I’m pleased and I’m proud to be a part of David Wilkinson’s absorbing documentary The First Film, which focuses on the life, disappearance and legacy of Louis Le Prince, the man who, in October 1888, recorded the first moving pictures in Leeds, Yorkshire, England. This feature-length study of one of the pioneers of early cinema, a Frenchman who toiled in a workshop on Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, is a long overdue tribute to man who never received his due during his lifetime or after.
I touched on the curious case of Le Prince in my 2008 book Made in Yorkshire, which David published through his company Guerilla Books. And it was partly my book that prompted him to resurrect his long-held ambition to prove that Le Prince – not Thomas Edison, not the Lumiere brothers – was the man who captured the first images on film.
The film receives its world premiere next Tuesday at Edinburgh International Film Festival and on July 1 gets a gala premiere in Leeds at the lovely Hyde Park Picture House. Further screenings include National Media Museum, Bradford (July 2), Regent Street Cinema, London (July 3 and 4), Gate Cinema, Notting Hill Gate, London (July 8), Galway Film Fleadh, Ireland (July 11), Triskel Arts Centre, Cork (July 14), Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast (July 16), Greenwich Picturehouse, London (July 20), Ritzy, Brixton, London (July 23). See full screening itinerary here.