Throw All Your Money at This NWHL Film Kickstarter

History Begins wants to chronicle the National Women's Hockey League's landmark first season.

Update: December 3, 2:24 p.m.

540 Films’ Kickstarter surpassed its goal of $45,000 this morning. With four days remaining and new perks added, like a nifty twig by Colt, Koteen’s team is setting their sights on $60,000.


After a brief break for the Four Nations Cup—which saw Team USA, led by members of the Boston Pride, take top honors for the sixth time—the National Women’s Hockey League returns to action this weekend. The undefeated Pride take on the New York Riveters in Brooklyn on Sunday, before heading to Allston next week for their first-ever home game on November 22.

Boston’s Hilary Knight has already proven “strong is beautiful” in a short for GoPro, spending equal time shattering the stigma surrounding girls with muscles and dangling your face right off. This, in a nutshell, is the NWHL: a daring exercise in gender equality, and damned fun to watch.

Wesleyan University alum, amateur hockey player and professional filmmaker Rachel Koteen and her Brooklyn-based 540 Films hope to spin this yarn into a documentary film, tentatively titled History Begins.

“Our cameras will be there for the pre-dawn workouts and the late night practices,” Koteen wrote on the project’s Kickstarter page. “We’ll capture the power in a blistering slap shot, the spray of ice from each stop and pivot, every muttered expletive, and every cry of agony and joy.”

The film will chronicle the fledgling league’s first season, shifting focus between the four franchises’ players and Commissioner Dani Rylan, as she works to establish the NWHL as an empowering force for women. Koteen has previously worked on a number of PBS documentaries, co-producing the award-winning “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.”

As of press time, 263 backers have raised $13,772 of the $45,000 goal with 28 days yet to go. Perks include an original song by Connecticut-based band The Zambonis, NWHL pucks, stickers by Tumblr artist ninjaomelet, a limerick composed by Koteen herself, and more.

“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,” Koteen wrote.

Sign me up. And go see what Liev Schreiber’s up to.