An Immigrant Inventor, His Camera and a Handheld Revolution
In the 1920s immigrant inventor Jacques Bolsey aimed to disrupt the early film industry with a motion picture camera for the masses: the iconic Bolex. Over 90 years later, filmmaker Alyssa Bolsey pieces together the fragments of a forgotten family archive to reveal the epic story of her great-grandfather in “Beyond the Bolex.” Interviewing family members and renowned filmmakers, Alyssa travels to Switzerland, and delves into Jacques’ personal diary, film reels and collected images in order to understand the man and his impact on generations of filmmakers.
Winner of Best Emerging Filmmaker at Newport Beach Film Festival 2019 & Winner of the Best Feature Documentary at Dallas Videofest 2019, Official Selection at Raindance Film Festival 2019
“Like so many filmmakers I began my career shooting with the Swiss Army knife of cameras. Beyond the Bolex is a personal story that captures the history of this iconic camera. The film, like the camera itself, is straightforward and engaging. It discovers things you may have never imagined. Highly recommended.” - Mark Freeman, Professor Emeritus,School of Theatre, Television, and Film San Diego State University
“A wonderful new documentary film…I urge anyone who loves filmmaking, cameras and personal histories to see the film.”– Indieplex
One of “the most notable and recommended” films at DOC NYC…“Beyond the Bolex is, yes, a film history about how a sturdy 16mm camera introduced in the 1920s revolutionized filmmaking for both amateurs and professionals, but it’s also a detective story.” – CBSNews
“It all comes together in a fascinating mix, making of Beyond the Bolex not only a great biopic, but also a marvelous celebration of the art of cinema, as well.”– Hammer to Nail
“Beyond the Bolex is an eloquent and highly personal documentary on one of the most iconic filmmaking tools. I have shared it with both my productions and film preservation students who are showing a renewed appreciation for analogue production practices. We need more history on the material past of our medium!” - Dimitrios Latsis, Assistant Professor, School of Image Arts, Ryerson University