As AOPA’s unofficial aviation movie critic, it’s my solemn duty to inform you that the Air Force Museum Foundation’s Reel Stuff Film Festival of Aviation announced its lineup for the upcoming festival, April 12 through 14 in Dayton, Ohio. And it looks good.
Friday, April 12:
- The Restorers, presented by Director Adam White and Producer Kara Martinelli. The one-hour documentary tells eight stories of warbird restoration folks. Produced in 2003, it recently became available in a tenth-anniversary commemorative edition; a new television series is in the works.
- First in Flight, presented by Producer Tara Tucker and Director Brandon Hess. View the trailer for this film about the Wright brothers here. Tucker is the daughter of Sean Tucker.
- High Flight and Uncle Jack, a pair of films presented by Producer/Director Jon Tennyson. High Flight is narrated by Gary Sinese (also a pilot), and it chronicles his 2011 preparation and flight in a U2 spy plane. Sinese financed the project and proceeds from its sales on DVD benefit the Gary Sinese Foundation.
- Wings, presented by William Wellman Jr., son of the film’s director, William Wellman. I saw Wings accompanied by live organ music, and it is a beautifully made film for its time (1927). No wonder it won an Academy Award for best picture, and another for best effects. And no CGI! I’ve heard bits and pieces of what production was like and it’s certain Wellman will have fascinating insights into how the film was made.
Saturday, April 13:
- Air Racers 3D, presented by Producer/Director/Writer Christian Fry and Steve Hinton Jr. Hinton flew a P-51 Mustang in this documentary, which explores the Reno National Championship Air Races.
- Memphis Belle (1944 documentary), presented by Catherine Wyler, daughter of director William Wyler.
- Memphis Belle (1990 feature film), presented by Catherine Wyler.
- Top Gun 3D, presented by Clay Lacy and Barry Sandrew, founder of Legend3D. I missed Top Gun’s 3D debut when it arrived in Frederick, and from all accounts it was worth seeing, even if you (like some pilots I know) can recite the dialogue in your sleep.
Sunday, April 14
- Steve Canyon, presented by historian John Ellis. This appears to be the live-action television series from 1958-1959 based on the popular comic drawn by Milton Caniff. Ellis has been restoring the original 35mm prints for release on DVD.
- Honor Flight: One Final Mission, presented by Producer Kmele Foster. The documentary focuses on a Midwestern community’s efforts to give four World War II veterans “the trip of a lifetime.”
- Encore screening of Top Gun 3D