Women in Blue

Women officers seek gender equity in Minneapolis, redefining what it means to protect and serve. Then a fatal shooting imperils their gains.

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Funding Initiative
Open Call
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Deirdre Fishel

Deirdre Fishel is an independent filmmaker of both documentaries and dramas. Her films have premiered in competition at Sundance and SXSW and been broadcast in 35 countries worldwide. Her documentary Still Doing It: The Intimate Lives of Women Over 65 was also expanded into a book co-written with producer Diana Holtzberg. Recent projects include a web Show more documentary Suicide On Campus, produced in conjunction with The New York Times Magazine, and a transmedia project, The Boy Game. Deirdre was a directing fellow at the American Film Institute and has an MFA from Hunter College. She is an Associate Professor of Media & Communication Arts at The City College of New York. Show less

Other ITVS Films
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Beth Levison

Levison is an Emmy and Peabody-winning producer/director. Her producing credits include Made in Boise (Independent Lens 2019), The Trials of Spring (PBS 2019) and 32 Pills (HBO 2017). She is the founder of Hazel Pictures, a co-founder of the Documentary Producers Alliance (DPA), an AMPAS member and faculty with the School of Visual Arts.

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The Film

Minneapolis Police Department Chief Janée Harteau, the department’s first female chief, works to remake the MPD by getting rid of corrupt police officers, re-training the rest, and demanding accountability. As part of her reform efforts, she also recruits more women and promotes them into leadership at every level. Women in Blue follows three of these police women from different ranks, each committed to reimagining their profession. Cmdr. Melissa Chiodo, tapped by Harteau to be the first woman head of Special Crimes, handling domestic violence and sexual offenses; Sgt. Alice White—who grew up in a black neighborhood suspicious of the police—now leads procedural justice trainings, teaching cops fairness and respect; and rookie Officer Erin Grabosky who, at 22, navigates a night patrol of bar fights, suicide attempts, and domestic violence.

When the fatal shooting of an unarmed woman by a police officer stuns the city, Chief Harteau is forced to resign. The new male chief appoints only men to his top brass, threatening the gains in women represented on the force. With a city already on edge over police misconduct, the women of the MPD fight for gender equity, convinced that it’s one key to reducing police violence.