Obsessed with Light:The Genius of Loie Fuller

: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Post-Production


Loie Fuller was born in America and shot to stardom in Paris at the turn of the 20th century. She was not only a visionary performer, but also a technological trailblazer who simultaneously revolutionized several fields.


Obsessed with Light is a feature-length documentary film that tells the story of American performer Loïe Fuller (1862-1928), a pioneer of modern dance, stage lighting and design. Born in the Midwest, Fuller moved to Paris in 1892 to premiere her new dance at the Folies Bergère and became an overnight sensation. What she created was far more abstract and complex than anything that had been seen before. Her patented innovations in lighting techniques and stage design are the forerunners of some of today’s most elaborate multimedia productions. Ahead of her time in recognizing the value of her work, Fuller was a fierce defender of her ownership rights. She launched Isadora Duncan’s career, promoted Auguste Rodin’s sculpture in the U.S. and consulted Marie Curie to make her costumes glow. She inspired artists and filmmakers such as Picasso, Whistler, Rodin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Alice Guy Blaché, the Lumière Brothers and more recently, William Kentridge, Taylor Swift and Alexander McQueen. 

Fuller never conformed to society’s expectations. She collaborated with her life partner Gabrielle Bloch on numerous projects including experimental films. Fuller took a degree of agency over her life and career that would be remarkable today and was almost unbelievable for her time. She was unapologetic about her appearance, sexuality, ambition, personal limitations and humble beginnings. Although largely forgotten, Fuller was one of the most visually daring individuals of the early 20th century. Obsessed with Light reveals how this trailblazer’s influence has extended into our own cultural landscape in astonishing and unexpected ways. In 1928, Fuller died of breast cancer and is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.


No artisic statement provided


Zeva Oelbaum - Director/Producer
recently co-directed "Letters From Baghdad," voiced and exec produced by Tilda Swinton

Sabine Krayenb├╝hl - Director/Producer/Editor

recently co-directed "Letters From Baghdad," voiced and exec produced by Tilda Swinton


Connect With The Filmmakers:


The Gotham Film & Media Institute - Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2021
Production grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities
Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts
Grant from Regina R. Scully, Artemis Rising
IDFA Pitch Forum 2020


Help promote my fundraising campaign
Put our donation widget on your website

Get Widget Code



The Gotham Logo


© 2021 The Gotham. All Rights Reserved.
   Design by Andrew Martin

The Gotham Film & Media Institute is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding, developing and celebrating the people and projects that shape the future of story.

Learn more about us or become a member