Women & the Silent Screen: Entr'acte (June 2 & June 4-6, 2021). Learn more

Women and the Silent Screen: Entr'acte

Women and the Silent Screen (WSS), the biennial international conference sponsored by Women and Film History International (WFHI), has been a hub for the exchange of research focused on all forms of women’s involvement during the earliest decades of film history. As a prelude to the 2022 in-person event, WSS will host a free online edition open to all. Four programs of panels and workshops, along with online screenings, will explore women’s contributions to cinema in the silent era, the 21st century scholarship surrounding these achievements, and film restoration efforts to preserve them.


In conjunction with the weekend conference, on Wednesday, June 2, at 2:30 pm ET, the latest Kennington Bioscope program (Solax, The House Built by Alice Guy Blaché) will premiere with live music and introductions; the show will be available to view free on the KB YouTube channel through June 30, 2021.


Co-sponsored by: Women and Film History International, MA in Film and Media Studies Program at Columbia University School of the Arts, Department of History at Columbia University, The Harriman Institute at Columbia University,  Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University, Dragon Summit Culture Endowment Fund for C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Digital Scholarship at Columbia University, Maison Française at Columbia University, and the Fort Lee Film Commission.


Alice Guy Blaché Solax Program

Premieres June 2, 2021 at 2:30 pm (FREE to view all of June)

Presented by Kennington Bioscope
Read the program notes.


Event Time & Date

Date: Past Event
Location: Online



I. Bees and Roses: Chinese Women Directors and Silent Era US-Chinese Film Connections

II. Founding Mothers: Women Filmmakers of Early Soviet Documentary

III. Starting Something: Alice Guy Blaché and Early Cinema, from Sound and Color to Transatlantic Studio Production

IV. Breakthroughs: What Can Digital Humanities Tell Us That We Didn’t Know?

Conference Schedule

Friday, June 4


9 am–11 am ET   |   Program II—Panel # 1: The Art of Recycling: Early Soviet Compilation Film

Chair: Anastasia Kostina

Participants: Lilya Kaganovsky (U. Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Anastasia Kostina (Yale U.), Joshua Malitsky (Indiana U.), Oksana Sarkisova (Central European U.)

Includes Screening: Manifest / Manifesto (Lidia Stepanova, USSR, 1927). RT: 45 min.


12 pm–1 pm ET   |   Program III—Panel # 1 (Part One): Alice’s French-American Connection: From Paris, France to Fort Lee, New Jersey

Moderators: Aurore Spiers & Tami Williams

Respondent: Martin Barnier (U. Lyon 2)

Participants: Céline Ruivo (Post-Doc, UC Louvain/B-Magic), Wafa Ghermani (Cinémathèque Française)


1 pm–2 pm ET   |   Program III—Panel # 1 (Part Two): Alice’s French-American Connection: From Paris, France to Fort Lee, New Jersey

Moderators: Clara Auclair & Kim Tomadjoglou

Participants: Clara Auclair (PhD Candidate, U. Rochester/U. Paris Diderot), Richard Koszarski (Barrymore Film Center, Fort Lee, NJ)

Related Online Screening: Kennington Bioscope YouTube channel


3 pm–4 pm ET   |   Online Screening & Discussion

Lights! Camera! Alice! A Conversation with Manohla Dargis (New York Times) & Ariel Schweitzer (Cahiers du cinéma). With newly released extracts from Alice Guy, Pioneer of the 7th Art, Forgotten by History (Natalie Masduraud & Valérie Urrea, France, 2021).

Introduction: Tami Williams

Coordinators/Moderators: Kim Tomadjoglou & Tami Williams


7 pm–9:30 pm ET   |   Online Screenings

Segodnya / Today (Cannons or Tractors?) (Esfir Shub, USSR, 1930). RT: 75 min. Introduction: Anastasia Kostina

The Curse of Quon Gwon: When the Far East Mingles with the West (Marion E. Wong, US, 1916). RT: 50 min. Introduction: Cordelia Siporin

A Comedy of Errors (Alice Guy Blaché, US, 1912). RT: 14 min. Introduction: Kim Tomadjoglou


Saturday, June 5


9 am–11 am ET    |   Program I—Panel # 1: Global and Local: Silent Era Chinese Film Production for International Export

Chair: Yan-fei Song

Participants: Daoxin Li (Peking U.), Xuelei Huang (U. Edinburgh), Yongchun Fu (Zhejiang U.)


12 pm–2 pm ET    |   Program IV: “Breakthroughs: What Can Digital Humanities Tell Us That We Didn’t Know?”

Chair: Kate Saccone

Participants: Sarah Blankfort Clothier (AFI), Sarah-Mai Dang (Philipps U. Marburg), Jeffrey Klenotic (U. New Hampshire)


3 pm–5 pm ET    |   Program I—Panel # 2: The Curse of Quon Gwon (1916) and the Legacies of Marion E. Wong

Chair: Cordelia Siporin

Participants: Gregory Yee Mark (California State U., Sacramento), Yan-fei Song (Beijing Normal U.), Cordelia Siporin (Fairleigh Dickinson U.)


Sunday, June 6


9 am–11 am ET   |   Program I—Panel # 3: Chinatowns and Overseas Chinese

Chair: Jing Peng

Participants: S. Louisa Wei (City U. Hong Kong), Kim K. Fahlstedt (Stockholm U.), Yan-fei Song (Beijing Normal U.), Yiman Wang (UCSC)


12 pm–2 pm ET   |   Program II—Panel # 2: Women in Silent Soviet Documentary

Chair: Daria Ezerova

Participants: Daria Ezerova (Columbia U.), John MacKay (Yale U.), Natalie Ryabchikova (Higher School of Economics, Russia), Raisa Sidenova (Newcastle U.)

Includes Screening:

Tungusy / Tungus (Elizaveta Svilova, USSR, 1927). RT: 12 min.

Bukhara (Elizaveta Svilova, USSR, 1927). RT: 11 min.

Pioneria / Pioneers (Arsha Ovanesova & E. Borisovich, USSR, 1931). RT: 11 min.


3 pm–5 pm ET   |   Program III—Panel # 2: Out(side) of Time? Alice Guy Blaché, Film Canons, and Media Histories Today

Moderators: Clara Auclair & Aurore Spiers

Participants: Jane Gaines (Columbia U.), André Gaudreault (U. Montréal), Marie Kondrat (U. Genève), Kiki Loveday (PhD Candidate, UCSC)

Related Online Screening: Kennington Bioscope YouTube channel