“Team Dream” was selected as a finalist in this year’s ShortList Film Festival, presented by TheWrap. You can watch the films and vote for your favorite here.

“Team Dream” documentarian Luchina Fisher knew as soon as she met her subjects Ann E. Smith and Madeline Murphy Rabb that they had a story to tell. Both women are competitive swimmers from Chicago who travel around the country for meets, where they have won dozens of medals. They both enjoyed long, impressive careers (Smith in academia and politics and Murphy Rabb in the art world) before discovering their athletic prowess later in life, post-retirement. Smith is 82 and Murphy Rabb is 76.

They came to competitive swimming through Team Dream, a Chicago-based athletic organization that trains women of color (of all ages) in a variety of sports and was founded by Derrick Milligan, a longtime friend of Fisher’s.

“Besides training BIPOC women in swimming, biking, running, walking, triathlon and multisport events, Team Dream is really this opportunity for them to gather and create community,” Fisher told TheWrap. “And out of that friendship [with Derrick], I learned about Ann and Madeline and their incredible journey. So I pitched it to the Queen Collective in 2022, they said yes and we started filming last year in April.”

AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 9: Director Luchina Fisher of

“What we were really interested in showing is the incredible, strong, competitive, athletic women that they are, that they are heroes,” she continued. “Sports films have a way of making heroes out of our athletes and Ann and Madeline, they’re heroes to people who are not athletes. They pushed me. They continue to help me recognize that even though I directed my first feature in my 50s, this is just the beginning. They’re in their 70s and 80s and are like, ‘Come on, sister. You got time.’”

Fisher’s previous films include “Mama Gloria,” a feature doc about the Black transgender activist Gloria Allen, and her next film, “The Dads,” is a short about the parents of transgender children premiering on Netflix this fall. While she will be in L.A. for the ShortList ceremony on July 12, Smith and Murphy Rabb will not. They will be in Pittsburgh, competing in the 2023 National Senior Games.

“I’ll be holding it down with the film,” Fisher said. “And they are doing their thing. They don’t stop. This is their life.”

The 2023 ShortList Film Festival runs online from June 28 – July 12, honoring the top award-winning short films that have premiered at major festivals in the past year. Watch the finalists and vote for your favorite here.