Nell Shipman   1892-1970

The Forgotten Girl from God’s Country





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 THE GIRL FROM GOD’S COUNTRYis finished and submitted to film festivals around the world!  Help us ensure Nell Shipman and a generation of forgotten female film pioneers receives the recognition they deserve. Spread the word–support global screenings of this documentary! Become a FRIEND OF NELL by making a tax-deductible contribution to our PREMIERE FUND now!




Silent film writer, director, and star, Nell Shipman came to Idaho’s Priest Lake from Hollywood in 1922 with her 10-year-old son, her ill-fated lover-producer, a future Academy Award-winning cinematographer (Joseph Walker) and a personal zoo of 70 animal actors that included bobcats, bears, elk, eagles, deer and sled dogs. She was the first of her kind, a female independent filmmaker who refuted Hollywood’s mistreatment of animals and refused the assured trappings of a studio contract with Samuel Goldfish (soon to be Goldwyn) to produce her own films on-location.

Her storylines of self-reliant women overcoming physical challenges in the wilderness and often, rescuing the male lead, shattered the predictable cinematic formulas of large studio productions. Throughout her prolific but doomed career, Nell wrote what she knew and every story was a reflection of who she was; an unrelenting, unrepentant artistic talent and a self-reliant film pioneer.

Emblematic of an entire lost generation of female producers and directors in silent film, Nell Shipman’s legacy has remained a buried treasure in film history for nearly 100 years. Why that happened -how that happened –has been a mystery until now…

This is where our story of
“The Girl from God’s Country” begins….

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C.K. Haun and Karen Meyer
Eileen Barber
Arlene Vidor
Tracey Goessel

Boise State University
Idaho Film Collections
Women Film Pioneers Project
Idaho Public Television
Peppershock Studios
Grapevine Productions