LAKELAND – Pilot Error, the up to the minute feature film inspired by the true story of a French airliner missing in the Atlantic, premieres October 22 at the Polk Theater.
A talkback following the 7:30 p.m. screening features Aerospace Center for Excellence CEO John Leenhouts and Executive Director Robb Williams. They will be joined by Embry Riddle aviation meteorology professor Debbie Schaum and Michigan filmmaker Roger Rapoport.
Leenhouts and Williams will speak on the critical need for more hands on stick and rudder commercial pilot training in our automation age. Schaum will discuss the special icing conditions in the intertropical convergence zone that led to the crash of Air France 447 and two related accidents in 2014. Together the speakers will offer a hopeful look at the best way to improve air safety worldwide. The film is now being used by the National Transportation Safety Board’s Safety Division for accident investigator training.
Pilot Error’s trailer is at https://vimeo.com/110034584
Pilot Error explores many of the same questions being asked following the loss of another jet, Malaysia Air 370, in March 2014 and the December 2014 Air Asia crash in the Java Sea. Pilots nationwide have welcomed the films nuanced and fair minded look at their profession.
Filmed in Michigan. Wisconsin and Paris, the feature stars award winning stage actress Kate Thomsen, making her screen debut, as investigative reporter Nicola Wilson. She is determined to find out why a jet headed from South America to Paris disappeared in the Atlantic, taking her close friend and 211 other passengers with it. How, Wilson wants to know, can a plane just disappear?
As Nicola digs deeper and deeper into this mystery she puts her job, friends and very livelihood on the line. Even though she knows nothing about aviation, refuses to fly and doesn’t speak French, Nicola quickly uncovers astonishing details about the missing flight. Was it preventable? Has it happened before? Could it happen again? And was it PILOT ERROR?
Pilot Error, appearing on over 200 screens in America and abroad, was cowritten by Rapoport with the features director Joe Anderson.
Costarring Hollywood actors Richard Riehle (Office Space) Robert Cicchini (Godfather III and Waterwalk), and Larry Herron (Modern Family) the film has been hailed by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a first class ticket.
This drama follows up on the success of Rapoports first film Waterwalk, which has played at over 200 theaters nationwide. Based on the true story of a father-son retracing the Marquette/Joliet discovery route of the Mississippi, that film is now available on DVD.
Our goal is to encourage more hands-on flying and simulator training for airline pilots at a time when the industry is increasingly focused on automation, the producer explains.
Thomsen has distinguished herself on numerous midwestern stages. A winner of a special Irene Ryan Award for her undergraduate work on the Kennedy Center stage, she earned her MFA at the University of California-Irvine. She currently lives in Kalamazoo with her husband Travis, a middle school principal, and their two young children.
Pilot Error is edited by Gene Gamache, who has won many awards for his work on major studio film marketing campaigns and trailers ranging from Forrest Gump, to 12 Years A Slave and Birdman. He also produced the documentaries Houdini and A Circus Life. Composer Garth Neustadter won an emmy for his John Muir In The New World score.
Cinematographer David Darling worked with well-known Detroit director of photography Bruce Schermer, who shot most of Roger & Me and was cinematographer on Sundance grand prize winning Chameleon Street.
Pilot Error is based on five years of research and interviews with more than 200 pilots, airline executive, plane manufacturers, regulatory agencies and the team that found missing Air France 447 in the Atlantic. The film offers audiences an inside look at the fate of pilots unfortunately kept in the dark about failed automation.
Top airline training pilots speaking at our preview events have been warmly received by audiences trying to understand how, in the most interconnected moment in human history, its never been easier to hide the truth, says Rapoport.
To arrange an interview with John Leenhouts or Robb Williams call 863-644-2431. Lead actress Kate Thomsen is at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 424-634-9950. To arrange an interview with filmmaker Roger Rapoport call him at 231 720-0930. email@example.com.
The Polk Theater is located at 121 South Florida Avenue, Lakeland. (83) 682-75532-7553. www.polktheatre.org