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East Coast Premiere

Director: Chase Musslewhite

United States, 2023, 15 min

Shooting Format:RED

Festival Year:2024

Category:Documentary Short

Genres:Western, Observational, Texas, Motherhood

Crew:Producer: Chase Musslewhite.


Hailing from a long line of cowboys and cowgirls, Krishaun Adair has paved her own way in the rodeo world as both a competitor and a rodeo host. We follow her and her daughter, a barrel racing duo, as they prepare for an upcoming competition.

'Cowgirl' is an observational short doc that seeks to explore an often overlooked demographic of rodeo goers - that of black Americans, the first cowboys and cowgirls of this country. Through the lens of a mother-daughter barrel racer duo, this film will focus on what it means to be a modern cowgirl, the importance of preserving black rodeos, and debunking the myth of the “cowboy or cowgirl” that we have historically seen in media. Shot over a four day window, the film follows Krishaun Adair and her family as they prepare for an upcoming rodeo, a rodeo that Krishaun is also hosting. A slice of life film, 'Cowgirl' offers a glance into this vivid and captivating rodeo world.


About the director

Chase is an accomplished director, writer, and producer hailing from Houston, Texas. With a career that includes four transformative years in the global film industry, notably contributing to acclaimed shows such as The Warrior and running a commercial production company, Flux Films, while based in South Africa, Chase's creative journey has come full circle, leading her back to her Texan roots.

Her storytelling prowess has been recognized on both local and international stages, with her previous short films receiving premieres at prestigious festivals spanning Cannes, Seattle, Austin, New Orleans, and Berlin. Her latest venture, a feature-length documentary, has taken her to renowned pitching and networking forums, including IDFA Academy, Sheffield Meet Market, Durban Berlinale Talents, and The Gotham (formerly IFP). She is currently writing a feature film set in her home town of Houston.

Outside of film production, Chase is channeling her passion and expertise into a mission to rejuvenate the Texas film industry. Her pivotal role in Media For Texas underscores her commitment to fostering growth and innovation in the region's cinematic landscape.


Filmmaker's note

Cowgirl is Chase's Documentary Short directorial debut. While she has co-directed and co-produced films previously, this will be her first independent film, and it is one very special to her heart.

Growing up riding horses in Texas at various local rodeos across the state, Chase always knew she wanted to document the women who raced their horses around barrels. When she moved back to Texas, she wanted this to be her first film project. She found her lead character Krishaun after reading an article about her and her daughter in the Houston Chronicle the year prior. She searched high and low for Krishaun's contact, reaching out to various Journalists, but with no luck. After two months of calling and searching, Chase almost gave up. Instead, she started cold calling phone numbers she found on various local rodeo flyers that she had started collecting. The first woman who answered was... none other than Krishaun herself. The rest was, as you would say, history.

Close friends now, Chase and Krishaun are thrilled to be able to share Krishaun's story authentically. Unobtrusive and without an agenda, they simply wanted to showcase this rodeo world and engage new audiences in all of its beauty and glory.

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