The 20 Coolest “Firsts” In Film History


It’s amazing how film has evolved from a “technological” invention into the “seventh art” in a century. Apart from being one of the most praised forms of art which provides a unique way of expression, it’s also one of the most popular forms of entertainment today. We’ve collected 20 “firsts” in film history from the first movie ever made to the first woman to win an Oscar in 2010 (Yes, we think it's a little too late too).

1. Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince was the one who shot the first moving pictures on paper film using a single lens camera in 1885.

Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince was the one who shot the first moving pictures on paper film using a single lens camera in 1885.
Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince was the one who shot the first moving pictures on paper film using a single lens camera in 1885.

He has been heralded as the "Father of Cinematography" since 1930.

2. Roundhay Garden Scene is believed to be the oldest surviving film in existence, as noted by the Guinness Book of Records. (1888)

It is a 2-second long short silent film recorded by French inventor Louis Le Prince.

3. Alice Guy-Blaché is revered as the first female director and writer of narrative fiction films.

Alice Guy's first film, and arguably the world's first narrative film, was called La Fée aux Choux (The Cabbage Fairy) in 1896. It is a humorous story of a woman growing children in a cabbage patch. There is speculation surrounding the actual date of the film and different historians have argued about the dating and the labeling of it as 'the first narrative film' because of its extremely close release to another cataloged Gaumont film and other narrative-esque films from Méliès.

4. Fred Ott's Sneeze was the first motion picture to be copyrighted in the United States.

It is an1894 American short, black-and-white silent documentary film shot by William K.L. Dickson and starring Fred Ott.

5. The Black Maria was Thomas Edison's movie production studio in West Orange, New Jersey, which is widely referred to as America's First Movie Studio. (1893)

6. A boxing match between Australian fighter, Albert Griffiths and Charles Barnett, was the first motion picture in the world to be projected onto a screen before a paying audience, at a storefront theatre, 156 Broadway in New York City.

It was titled Young Griffo v. Battling Charles Barnett.

7. Histoire d'un Crime deploys the first flashback in the history of film. (1901)

And it is probably the first crime film.

8. With its pioneering use of themes of scientific ambition and discovery, A Trip to the Moon is described as the first science fiction film. (1902)

A Short History of Film argues that it codified "many of the basic generic situations that are still used in science fiction films today."

9. The Boxing Cats made at Thomas Edison's Black Maria Studio in West Orange, N.J is the first cat video ever.

And it’s one of the earliest sports videos ever.

10. Lillian Gish has been called film's "first true actress," as she pioneered new film performing techniques, recognizing the crucial differences between stage and screen acting.

11. Roy McCardelll was the first person to be hired for the specific job of writing for motion pictures in 1900.

12. Rescued by Rover was the first movie to feature a dog in a starring role.

It is a 1905 British short silent drama film, directed by Lewin Fitzhamon, about a dog who leads its master to his kidnapped baby.

13. Annette Kellermann as the star of A Daughter of the Gods was the first major actress to appear nude in a Hollywood production.

14. The first feature film originally presented as a talkie was The Jazz Singer, released in October 1927.

15. The 1st Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 1927 and 1928.

It took place on May 16, 1929, at a private dinner held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

16. Venice held the first major film festival in 1932.

17. Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf was the first film to have its entire credited cast be nominated for acting Oscars (1966).

The film is one of only two films (the other being Cimarron) to be nominated in every eligible category at the Academy Awards. Each of the four actors was nominated for an Oscar but only Elizabeth Taylor and Sandy Dennis won, for Best Actress and Supporting Actress, respectively. The film also won the Black and White Cinematography award for Haskell Wexler's stark, black-and-white camera work (it was the last film to win before the category was eliminated), Best Costume Design and for Best Art Direction (Richard Sylbert, George James Hopkins).

18. The first African American artist to win an Oscar was Hattie McDaniel.

She won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Gone With The Wind in 1940.

19. The first animated film to be nominated for best picture was Beauty and the Beast in 1991.

It lost to The Silence of the Lambs.

20. The first woman to win a Best Director Oscar was Kathryn Bigelow.

Bigelow won for The Hurt Locker in 2010.

Sources: 1, 2

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