Aviatrixes A Project of Documentaries
They built and flew airplanes long before they had the right to vote. Despite all men's efforts to keep women on the ground, Aviatrixes have made epic contributions to the aviation and space industries.
The idea for this documentary started to grow the day I discovered Jackie Cochran who broke the sound barrier in a jet back in the 50's. It wasn't long before I was learning about women who were pilots going back to the year 1910. Questions were swarming in my head like why I had never heard of these women before; what were they like; how did they do what they did; what drove them; how did they overcome obstacles. I had to know more! I also wanted to discover their mojo that kept them on course regardless of setbacks or what others thought. I needed to know their secrets. These are powerful women that I believe to be perfect role models of how all of us regardless of gender or age should keep our passions burning so we can experience our dreams and truly live
This documentary uncovers true stories of the bold and unconventional women of aviation who overcame the educational, political, economic and societal challenges that their gender had to face. In 1911, The Detroit Free Press answered the question, "Ought women to aviate?" by quoting flight instructor Claude Graham-White,
"Women are temperamentally unfitted for flying because they are prone to panic."
Aviatrixes tells the stories of bygone women who rebelled and defied social norms of their time to make their dreams a reality. These women did not let their lives be restricted by prejudices and social or family pressures. They risked everything, even their lives, to follow their passions to help change aviation and women's role in the field.
We all know of Amelia M. Earhart, but what about Elise Raymond Deroche, the Parisian who, after surviving several crashes and many broken bones, was determined to become the first woman to earn a pilot's license and did so on March 8, 1910? Amelia obtained her pilot's license in December 1921, but by then, amazing women from all over the world were flying. The Americans include Harriet Quimby, Matilda Moisant, Bessica Raiche; the British, Edith Cook and Hilda Hewlit. Unfortunately, these early fliers have simply been forgotten.
Through interviews, Aviatrixes also reveals the adversities and accomplishments of our modern day female pilots. Has anything changed in the 21st century? What are the universal experiences shared with their predecessors? Is there a common thread, even today? Interviews include the aerospace matriarch and mentor Wally Funk, General Maggie Woodward USAF, Major Mary Clark USAF, Captain Kacey Ezell USAF, champion sport jet pilot Dianna Stanger, and Amelia Rose Earhart, who in 2014, flew and symbolically finished her namesake's flight around the world.
I am making this documentary to explore answers to the above questions. By remembering these women, all of us – not only young women – can learn and be inspired by their stories. I hope to spark excitement and contemplation about who we are as individuals and what we are capable of achieving, regardless of gender.
I believe these women empower us to have courage to go after our own passions despite what others believe we should do with our lives – to live the life we were meant to.
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