CNN FILMS has acquired SOLE SURVIVOR, a new, feature-length documentary, examining the complicated emotional aftermath of survivors following commercial aviation disasters. The film is written and directed by Ky Dickens. It will premiere on CNN/U.S. in early 2014, following its theatrical debut.
There have been 14 major airplane crashes with a sole survivor in the history of commercial aviation. Most of the lone survivors have never been interviewed, and many remain traumatized by survivor’s guilt.
Filmmaker Dickens understands well the emotional geography examined in her film. As a young adult, Dickens herself became a survivor when she traded places in a car with a friend. “Survivors are often considered lucky and the rescue is often considered the end to their story,” Dickens said. “But the complexity of true survival is where our film – and the questions that it poses – begins.”
SOLE SURVIVOR centers on the journey of George Lamson, Jr. Nearly three decades ago, as a teenager, Lamson was the lone survivor of the Galaxy Airlines flight 203 crash near Reno, NV. Memories of surviving the crash have never been far from his mind: “During the course of my life…I have been curious to know, what makes a person heal? People don’t understand. It never goes away. It’s something that stays with you for the rest of your life,” he says in the film.
Lamson seeks the community of the other 13 sole survivors of airplane crashes. Among them, Lamson finds a young teenager who had clung to bits of aircraft for hours following her plane’s crash into the ocean, and Jim Polehinke, a former co-pilot whose struggles with survivor’s guilt are also reflected in the conflicting emotions of the family members left behind by the dead. Each survivor has a unique journey towards healing, with some similar challenges.
“We are delighted about SOLE SURVIVOR as our latest CNN Films acquisition,” said Amy Entelis, senior vice president for talent and content development for CNN Worldwide. “We think the universal life questions explored in this film will resonate with our viewers – who will learn that there was so much more to these stories.”
About CNN Films
CNN Films brings documentaries beyond the small screen by developing strategic partnerships to leverage distribution opportunities at film festivals and in theaters. Amy Entelis, senior vice president of talent and content development for CNN Worldwide, and Vinnie Malhotra, senior vice president of development and acquisitions for CNN Worldwide, oversee the acquisition strategy of documentaries for CNN Films. Malhotra manages the day-to-day operation of CNN Films, and works directly with filmmakers to develop original projects.
CNN Worldwide is a portfolio of two dozen news and information services across cable, satellite, radio, wireless devices and the Internet in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Domestically, CNN reaches more individuals on television, the web and mobile devices than any other cable TV news organization in the United States; internationally, CNN is the most widely distributed news channel reaching more than 271 million households abroad; and CNN Digital is a top network for online news, mobile news and social media. Additionally, CNN Newsource is the world’s most extensively utilized news service partnering with hundreds of local and international news organizations around the world. CNN is division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company.