Beyond the Bolex

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.

  • Alyssa Bolsey
  • Alyssa Bolsey
  • Tchavdar Georgiev
    The Desert of Forbidden Art, Off the Rails, Served Like a Girl
  • Camilo Lara Jr.
  • Werner Schweizer
    Hell on Wheels, Enemies in Love
  • Nicolas Wadimoff
    Aisheen (Still Alive in Gaza), Clandestines, Operation Libertad
  • Sarah George (Executive Producer)
    Catching Out
  • Diana Holtzberg (Executive Producer)
    Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, Mr. Gaga
  • Alyssa Bolsey
    Key Cast
  • Wim Wenders
    Key Cast
    Pope Francis: A Man of His Word, Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire
  • Jonas Mekas
    Key Cast
  • Barbara Hammer
    Key Cast
    Dyketactics, Tender Fictions
  • Bruce Brown
    Key Cast
    The Endless Summer, On Any Sunday
  • Dave Alex Riddett
    Key Cast
    Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep
  • Andy Warhol
    Key Cast
    Empire, Blow Job
  • Joel Schlemowitz
    Key Cast
  • Carole Bolsey
    Key Cast
  • Michel Bolsey
    Key Cast
  • Robin Bolsey
    Key Cast
  • Laureen Williams
    Key Cast
  • Camilo Lara Jr
  • Joseph Arredy
  • Carlos David Rivera
    The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate Del Castillo Story
  • Julie Janata
    Mayor of the Sunset Strip, Girls on the Wall
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 34 minutes 45 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 19, 2018
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States
  • Language:
    English, French
  • Shooting Format:
    HD, 16mm, 8mm
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    New York City
    United States
    November 8, 2018
    World Premiere
  • Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival
    April 3, 2019
    International Premiere
  • Julien Dubuque International Film Festival
    United States
    April 27, 2019
  • Newport Beach Film Festival
    Newport Beach
    United States
    May 2, 2019
    Won Emerging Filmmaker Award
  • Raindance Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    Nominated Best Cinematography
  • Dallas VideoFest
    Dallas Texas
    United States
    Won Best Feature Documentary
  • Jewish International Film Festival

  • Austin Jewish Film Festival
    Austin, TX
    United States
  • San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
    San Francisco
    United States
  • Istanbul Silent Cinema Days
    Istanbul, Turkey
    December 5, 2019
    December 4, 2019
    Opening Night Film
Director Biography - Alyssa Bolsey

Alyssa Bolsey began writing and directing short films as a kid. While still in High School, she directed a short documentary entitled “Wild Horses.” This work was screened at various art galleries in the US and was described by KPBS as "an insightful look at the artistic process." In University, her fictional short “I. Hero” was featured in rotation on the San Diego, California television show, “The Short List” from 2007-2010. Alyssa graduated Cum Laude from San Diego State University with a degree in Television, Film and New Media, with an emphasis on directing. She spent the next two years working at Creative Artists Agency, starting in the mailroom. She left CAA to direct a feature documentary about her great-grandfather Jacques Bolsey, the inventor of the iconic Bolex camera. Beyond the Bolex made its World Premiere at DOC NYC 2018. In 2019 Alyssa was awarded the Emerging Filmmaker Award from Newport Beach Film Festival for her film "Beyond the Bolex."

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