Blue Harbor Entertainment has acquired all distribution rights to Wayfarer Studios and FunMeter’s “The Herricanes” and plans to release the film in theaters this summer.

The documentary, from director Olivia Kuan, follows the Houston Herricanes, part of the groundbreaking first women’s full-tackle football league of the 1970s. The story is personal to Kuan. Her mother, Basia Haszlakiewicz, was a player on team.

The Houston Herricanes football team faced minimal support from the public during the four years they played. And the players were teased and joked about in their time on the gridiron and off. But somehow these team of women from all different walks of life, and little experience, stuck with it for as long as finances would allow, making history.  

“We are pioneering an innovative, filmmaker-friendly business model, and we are thrilled to work with Olivia and the rest of the team behind ‘The Herricanes’ to bring this little-known story of grit, determination and perseverance by a remarkable group of female athletes to U.S. audiences this summer,” Blue Harbor Entertainment said in a statement.

In a release touting the announcement, the filmmakers note that women’s football still faces many of the challenges experienced by the Herricanes 40 years ago. Thanks to 1972’s Title IX, the landmark civil rights law banning sex-based discrimination in schools, the number of girls and women participating in sports has grown exponentially. However, football remains something of a final frontier for women in athletics.

“Today there are women’s tackle football teams all over the country and even more across the globe,” Kuan said. “But even at the highest level, for women, the game is still pay to play. While progress has been hard to come by, we’ve turned a corner in the last five years. Women’s sports are being broadcast at a significantly higher rate and the WFA [Women’s Football Alliance] will have its championship game shown on ESPN2 on July 27. Many states across the country have started grassroots programs for girls in football. And flag football was recently added to the Olympics for 2028. If this momentum continues, women’s football will soon be visible in an unprecedented way.” 

The film premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in 2023, where it won both the Audience Award in the Documentary Spotlight Program and a Special Jury Recognition — Lone Star Award. Kuan is best known for her cinematography work across narratives and nonfiction features. “The Herricanes” marks her directorial debut.  

The film is produced by Kuan, James Lee Hernandez, Brian Lazarte, Lisa France, James Short, Justin Baldoni, Andrew Calof, Endyia Kinney-Sterns, Tracy Ryerson and Steve Sarowitz.

Wayfarer Studios current slate includes ”It Ends With Us” and “A Nice Indian Boy,” along with documentary features including “Will & Harper.”  FunMeter’s recent documentaries include  ”Lolla:  The Story of Lollapalooza” and  ”McMillion$.” Blue Harbor will release the horror-thriller “Trim Season” theatrically in June.


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