Kenzie Carlson

Despite COVID-19 halting the production of some films, the documentary “Fly Like a Girl” was still able to be released in Lakeland, and made its nationwide debut in theaters on Oct. 9.

The documentary is produced by Indie Atlantic Films in Lakeland. The film tells the stories of several women in aviation and interviews women such as NASA astronaut Nicole Scott and United States Senator Tammy Duckworth.

In a press release about the film, Gravitas Ventures, the film’s distribution company, states, “FLY LIKE A GIRL is more than just a film. It’s a movement of young girls and women relentlessly pursuing their passion for aviation, a field currently dominated by men.”

Getting the documentary to a point where it could be released nationwide was no easy process. It included screenings at film festivals and finding a company to take on the project of turning “Fly Like a Girl” into something viewable worldwide.

Throughout 2019 we screened at festivals across the country,” Matt Wiatt, senior producer, said. “Film festivals are a very important part of independent filmmaking. They allow indie films to be seen by a larger audience.”

After the festivals, the production team needed to find a company to distribute the film worldwide. After searching, Gravitas Ventures became the top choice.

“This past year we talked to a lot of different people and companies about distribution but Gravitas Ventures felt like the perfect fit for ‘Fly Like a Girl,’” Wiatt said. “They believed in the film and understood the importance of the stories. Gravitas has acquired the film for worldwide rights so we are excited to see the film available across the globe not just nationwide.”

Fly Like a Girl was screened at many film festivals before it was decided that it would be released nationwide. 

Wiatt said the film screened at twelve film festivals across the country, including SCAD Savannah Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival and two festivals where the documentary received awards. The documentary was featured at Hot Springs International Women’s Film Festival, where it won Best Feature Documentary. It was also shown at Fort Myers Film Festival, where it received the Edison Innovation Award.

After its successes at film festivals, COVID-19 hit, halting production on most movies and TV shows not only in the nation, but around the world.

COVID-19 fortunately didn’t affect the distribution process for our film. Since the film was already completed we have been able to work on distribution throughout the pandemic,” Wiatt said.

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