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The First Film (2015)

Leeds born filmmaker David Nicholas Wilkinson's thirty three year quest to prove that the worlds film industry started in Leeds, Yorkshire, England in 1888.

Director:

David Wilkinson
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Bernard Atha Bernard Atha ... Himself
Stephane Cornicard ... Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince (voice)
Tom Courtenay ... Himself
Nigel Cross Nigel Cross ... Himself
Quentin Dowse Quentin Dowse ... Himself
Ben Eagle Ben Eagle ... Adolphe Le Prince (voice)
Tony Earnshaw Tony Earnshaw ... Himself
Joe Eszterhas ... Himself
Aurelie Freoua Aurelie Freoua ... Herself
Paul Goodman Paul Goodman ... Himself
Louise A. Handley Louise A. Handley ... Herself
Michael Harvey Michael Harvey ... Himself - Historian
Ronald Harwood ... Himself
Stephen Herbert Stephen Herbert ... Himself - Historian
Sarah Lancashire ... Lizze Le Prince (voice)
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Storyline

In October 1888 Louis Le Prince produced the world's first films in Leeds,England. These were shot on cameras patented in both America and the UK. Once he had perfected his projection machine Le Prince arranged to demonstrate his discovery to the American public and thus the world. On 16th September 1890, just weeks before he was due to sail to New York Louis Aime Augustine Le Prince stepped onto the Dijon to Paris train and was never seen again. No body was ever found so legally no one could fight the Le Prince claim that he invented a camera that recorded the very first moving image. As a result, several years later, Thomas Edison and the Lumiere Brothers were to claim the glory and the prize of being acknowledged as the first people to pioneer film. Louis Le Prince was never added to history books. But for one lone voice, who worked with him, Le Prince's name and his pioneering work was forgotten. THE FIRST FILM is a feature length documentary proving once and for all Le Prince ... Written by David Nicholas Wilkinson

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Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

UK | France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 September 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El gran misterio de la historia del cine See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£400,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Due to budgetary constraint, the film was made over an almost three year period. Pre-production began in October 2012 and the film was finally delivered in May 2015. However, David Nicholas Wilkinson began work on the project in 1982 but it was not until 2012 and the Governments introduction of the SEIS scheme that made the film a viable proposition for investors. It opened in UK cinemas in July 2015. If Louis Le Prince had lived, he was due to show his films to the world at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in New York, George Washington's old headquarters. This would then have become the world's first movie theatre. The First Film (2015) was screened at the Mansion as part of an historic screening, squaring the circle, 126 years late. The New York Times recommended this event as a "must see" for two weeks running. See more »

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User Reviews

 
fascinating, compelling, and beautifully made
26 June 2015 | by stratfranksSee all my reviews

Beautifully made and compelling to watch, this is a stylish personal journey taking us back in time to 19th Century Leeds, where we discover the original, yet still unknown and unsung, inventor of the first moving image.

The director's passion for his subject is as focused as it is clear, and David Nicholas Wilkinson, himself a former actor, is as charming as he is charismatic. Placing himself at the centre of the film's journey of discovery, Wilkinson has created a smoothly seductive narrative device, transforming what in lesser hands might have amounted to a mere factual programme into the story of one man's obsessive mission to investigate the truth about the birth of cinema, a truth mired in the mists of 19th century history and the brutal competition wrought by the tail end of Northern England's industrial revolution.

The film also showcases a series of irresistible cameos featuring both well-known and not- so-well-known film industry insiders, including actors, writers, financiers and others, all providing an off-the-cuff perspective that might well have been expected instead from outsiders.

This wonderful film is apparently still in search of a sales agent and of distribution outside the UK - let's hope it gets the worldwide release it deserves.


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