Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (Pamela B. Green, 2018)

Pamela B. Green’s Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché, narrated by Jodie Foster, is a feature documentary that rewrites film history, revealing for the first time the full scope of the life and work of cinemas first female director, screenwriter, producer, and studio owner Alice Guy-Blaché.

Guy-Blaché started her career as a secretary to Léon Gaumont and, at 23, was inspired to make her own film called La Fée aux Choux (The Cabbage Fairy), one of the first narrative films ever made. After her filmmaking career at Gaumont (1896-1907), she had a second decade-long career in the U.S., where she built and ran her own studio in Fort Lee, N.J.

Over the span of her career, she wrote, produced or directed 1,000 films, including 150 with synchronized sound during the silent era. Her work includes comedies, westerns and dramas, as well as films with groundbreaking subject matter such as child abuse, immigration, Planned Parenthood, and female empowerment. She also etched a place in history by making the earliest known surviving narrative film with an all-black cast.

Within this film can be heard the voices of Patty Jenkins, Diablo Cody, Ben
Kingsley, Geena Davis, Ava DuVernay, Michel Hazanavicius, and Julie Delpy – just to name a few–commenting on Guy-Blache’s innovations. Also included is rare footage of televised interviews and long archived audio interviews which can be heard for the first time.

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