The First Film (2016)

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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 days before he was due to sail to New York Louis Augustine Aime 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 to 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 David Nicholas Wilkinson's decades long quest to prove to the world that a Frenchman Louis Le Prince made the first films in 1888 and that the birthplace of motion pictures was not America nor France but in fact the city of Leeds in the county of Yorkshire, England.

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Critic Reviews for The First Film

All Critics (10)

Despite diligent research and expert help, the excitable presenter readily gives in to mythmaking, especially when conjecturing on Le Princes uncertain end.

May 2, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

A personal 30-year quest by filmmaker Wilkinson to get to the bottom of an astonishing omission from film history, this documentary plays out like an urgent mystery.

Sep 7, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

The doc isn't especially cinematic but you can't help but admire the dogged passion with which Wilkinson has pursued his subject.

Sep 7, 2016 | Full Review…

Alas, Wilkinson's presenting style is a bit Alan Partridge and he just isn't very good at making the story come alive on screen.

Jul 6, 2015 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

A flickering story that blends intrigue, industrial espionage, and possibly even murder.

Jul 5, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

This is a meticulously researched investigation into the achievements and mysterious disappearance of Le Prince, who vanished without trace while travelling on the Dijon-Paris express in September 1890.

Jul 2, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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