“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 history of the race, while comparing the race as it is flown today. Filming wrapped in 2014, following that year’s Air Race Classic, a contemporary race with more than 50 teams of women pilots.
Beyond the Powder is produced by Hemlock Films and Western Reserve PBS and directed by Kara Martinelli.
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 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.