Her Turf is a short documentary follows three female football officials as they claim access to a powerful role in a male-dominated industry and bravely attempt to level the playing field.
Annice Canady was the first female football referee to officiate a NCAA game in 2000. Because of this, she is a trailblazer and has opened the door for other women.
In Her Turf, Annice doesn’t shy away from reporting harsh realities and therefore it is this strong attitude which immediately hooks the audience. She reveals what it was like to be the “first” on the field from coaches, fans, and her male colleagues throughout her career as she reflects on the challenges of being the only woman on the field.
After several decades refereeing, she transitioned to the NFL as an officiating scout and helps recruit talent into their development pool.
Mary Podesta’s in Her Turf storyline brings some lightness to the gravity of Annice and Tangela’s journeys. She is a natural storyteller, and because of this her sound bites are self-deprecating and funny.
Mary’s goal is simple: self-improvement. Working full time as a physical education teacher in California, she officiates for the love of the game. Mary’s perspective is a refreshing contrast, downplaying the hurdles women face. However, through her entertaining quotes, the hurdles remain in the undercurrent.
For instance, Mary shows how college football facilities aren’t accustomed to having a female official and at times, she’s had to search campuses to find a place to change into her uniform because they didn’t have a locker room for women.
Tangela Mitchell has the “it” factor in Her Turf. She’s ambitious and has the talent to officiate. Representing the next generation, Tangela carries Annice’s baton with grace, and her footage shows what it’s like to be in the trenches today.
In the post-Time’s Up world…
In conclusion, Her Turf offers a finely-crafted view into the underpayment, underutilization, and scarcity of opportunity for women in sports.
As timely as it is brilliantly-executed, we are excited to hear more stories in this series. Above all, we want to see its impact on the world of sports and beyond. Hopefully this will break through a long-standing glass ceiling for women in athletics.
Watch the Her Turf trailer here:
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