Flying high in the movies to reveal a global scandal

Glider team filming a Dark Reflection last week
Glider team filming a Dark Reflection last week

Storrington’s Southdown Gliding Club played host to TV stars and film crews last week thanks to its involvement with Sussex based investigative thriller A Dark Reflection.

A Dark Reflection, tells the story of a chilling conspiracy at the heart of the aviation industry. Billed as ‘Erin Brockovich’ meets ‘All the Presidents Men’, the fact-based film is based on director Tristan Loraine’s own experience as a Commercial Pilot.

No Caption ABCDE

No Caption ABCDE

British-born actress, Ms Georgina Sutcliffe, former Coronation Street star Bill Ward and Ms Marina Sirtis, known for her role as ‘Deanna Troi’ in Star Trek are just a few of the actors starring in the film.

It tells the story of an air traffic controller who is suspended following a serious incident.

When his journalist wife (Sutcliffe) – a reporter at the newspaper ‘Sussex Standard’ - starts to ask questions, she uncovers a disturbing succession of cover-ups dating back to 1954.

Filming at the Southdown Gliding Club focused on airline captain’s daughter, Molly, played by 16 year old ex Farlington student and Storrington resident, Romina Hytten.

As a reward for receiving an RAF scholarship, Molly, who is already a trainee glider pilot, gets an aerobatic glider flight covered by the local paper.

Molly’s pilot father comes to support, and meets the local journalist for the first time: a crucial turning point in the plot.

For young Romina playing Molly, this was a baptism of fire.

Despite never being in a glider before, she managed to smile and laugh her way through 22 consecutive loops and countless rolls with experienced pilot Guy Westgate, eight times national glider aerobatics champion and a gliding instructor at the Storrington Club.

“We are delighted to have secured the help and services of such an experienced pilot at the Southdown Gliding Club,” said Tristan Loraine, director.

“We are also grateful for the donation of the glider from the Glider FX display team. The aerial footage that was taken is spectacular.

“The subject of this film is very close to my heart, and I believe the best path to see a change in the airline industry is through education and exposure of the issues.”

Filming of the sequences was captured by a specialist Twin Squirrel helicopter with a giant stabilized camera bubble on its nose, and dedicated film crew onboard.

The MDM-1 Fox glider also had a bespoke nose mount to take multiple cameras.

The film is being shot over a nine week period on a co-operative basis. It is thanks to the generosity and involvement of local people and businesses that the highest production values have been sustained.

Every donation, starting at just £10, helps that process. For donations of £100 you can secure your name on the film credits and own a share in the film.

Find out more about the film and how to get involved on www.adarkreflection.com.

A Dark Reflection is a Fact Not Fiction Production. Tristan Loraine founded the company in 2006. Its first documentary ‘Welcome Aboard Toxic Airlines’ triggered two calls for public enquiry when it was released in 2007.

Its last feature length documentary ‘Shady Lady’, an aviation documentary drama set in 1943, was a 2013 Academy Award Contender.