RTE Player. Ladies of Science: The extraordinary story of Mary Rosse & Mary Ward

Ladies of Science is a   56 minute drama documentary, set in Ireland, tells the true story of two remarkable women,Lady Mary Rosse and Mary Ward, who had a passion for science and technology, including photography, astronomy, microscopy, illustrations, archicture, all during a time (1850′s) when women were not admitted to universities. The current Earl of Rosse, Brendan Parson and his wife Allison, together with leading experts in science, literature, engineering, astronomy,photography, history, explore on film the facinating achievements of these two women. 

Alessandra wrote, directed and produced "Ladies of Science". From the beginning she fell in love with the two women and could not understand how their story remained untold. In April 2013 she formed a small team of researchers and within a few months received the support of the present Lord and Lady Rosse who granted free access to the locations and materials of these two women. In November 20 people were involved in the producVon growing to 60 people by the February of 2014. The production was then shot on locaVon at Dublin Castle Hotel and Birr Co. Offaly between February and May 2014.  

Narrated by Lalla Ward (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lalla_Ward), a great grand daughter of Mary Ward, the film includes details on the building of the Great Telescope in Birr, ( which was the biggest telescope in the world for almost 100 years ) and the tragic death of Mary Ward in 1869, which was the first fatal car accident in Ireland. Dedicated to all women who struggle for recognition and equal opportunities in today’s society.

The documentary had a huge success around the world, has been shown in Hollywood, Nice, Long Island, London, Dublin, Birr and Milano. 


- Winner Best Tv Documentary Capra Award, Life Fest international film festival, Hollywood LA – 2015

- Winner Best Editing Documentary at St Tropez Film Festival, Nice– 2015

- Winner Best Tv Documentary at International Film Festival of the world Milano-2015

- Winner Best Scientific & Educational Award Film Festival of the world Milano-2015 






About Me

Alessandra Usai  is a researcher and filmmaker. In 1999 she left Sardinia to move to Milan, where she graduated in Literature and Philosophy with specialization in Film History, documenting original artistic experiments of interaction between new media and performing arts.

She has worked on several well-received documentaries, and has been involved in the production as director and  producer and sometimes as editor. Her work on film has broad registers, from biographical documentary, to visual essays, to anthropological projects, to architectural research, to video-dance.. One of the projects she was involved in, the film La Piazza (The Square), which was the Winner of the “Life” prize at the Milan Filmakers Festival 2007.

Alessandra has researched and filmed on a series of projects concerned with social justice and ecological issues, for example documenting the NGO project “Food for Life” in Vrindavan in 2008, India, or producing a film on ‘Food-consumer cultural changes’ and their effects. Much of her work as a documentary filmmaker has a strong anthropological basis, being concerned with the preservation of sidelined histories, experiences, and traditions, and often based on extensive interviews and interaction with local communities.

Since 2012 she lives and works in Dublin, where in 2013 she has directed her first period drama short 'Lady Mary of Birr', written by Maken Mentxaka.

Between 2013 and 2014 she worked for the project “ Ladies of Science” an historical documentary about the extraordinary story of Mary Ward and Mary Rosse, two women who lived in Ireland in the 19th century, they were pioneer scientists in particular about photography, astronomy and entomology. 

From 2016 she works between Ireland and Italy as producer and director for several short films and documentaries. 

Am moment she is working on the develepement on a new project, if you want to know more about Alessandra please check her profile in Linkedin and Imdb. Alessandra founded two production company Hypatia Pictures in Ireland and Nical Films in Italy.


Director & Editor SHORT FILM

Director & Editor PROMO VIDEO