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Wright Brothers Film Premieres at Reel Stuff

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Today the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patt will open the doors to its newly renovated 400-seat, giant-screen theatre.  The overhaul cost about $800,000 dollars and this weekend the venue will host the Reel Stuff Film Festival of Aviation. Among the diverse lineup of flight-related films, a new film about the Wright Brothers. 

Making its Midwestern premiere today at one o’clock, the short film ‘First in Flight,’ a dramatization about the Wright Brothers.  The film captures the emotion of the aviation pioneers first historic flight, their subsequent court battles over patents, and the death of Wilber Wright in 1912.

At preview screening last night, First in Flight Director Brandon Hess says it was especially moving to view the film in the city where the Wright Brothers learned to fly, adding that “To play and screen this film in Dayton, Ohio is chilling, and beautiful, I’ll never forget it. To be sitting next to be sitting next to Steve Wright, a descendent of the Wright Brothers, and to see it in Dayton, Ohio is so sweet.”

Hess says the Wright Brothers have been his heroes since 7th grade.  And as a graduate student at the American Film Institute he knew he had to make a film about them.  At first he was told the project was too big.

The budding director say, “They gave it a big, fat red-light.  They said this can not be done.  It’s way too ambitious. How are you going to get planes to fly and crash in your film, but we just knew that we could do it.  And in the end they only green-light thirty projects, and I was number thirty-one, which was First in Flight.” 

Credit WYSO
'First in Flight' Director, Brandon Hess, talks with WYSO's Jerry Kenney

Hess says there are plans to turn the short film into a feature length presentation.  For now, it can be seen in the mix of aviation films in this year’s Reel Stuff Film Festival – playing this weekend at the Air Force Museum. 

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.