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Pilot Error screenings this week at Savoy 16

From the press release:

                              PILOT ERROR OPENS DECEMBER 8 AT SAVOY

CHAMPAIGN–  Pilot Error, the up to the minute feature film inspired by the true story of a French airliner missing in the Atlantic, is set for release here next week.  The film, starring award winning Kalamazoo, Michigan stage actress Kate Thomsen, expands to more than 200 locations in 2015. 

Pilot Error plays locally at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Savoy 16 on December 8, 9 and 11.   

Details on the screening are at and the film’s trailer here.

This drama explores many of the same questions being asked following the loss of another jet, Malaysia Air 370 in March.

Thomsen, who is making her screen debut, plays the role of 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?

The film was produced by Roger Rapoport and is based on his novel Pilot Error.  He cowrote the feature with director Joe Anderson.  The feature was shot on location in Michigan, Milwaukee and Paris.

Active and retired pilots, as well as flight instructors who show their id/license will be admitted free.

Costarring Hollywood actors Richard Riehle (“Office Space”)  Robert Cicchini (“Godfather III” and “Waterwalk”),  and Larry Herron (“Modern Family”) the movie features many prominent Midwestern actors, including Deborah Staples, Jennifer Jelsema, Julia Glander (Meadowbrook),  and Purple Rose actors Alex Leydenfrost and  Michael Brian Ogden.

Pilot Error was shot in the Muskegon area, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti Willow Run,  Montague, Whitehall, Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee and Paris.  The producers filmed extensively at the Air Zoo in Portage, Muskegon Community College, Eastern Michigan University and Grand Valley State University.

Students and alumni from these colleges, as well as the University of Michigan, Western Michigan University and Muskegon Community College, are featured.

Pilot Error follows up on the success of Rapoport’s first film Waterwalk (2012), which has played at over 200 theaters nationwide.                          

“Our goal is to encourage more hands-on training and simulator training at a time when the industry is increasingly focused on automation,” he explains.              

Thomsen has distinguished herself on stages at the Hope Summer Repertory Theater, the Muskegon Civic Theater and the Howmet Playhouses. She teaches in the theater departments at Western Michigan University and Grand Valley State University. 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.

The film is coproduced with Robert Goodrich, owner of the Goodrich Theater chain.

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.  He  also produced the documentary Houdini. The film’s score is composed by Emmy Award-winner Garth Neustadter. Grand Haven based 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 script and Rapoport’s forthcoming novel Pilot Error offer 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, it’s never been easier to hide the truth,” says Rapoport.

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