Project Description

April Wolfe on Pancho Barnes

Want to know about an outrageous woman who broke all the rules with humor and an unshakeable sense of self? Take a break with Pancho Barnes, a fearless woman who escaped kidnappers by riding a horse across Mexico dressed as a man, repeatedly said ‘No!” to authority and beat Amelia Earhart’s speed record— and that’s just for starters. Writer/filmmaker April Wolfe shares the story of this bold adventuress who’ll capture your imagination and win your heart!


Director: Julie Hébert
DP: Sevdije Kastrati
Editor: Anisha Acharya
Producer: Courtney Graham
Sound Recordist/Mixer: Lorita De la Cerna
Co-Producer: Jill Klein
PA: Sarah Witt

More About…

April Wolfe


April Wolfe is a novelist, journalist, filmmaker and the lead film critic at LA Weekly. She’s a fellow of the USC LA Institute for the Humanities and the nonprofit literary hub A Public Space and is the founder and producer of One Axe Plays, a film and theater collective for women writers, directors and performers. Her work has been published and screened many places, which you can find on her website.

Pancho Barnes


During her lifetime, Pancho Barnes was renowned for her individuality, larger-than-life personality, creativity, entrepreneurship, humor, generosity and integrity. A legend in the aviation community, she was one of the first female pilots to be licensed in the United States, and one of the most respected pilots of the Golden Age of Flight.

Photograph of Pancho Barnes, 1928 by George Hurrell (1904–1992). Image from the Pancho Barnes Trust Estate Archive.