Leeds remembers Louis Le Prince, the first trailblazer of film

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A plaque commemorating the achievements of film pioneer Louis Le Prince has been unveiled in Leeds, the city he once called home.

The plaque has in recent years been in the care of Bradford’s Science and Media Museum but has been moved to the site of Le Prince’s old workshop, which is now part of Leeds Beckett University’s city campus.

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Its unveiling was one of the highlights of a day of events hosted by Leeds Beckett and paying tribute to the Frenchman’s work.

The programme also included a lecture by film, video and installation artist John Smith as well as the opening of a Le Prince exhibition that will run at Leeds Central Library until Thursday, November 16.

Leeds Beckett’s Prof Robert Shail said: “Louis Le Prince was a pioneer who helped to make cinema possible.

“Today Leeds Beckett keeps those traditions of innovation alive at the Northern Film School.

Louis Le Prince.

Louis Le Prince.

“We are delighted to commemorate his achievements and the role of Leeds in film history through the launch of a new annual lecture, as well as the opening of an exhibition celebrating his life and work.

“This day of events demonstrates how our collaboration with Leeds International Film Festival keeps the city at the forefront of film culture.”

The world’s first moving pictures were recorded by Le Prince as he stood at a window overlooking Leeds Bridge one day back in 1888.

Sadly, he never benefited from his breakthrough – two years later he mysteriously disappeared after boarding a train during a trip home to France.

Attendees at today’s plaque unveiling included Le Prince’s great-great-granddaughter Laurie Snyder, Leeds City Council leader Coun Judith Blake and Coun Jane Dowson, the Lord Mayor of Leeds.

The Leeds International Film Festival began on Wednesday and runs until November 16.

PIC: PA

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