The new PBS documentary film Beyond the Powder is now available on DVD and BluRay.
Beyond the Powder: The Legacy of the First Women’s Cross-Country Air Race is a one-hour film documenting the 1929 Women's Air Derby, and the women who continue to fly the cross-country race today as the Air Race Classic. The film highlights the societal and aviation challenges women faced in 1929, exploring the rich history of the race, while comparing the competition as it is flown today. Filming wrapped in 2014, following that year's Air Race Classic, a contemporary race with over 50 teams of women pilots.
Beyond the Powder is produced by Cleveland-based Hemlock Films and Western Reserve PBS, directed by NE Ohio native Kara Martinelli. Narration provided by Law and Order:SVU and NBC's Aquarius actress Michaela McManus.
The first Women’s Air Derby in 1929 was flown from Santa Monica to the finish line in Cleveland, kicking off the National Air Races. The eyes of the country watched as these brave women made history flying cross-country, breaking into a competition that was thought to be for men only. They encountered sabotage, death, and all the difficulties of flying at the dawn of aviation.
Today the so-called “Powder Puff Derby” continues as the Air Race Classic. The modern day racers carry out the legacy of the original racers with their adventurous and rebellious spirit. Showing that they were more than just their make-up, the original Derby contestants have inspired those flying today to truly push beyond the powder.