Motorcycle Mary – Director Haley Watson

Haley Watson directorial debut MOTORCYCLE MARY, documentary short, brings the remarkable life of Mary McGee’s to the big screen with stunning never-before-seen archival footage and photographs. McGee’s racing career spanned thirty years and saw Mary shatter gender norms while mastering multiple racing disciplines. Born in Alaska on the eve of World War II, Mary’s early life is riddled with fear but despite that she conquers her apprehensive nature and discovers  the art of composure—a skill that serves  her to take on the racetrack. Following in her brother’s footsteps, her remarkable racing odyssey begins in the world of cars, where she outshines her male competitors, only to later discover her greatest sense of freedom racing motorcycles. She was the first woman to race motorcycles in the United States. Confronted by sexism and personal tragedy, Mary perseveres, pushing herself to greater and greater heights—culminating in her most hair-raising challenge: Becoming the first person ever to solo the grueling Baja 500 on a motorcycle. MOTORCYCLE MARY was produced by Rachel Greenwald, executive produced by two-time Oscar® winner and founder of Breakwater Studios Ben Proudfoot, and seven-time Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton. MOTORCYCLE MARY will come to the big screen at the 2024 Tribeca Festival in New York where it will make its world premiere in the shorts competition on Friday, June 7th (with additional screenings June 13 and 15).  Director Haley Watson joins us for a conversation on Mary McGee’s unwavering courage and fearless spirit that continues to inspire.


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MOTORCYCLE MARY premieres at Tribeca Film in the “Shorts: Personal Best” program on June 7th, 2024 at 5:30 PM ET in New York City at AMC 19th Street East 6 (890 Broadway, New York, NY 10003), followed by subsequent screenings at 6:15 pm on Thursday, June 13th and 2:15 pm on Saturday, June 15th. Director/producer Haley Watson and film subject Mary McGee in-person for Q&As along with other filmmakers.

About the filmmaker – Haley Watson is a Los Angeles-based director and cinematographer. Haley’s recent work includes directing and producing “Motorcycle Mary,” an original short documentary set to premiere at Tribeca Film Festival 2024. The film was acquired by ESPN, to be curated into the Emmy / Peabody winning 30 for 30 series from ESPN Films.  Her producing partner is the 2-time Academy Award-winning production company, Breakwater Studios. The film is executive produced by seven-time Formula One world champion – Lewis Hamilton. Haley’s keen eye for storytelling has also been proven groundbreaking research. Haley found and pitched the original story for “The Queen of Basketball,” which became the 2021 Academy Award winner for Best Short Documentary Subject. Haley began her career by working through the ranks of the camera department. While serving as a first assistant camera, she had the opportunity to work with many notable directors, such as Lynn Shelton and David Lynch. Her technical skills earned her placement in the AFI Cinematography Intensive for Women in 2019, as well as ASC’s Vision Mentorship Program in 2020 (Paired with Marshall Adams from “Better Call Saul” as her mentor). Amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Haley joined Breakwater Studios and played a pivotal role in developing an innovative remote shooting method. She applied this method as the Director of Photography for “The Beauty President,” which premiered at SXSW. Additionally, she spearheaded the establishment of Mariposa Camera, a boutique camera house in Los Angeles, demonstrating her entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to the industry. Haley has embarked on collaborative projects with other industry giants such as Microsoft, Puma, Amazon and Subaru.