Since the launch party, wherever an NWHL event is being held, Rachel Koteen and her cameras are not far behind, taking video of crowds at games, of players at practice and off-ice interviews. Now, Koteen is launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the documentary, titled “History Begins,” the NWHL slogan.
Koteen, an acclaimed filmmaker and amateur hockey player, most recently co-produced the PBS series “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” which won four Realscreen awards and the Television Academy Honors, and “A Path Appears” for Show of Force.
She has now turned her attention to the NWHL, documenting the story of the rise of the newest women’s hockey league in North America.
But Koteen’s documentary will focus on more than just the hockey side of things. She writes, “Our documentary is not just for hockey fans. It’s for anyone who cares about the place of women’s athletics in our society, and, ultimately, anyone who cares about the ongoing fight for gender equality.”
The description on the Kickstarter reads:
Team sports are inherently rife with drama. Teammates spend long hours together, forming intense bonds and relying on each other for support. Yet they’re also competing for playing time and the increased compensation and opportunities that come with it. As the inaugural season progresses, tough losses and personal fouls will be remembered and avenged, and tension will mount as teams vie for the Isobel Cup. Meanwhile, the pressure is on for founding commissioner Dani Rylan and league personnel to prove that a professional women’s hockey league is viable.
The triumphs and failures of the individual players and their teams will be set against the backdrop of the ultimate success or failure of the entire endeavor of professional women’s hockey.
Koteen and her crew are looking to raise $45,000 in one month, no small amount of money. However, she does put this into perspective for possible donors, explaining that “the “24/7 Road to the Winter Classic” series, which follows NHL teams during the first half of their season, costs about $1.6M to make.”
The Kickstarter will end in December of 2015. Fans can visit the page here.
Edited to add: 540 Films, Koteen’s company, is independent and not employed by the NWHL.
In the interest of full disclosure, the podcast I hold weekly with two other writers, Don’t Snow the Goalie, has agreed to donate a guest spot to Koteen for her Kickstarter.