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A woman becomes slowly visible in front of a black space. She points a wand and spells the word “Bonsoir” in coloured letters formed from flowers.

Alice Guy-Blaché (1875-1968) was the first woman film director, and arguably the first director of a narrative film, with her 1896 production “La Fée Aux Chou” (The Cabbage Fairy).

She directed and produced over 300 films in her lifetime, initially as studio head of Gaumont in Paris (1896-1906) and later for her own company Solax in the USA. She tackled every genre including trick films, using techniques usually only attributed to Georges Méliés.

Blaché returned to France from the US in 1922 after the onslaught of the large Hollywood studios made it difficult for independent studios to make a living. She was without prints of her films and spent much of the rest of her life trying to prove to others what she had done. At the age of 78 she was finally recognised and made a Knight of the French Legion of Honour.

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Year 1905

Reference number F18512

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production FRANCE

Genre Short

Duration 0:00:22

Production company Gaumont

Credits Director: Alice Guy-Blaché