Women Film Pioneers Project features silent-era producers, directors, co-directors, scenario writers, scenario editors, camera operators, title writers, editors, costume designers, exhibitors, and more to make the point that they were not just actresses.

Contribute to WFPP

If you are interested in contributing to the Women Film Pioneers Project, please contact the editorial team at wfpp@columbia.edu for further instructions on the process. Additionally, please look over our Guidelines, which are located on the About page.

Current Calls for Contributors:

  1. Unassigned Russian Pioneers
  2. Overview Essays


  • Helen Gardner’s Cleopatra (1912) Airs on September 29 as part of TCM’s Silent Sundays

      Helen Gardner’s Cleopatra (1912), the first film produced by her own Helen Gardner Picture Players, will screen on TCM on Sunday, September 29 at 12:45am. Filmed in Tappan-on-the-Hudson in New York, Cleopatra was described by Moving Picture World, according to the AFI catalogue, as “Six thousand feet of sumptuous beauty and exquisite art—absolutely a motion picture in a »

  • New York Times Obituary for Alice Guy Blaché Published

      Overlooked is a series of obituaries about remarkable people whose deaths, beginning in 1851, went unreported in The Times. Last week, New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis covered the life and career of Alice Guy Blaché. “Even before women had the right to vote, Blaché, in her actions and in her films, expressed female drives, »

  • Book Talk & Event: “Slapstick Divas: The Women of Silent Comedy,” New York Public Library, Sept. 12, 2019

    On Thursday, September 12 at 6pm, WFPP contributor Steve Massa will discuss his book Slapstick Divas: The Women of Silent Comedy and the many funny women of early cinema at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. From the NYPL website: “In America and abroad, the early cinema was full of funny ladies who »

Featured Video

The Twins (Lois Weber and Phillips Smalley, 1911). Recently identified as a film by Lois Weber, The Twins (held at the EYE Filmmuseum, in Amsterdam) is a story about twin sisters who are separated at birth (Weber, who also scripted the film, takes on the dual role of the sisters). 

Featured Pioneer



Jane Gaines, Radha Vatsal, and Monica Dall’Asta, eds. Women Film Pioneers Project. Center for Digital Research and Scholarship. New York, NY: Columbia University Libraries, 2013.