A Dark Reflection

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A Dark Reflection
A Dark Reflection Film Poster.jpg
Directed by Tristan Loraine
Produced by Tristan Loraine
Written by
  • Tristan Loraine
  • Viv Young
Music by Moritz Schmittat
Cinematography Nicholas Eriksson
Fact Not Fiction Films
Release date
  • 27 February 2015 (2015-02-27)
Running time
102 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

A Dark Reflection is a 2015 British independent investigative thriller film directed and produced by former British Airways airline captain Tristan Loraine.[1] 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.[2][3]

The film was made largely by volunteers with funding from unions, passenger groups and concerned aviation figures.[4] It is said to be based on actual events surrounding the issue of Aerotoxic Syndrome.[5][6] 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.[7]



Pre-production of the film started in January 2013 with filming commencing in June 2013 in West Sussex, England.[8]

Principal photography for A Dark Reflection initially lasted 40 days. It was filmed in Techniscope format using Fuji 35mm film by Director of Photography Nicholas Eriksson.[9]

All of the filming was done on location in England apart from a week of filming in Jordan, Loraine deciding not to use a soundstage. Further filming was carried out in Spring 2014 in Horsham.

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.[10]


A Dark Reflection embraced a cooperative model for film-making,.[11] 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.[12][13][14]



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 [15] on 15 and 19 May.[16][17][18] The film received a positive response, and screened to a packed auditorium.[19][20]


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."[21] 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]

A Dark Reflection is due to be screened by Artist View Entertainment at the American Film Market (AFM)[22] 5 & 6 November 2014.[23]

UK release[edit]

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.[24]


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."[25] In their review, The Guardian called it a "clunky drama".[26] The Hollywood News wrote, "It’s a fascinating story and one that could easily be improved on by the right writer, director, and cast."[27]

Public awareness[edit]

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[28][29][30][31][32] from the poisonous fumes on board the aircraft they flew, Tristan has sought to bring aerotoxic syndrome[33] to the attention of the public. The concept of Toxic Cabin Air has been of interest to the media for some years,.[34] In May 2014 The Daily Telegraph shared a video of a passenger who suffered health issues after taking an American flight.[35] 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.[36] 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[edit]

The producers of A Dark Reflection are keen to promote the bleed free aircraft,[37] such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which is the first of its kind.[38] Yet despite it being released in 2007, with The Telegraph calling it, "A Breath of Fresh Air", in 2009,[39] there have been no moves since by the Airline Industry to remodel any other planes.

Flight MH370[edit]

A Dark Reflection has been likened to the events of the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.[40][41][42] 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.[43] 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.


  1. ^ "Toxic Flyer" Archived 17 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine..60 Minutes Australia
  2. ^ "Flying high in the movies to reveal a global scandal".West Sussex County Times
  3. ^ "Why Major Airlines Don’t Want You To See This Movie".Webwire Press Release
  4. ^ "Conspiracy thriller by Horsham director filmed to uncover air contamination scandal".The Argus
  5. ^ A Dark Reflection Official Website.Official Website
  6. ^ "Investigative thriller ‘A Dark Reflection’ to expose aviation’s biggest secret"[permanent dead link].Webwire Press Release
  7. ^ "Georgina Sutcliffe, Marina Sirtis to Star in Film Based on Toxic Airline Cabin Story".The Hollywood Reporter
  8. ^ "Film uncovers the dark heart of the aviation industry".The District Post
  9. ^ "Nicholas Eriksson and A Dark Reflection".Nicholas Eriksson official website
  10. ^ "Southdown Gliding Club give a lift to company filming of thriller A Dark Reflection".The Argus
  11. ^ "Participatory Film-making". 
  12. ^ West Sussex County Times. "Co-operative film exposes toxic flying". Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "Partners web". 
  14. ^ "Grantham lawyers back movie at Cannes film festival". Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  15. ^ "Marche du film web". Marche du film. 
  16. ^ "Screenings" (PDF). We are UK film. 
  17. ^ "Daily Edition Cannes 2014". The Business of Film Daily. 
  18. ^ "Hollywood Reporter, Daily 5, page 35" (PDF). Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  19. ^ Coe, Anna. "Film Shot in Horsham proves a hit at Cannes". Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "A Dark Reflection hits Cannes". AAH. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "Press Release web". Web Wire. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  22. ^ "AFM". American Film Market. 
  23. ^ "A Dark Reflection". The Film Catalogue. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  24. ^ "A Dark Reflection release dates". Film Dates. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  25. ^ "A Dark Reflection: 'a Poundland Silkwood'". 26 February 2015 – via www.telegraph.co.uk. 
  26. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (26 February 2015). "A Dark Reflection review – clunky drama hoping to expose an air travel scandal". the Guardian. 
  27. ^ Baldock, Luke Ryan (26 February 2015). "A Dark Reflection Review". thehollywoodnews.com. 
  28. ^ White, Steve. "Two BA pilots 'killed by toxic oil fumes': Ill pair both complained of exposure to contaminated cockpit air". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  29. ^ Morrison, Murdo. "Was BA pilot Richard Westgate poisoned by contaminated cabin air?". Flight Global. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  30. ^ Jeory, Ted. "Dead BA pilots 'victims of toxic cabin fumes'". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  31. ^ Reynolds, Emma. "First picture of one of two BA pilots who died within days of each other after complaining of long-term health effects of breathing in toxic oil fumes mid-flight". Mail.co.uk. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  32. ^ "British Airways pilot Richard Westgate died from toxic fumes on planes, research suggests". News.com.au. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  33. ^ R, M. "Aerotoxic Syndrome -Air quality on planes". Economist.com. Archived from the original on 30 July 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  34. ^ "Welcome to Toxic Cabin Air". Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  35. ^ "SHOCKING video of a passenger who was exposed to toxic fumes on an American flight has shown the effect of breathing in fumes on an aircraft". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  36. ^ "Bleed Air Leaks". skybrary.aero. 
  37. ^ Coe, Anna. "Horsham film-makers welcome new aircraft design". West Sussex County Times. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  38. ^ "No Bleed Systems". Boeing.com. 
  39. ^ Starmer-Smith, Charles. "Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a breath of fresh cabin air". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 December 2009. 
  40. ^ "Two films inspired by flight MH370's disappearance hawked at Cannes". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  41. ^ "Movies inspired by missing flight MH370 touted at Cannes". The Sunday Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  42. ^ "Films inspired by missing flight MH370 touted at Cannes". Vietnam Breaking News. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  43. ^ "Would you like to be a film extra?". WSCounty Times. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 

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