Publication Date: 1-16-2011
Outlet: General Aviation News
Article URL: http://www.generalaviationnews.com/?p=34488
The true story of the youngest licensed pilot in American history soars high with a DVD and Blu-Ray release of the award-winning movie "Pearl." Produced by the Chickasaw Nation, the film focuses on the adventurous teen years of the late aviatrix Eula "Pearl" Carter Scott.
Pearl, portrayed by California actress Elijah DeJesus, develops a love of flying after meeting the famous aviator Wiley Post (Tom Huston Orr) in the 1920s. Impressed by her enthusiasm and determination to learn flying, Pearl's father George Carter (Andrew Sensenig), a very successful business man in Marlow, Okla., buys her a plane and hires a flight instructor.
She receives her pilot's license in 1928 at the tender age of 13. By 14, she is flying her father to business appointments and wowing air show audiences with her aerobatic maneuvers all over Oklahoma. She also becomes one of the only two people Post trusts to fly his Lockheed Vega aircraft "Winnie Mae."
More than 3,000 people crowded onto the grounds of the Fly-in Theater at AirVenture 2010 in Oshkosh to see the movie. Thousands more flocked to the "Pearl" booth and Ford's autograph headquarters to have posters or other memorabilia signed by the cast.
Filmed in Oklahoma, the movie portrays the early days of aviation in the state. According to Producer David Rennke, all the flying scenes in the movie were completed in four and one-half hours.
The film also features a rare vintage Curtiss Robin airplane owned by Mississippi pilot David Mars, whom the crew met at a barnstorming tour in Kansas.
Built in 1929 in St. Louis, the plane was destined to be hung in a lobby in New York City, but Mars changed its fate by rescuing it. He flies the vintage aircraft around the country and appears at a number of air shows. He also flew the plane to Moore, Okla., for the official premiere of "Pearl" May 4 at Warren Theatre.
Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said the story of the Chickasaw aviatrix was a natural for the tribe's first feature-length film project.
"Pearl is a legendary figure in the history of Oklahoma, the world of aviation and in the Chickasaw Nation," said Anoatubby. "She was a dynamic, determined and caring individual who exemplifies many of the finest qualities of Chickasaw people."
The film was named the best overall film and the best Native American film at the 2010 Trail Dance Film Festival. The film was also named a "Heartland Film Festival" official selection. The film is one of only 13 feature films chosen for the distinction out of more than 600 submissions to Heartland, which is well known as one of the largest family oriented film festivals in the world.
"Pearl" also won a "Best of Show" award from "The Indie Fest," and swept the feature docudrama category at the "International Cherokee Film Festival." "Pearl" was an official selection of the AFI Dallas Film Festival, the Boston International Film Festival, the Lake Arrowhead Film Festival and the Sedona International Film Festival. The Dove Foundation recently awarded "Pearl" four "Doves," giving the film its "Family-Approved" Seal for all ages.