Women’s Film Preservation Fund & Alice Guy-Blaché

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Still from Alice Guy-Blaché’s Mixed Pets (1911).

New York Women in Film & Television and Alice Guy-Blaché make a perfect pair. The organization’s Women’s Film Preservation Fund (WFPF) helped to preserve two of her shorts, Matrimony’s Speed Limit (1913) and A House Divided (1913), as part of its inaugural projectMixed Pets (1911), Guy-Blaché’s earliest extant film from her studio Solax, was preserved through a WFPF grant in 2009, and screened, along with three other WFPF films, at the 2009 Alice Guy-Blaché retrospective at the Whitney Museum.

Most recently in 2014, Guy-Blaché’s Tramp Strategy (1911) was chosen by WFPF to receive a preservation grant. WFPF is the only program in the world dedicated to preserving the cultural legacy of women in the industry. Founded in 1995 by NYWIFT in conjunction with the Museum of Modern Art, its goal is to ensure that the contributions of women to film history are never forgotten. To date the WFPF has preserved more than 100 American films in which women play key creative roles. In February 2015, a special WFPF screening series will be held at MoMA. More information on that event to come.

Tonight, NYWIFT members attending the organization’s monthly mixer—as well as anyone passing by the Envti hotel—will be in for a real treat. The Big Screen Plaza will be showing Guy-Blaché’s comedic silent film Mixed Pets on a loop during the NYWIFT event at Humphrey, from 6:30-8:30 pm. Make sure to come out for cocktails and enjoy this unique screening! Not a NYWIFT member but interested in becoming one? You’re welcome as well—no RSVP required.

Don’t know who Alice Guy-Blaché is? Learn more about this talented woman considered to be the first female director—completing her first film in 1896 when she was in her early-20s—by checking out the successfully funded Kickstarter project for the documentary Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché, directed by Pamela Green with Robert Redford executive producing. You’ll find great historical facts and archival footage included on the project’s page.

— AMANDA LIN COSTA

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