March is Women’s History Month and what better way to celebrate than with highlighting four trailblazing women of film history!
Lois started as a silent film actress who became one of the biggest film directors of the silent film era. Her directing career began with her working alongside her husband Phillips Smalley which made her the first American woman to direct a full length feature film. The craziest fact - she was the highest paid director in Hollywood at one point! She then moved onto her own creative projects before creating her own company in 1917 making her the first American woman director to own her own film studio.
Quote: “In moving pictures I have found my life's work. I find at once an outlet for my emotions and my ideals. I can preach to my heart's content, and with the opportunity to write the play, act the leading role, and direct the entire production”
Barbara Loden wrote, directed, and starred in her award winning film Wanda in 1970.
After searching for a director, Barbara said that the potential male directors, “didn't seem to understand what this woman was about,” so she did what all amazing women do - she directed it herself. Not only that - her crew was 4 people…for a feature length film! Wanda ended up winning Best Foreign Film at the Venice Film Festival as the only American entry.
Quote: “It was really about the oppression of women, of people... Being a woman is unexplored territory, and we're pioneers of a sort, discovering what it means to be a woman.”
Julie Dash directed the award winning film “Daughters of the Dust” about slaves living on an island off the Georgia coast inspired by her father’s Gullah family background. IndieWire named the film one of the most significant films of the last 30 years. This film made her the first African American woman to have a wide theatrical release of her feature film. Fun fact: Beyonce drew inspiration from her film “Daughters of the Dust” for her visual album entitled, “Lemonade.”
Quote: “You don’t need to fight wars anymore; just create a series of films that move and motivate and resonate with people and you could change a situation.”
Janet Mock started her career in storytelling at People Magazine as a Staff Editor. In 2014, she published her first memoir, “Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More,” which quickly became a NY Times Bestseller. Mock made her way into the film and tv industry shortly after. Her script “Love Is the Message,” written for the TV show “Pose,” made her the first trans woman of color to write and direct an episode of television.
Quote: "How I got here was through writing about myself, through telling the truth, through committing to telling my story,"
~Keep Living Life Out Loud~ With Love, Sara Elizabeth