In 1910 French-born Alice Guy Blache started a U.S. film company and directed several hundred short films.
Lois Weber, who started directing films in 1913, often made strong political statements, as in Shoes (1916), which was against child labor.
Another early woman filmmaker, Nell Shipman, trained animals to star in her wildlife adventures.
Film star Mary Pickford, called America’s Sweetheart, often played a poor little orphan in a cold, mean world.
In real life, she was a clever businesswoman, who co-founded a major film company, United Artists.