This short documentary follows three female football referees as they claim access to a powerful role in a male-dominated industry. Annice Canady was the first female football referee to officiate a NCAA game in 2001. She is revered as a trailblazer, opening the door for other women to call the shots. The three-time cancer survivor doesn’t shy away from reporting harsh realities on what it was like being the first female on the field. Tangela Mitchell has the “it” factor in officiating with intangible qualities to succeed. She’s ambitious and has the talent to officiate in the NFL someday. Tangela carries Annice’s baton with grace as she continues to advance in the pipeline. Mary Podesta officiates for the love of the game and being part of the football community. Her sound bites are self-deprecating, entertaining, and funny.
This timely and engaging film reveals the struggles and triumphs of three referees who didn’t set out to be trailblazers but are, by their very presence, opening doors for women who will arrive after them. Viewers will get to know each ref as they pursue professional excellence and chase their love of the game.
Directed by Shantel Hansen (USA)