Film Documents The 1929 All-Women's Air Race
"Breaking Through The Clouds: The First Women's National Air" is
a documentary about 20 female pilots, including Amelia Earhart, who
raced across the country in 1929 over a nine-day span to prove that
flying was a safe mode of transportation and to show that women
could indeed fly. The documentary will be shown during
AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and the film's Executive
Producer and Director, Heather Taylor, will be at Author's Corner
"Facing cultural stereotypes, mechanical failures, navigational
challenges, threats of sabotage and endless chicken dinners, the
women persevered and became pioneering legends in aviation," Taylor
said. "Their story is inspiring to anyone who has the courage
to follow their own dreams."
The premiere of Breaking Through The Clouds was part of this
year's women's air race celebration in Frederick, MD. Playing to a
sold out crowd, the reaction from the viewers was enthusiastically
positive. Taylor says, "Many told me that they had never been
to a film where the audience was so intensely following the story
every step of the way. There was laughter and crying during
the film and a long-standing ovation afterwards." Taylor has worked
13 years to produce this film.
"Breaking Through The Clouds" is nearly two hours of story
telling with original footage from the 1929 air race, interviews
with legendary pilots Elinor Smith Sullivan, Julie Clark and Patty
Wagstaff as well as interviews with friends and family members of
the original racers and aviation historians. In addition,
there are aerial recreations using planes like the women flew in
the Derby such as the Travel Air, Monocupe, Fleet and Waco.
Pat Thaden Webb, daughter of original racer Louise Thaden, said,
"I'm so appreciative of how you portrayed my mother Louise Thaden's
beautiful soul, and her determination and courage to be a great
pilot, and what flying and flight meant to her. She, and the
other 19 pilots who flew this first race, earned their right, and
the right for all women, to be able to participate in the
development of aviation. Your film is a real tribute to my mother
and to the others, and I'm forever grateful that their forgotten
story has come to the screen for all to see."
Racer Mary Von Mach's great niece, Mary Jo Von Mach added, "For
the rest of my life I will treasure the day you gave to us...
Everyone loved the film and felt it was just the right tone, and it
made them all, to a person, feel very proud to be involved with you
and the film."
This year's winner of the women's air race Terry Carbonell said,
"We were amazed at the number of similarities in the race from 1929
to 2010. Amazing. But what is more amazing is how you captured the
spirit and the feeling of sharing this incredible experience with
some really awesome women - that part and the friendships and bonds
that are made are something that touches all of our hearts."
Breaking Through The Clouds will be shown at the AirVenture Cup
Race July 24th in Mitchell, South Dakota and at AirVenture in
Oshkosh, Wisconsin on Tuesday, July 27th at 0930 in the Skyscape
Other avenues for showing the film include air shows around the
country and aviation museums.