the history of female horror film directors. Guy directed the first fantasy film in 1895, LA FEE AUX CHOUX (THE CABBAGE FAIRY):
As well as the first horror/comedies:
Her 1906 film LES RESULTATS DU FEMINISME (THE CONSEQUECES OF FEMINISM) and her 1912 film IN THE YEAR 2000 (unfortunately, that one is now lost) were both set in science fiction futures in which gender roles were reversed with interesting (and at the time, humorous) results. Check out LES RESULTATS DU FEMINISME:
Guy also was responsible for adapting the gothic tales THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME and DR. FAUST, as well as Edgar Allan Poe's THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM to some of their first film versions. She also dabbled in mystery, thrillers, and comedies.