A Dark Reflection
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A Dark Reflection is a 2015 British independent investigative thriller film directed and produced by former British Airways airline captain Tristan Loraine. Billed as Erin Brockovich meets All the President's Men and as a fact-based investigative thriller, the film is based on the director's own experience as a commercial pilot.
The film was made largely by volunteers with funding from unions, passenger groups and concerned aviation figures. It is said to be based on actual events surrounding the issue of Aerotoxic Syndrome. The film involves an air traffic controller who is suspended after a serious in-flight incident, and a series of cover-ups dating back decades.
The film involves an air traffic controller who is suspended following a serious in-flight incident. When his journalist wife Helen Eastman (Georgina Sutcliffe) starts to ask questions, she uncovers a disturbing succession of cover-ups dating back to 1954.
- Helen Eastman — Georgina Sutcliffe
- Natasha Stevens — Rita Ramnani
- Maggie Jaspar — Marina Sirtis
- Ben Tyrell — Mark Dymond
- Charles Jaspar — Nicholas Day (actor)
- David Morris — Stephen Tompkinson
- Isabelle Morris — Leah Bracknell
- Nick Robertson — Paul Antony-Barber
- Alan Morgan — Rupert Holliday-Evans
- Molly Adamson — Romina Hytten
Filming was carried out at a wide selection of locations in West Sussex and East Sussex such as Shoreham Airport, Gatwick Airport, Bluebell Railway, South Lodge Hotel, Fontwell Park Racecourse, Holy Innocents Church, Southwater, Horsham, Sedgwick Park and at NATS Holdings in Whiteley.
Southdown Gliding Club in Storrington provided the venue for the complex glider scene in the film where the audience first meets JASP airline Captain Jeremy Adamson (Christopher Dickins) and his daughter Molly, played by 16-year-old Romina Hytten. Despite never having been in a glider before, Romina managed to smile her way through 22 consecutive loops and countless rolls with experienced pilot Guy Westgate.
A Dark Reflection embraced a cooperative model for film-making,. Instead of raising the capital funds to make the film, a variety of businesses and individuals supplied goods and services, in addition to financial investment. Over one hundred co-operative businesses and individuals partnered with the film, making it the largest co-operative film to date.
In May 2014, producer Tristan Loraine and senior assistant producer Sarah Holloway took the film to Cannes, where A Dark Reflection was screened at the Marché du Film, the market section of Cannes  on 15 and 19 May. The film received a positive response, and screened to a packed auditorium.
Following its success at Cannes, Los Angeles based sales agent Artist View Entertainment began selling A Dark Reflection. In its first press release, Scott Jones, President of Artist View Entertainment stated, "We are very pleased to be working with Tristan Loraine and his powerful independent film. The production values and tightly crafted Direction are the key factors in pushing home a frightening message for those of us who travel by air on a daily basis." Other reviews were also positive about the film, highlighting the importance of the issues for public interest: Ted Jeory, Home Affairs Editor of the [Sunday Express], London, wrote, "It's got the lot. A film that has suspense, drama, action, intrepid journalism, and perhaps most importantly–a cause. A Dark Reflection shines a light on aviation's dirty secret: the quality of the air we breathe on board planes. It's an important step in the decades long challenge to Big Oil and Big Aviation."[This quote needs a citation] Ross Coulthart of Sunday Night on Channel 7, Sydney, wrote, "A Dark Reflection is a gripping thriller based on the true-life scandal of a major toxic air health problem widespread on modern passenger jets. The most confronting thing about this extraordinary film is that it's all true."[This quote needs a citation]
The film A Dark Reflection was released to the public in the United Kingdom on 27 February 2015 to a limited number of Cinemas. A private VIP screening of A Dark Reflection was shown in Horsham on 26 February.DVD sales are anticipated in the summer of 2015.
In review, critics said the film has the right intention but fails because of vast deficiencies in the storyline, screenplay, acting and its directing. The Daily Telegraph wrote, "...well-intentioned and informed, this tinny and tensionless dispatch really doesn’t." In their review, The Guardian called it a "clunky drama". The Hollywood News wrote, "It’s a fascinating story and one that could easily be improved on by the right writer, director, and cast."
Following his own journey from British Airways, to film producer and director, it has always been Tristan Loraine's ambition to raise awareness of the issues involving toxic air. After being forced to retire due to ill health, and losing friends, both pilots and crew who died from the poisonous fumes on board the aircraft they flew, Tristan has sought to bring aerotoxic syndrome to the attention of the public. The concept of Toxic Cabin Air has been of interest to the media for some years,. In May 2014 The Daily Telegraph shared a video of a passenger who suffered health issues after taking an American flight. It is argued that the cause of the toxic air comes from the plane build, which brings bleed air into the aircraft cabin and cockpit via the engines; this has the potential for a bleed air leak. A Dark Reflection follows several Documentary Films also produced by Fact Not Fiction Films seeking to bring this issue to the fore. The film's tagline, "What happened on Flight 313?" links to a real event.
Film-makers welcome new aircraft design
The producers of A Dark Reflection are keen to promote the bleed free aircraft, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which is the first of its kind. Yet despite it being released in 2007, with The Telegraph calling it, "A Breath of Fresh Air", in 2009, there have been no moves since by the Airline Industry to remodel any other planes.
A Dark Reflection has been likened to the events of the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370. However, the airline flight MH370 disappeared on 8 March 2014, which was after the filming of A Dark Reflection, which took place during the summer of 2013. Although there is no deliberate link to the film and disappearance of MH370, it has not been said that there couldn't be some significant similarity.
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