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Directed by Ned Thanhouser

United States 2014 50 mins.

The Thanhouser Company was a trailblazing studio based in New Rochelle, New York, where from 1910 to 1917 it released over 1,000 films seen by audiences around the world. This documentary from Portlander Ned Thanhouser, grandson of studio founders Edwin and Gertrude, reconstructs the little-known story of the studio and its founders, technicians, and stars as they entered the nascent motion picture industry to compete with Thomas Edison and the companies aligned with his Motion Pictures Patents Corporation (MPPC). Recounting a saga of entrepreneurship, success and reversal, cinematic innovation, the launching of careers, and the transition of the movie industry from the East Coast to the West, Thanhouser’s film provides an intriguing perspective on both the studio and the pioneering days of independent movie-making in America.

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.