Documentary Production and Distribution News
Documentary film "Flyabout" (2006) by filmmaker Monika Petrillo will
be screening November 2010 at the 3rd Annual Film Festival of Aviation, which
will take place in Dayton, Ohio (Nov. 5-6, 2010).
Monika Petrillo has never been a person to postpone her dreams. So at 24 she
decided to get a pilot's license. A year later, her father surprised her by
learning to fly as well. As the movie begins, they take off together to circumnavigate
the continent of Australia.
The only woman pilot in a group of eleven people, Monika experiences the true
freedom of flight above one of the most untouched places on earth. As she becomes
exposed to Australian culture, she learns about the Walkabout, a spiritual journey
the Aborigines have valued for tens of thousands of years. That inspires her
to use this trip to take stock of her own spiritual household. The first step
toward that end is to relax. But that proves much more difficult than she thought:
a tight schedule, careful and constant maintenance of the aircraft, pot-holed
dirt runways, mechanical failures, sudden loss of visibility and unpredictable
crosswinds keep her both too busy and too uptight. But what impacts her most
is the conflict that arises between her father and herself.
They had both underestimated the consequences of her fatherís limited experience
as a pilot, and that quickly takes its tollónot only on the collaboration in
the cockpit, but also on their relationship. Monika struggles with feelings
of responsibility on the one hand versus doubts about contradicting her father,
who has always been her role model, on the other.
As their plane continues its path across the outback, the young woman slowly
comes to realize that personal and spiritual growth canít be forced. Instead
of searching so hard, she starts to look out the window. And that simple action
is the first step towards learning the real lesson.
Flyabout is an intimate, personal story about a pilot's journey around Australia.
It is the story of a young woman growing into an adult and coming to grips with
how generational roles change over time.
About the Filmmaker
Monika Petrillo - Writer/Director/Producer
Born in Munich, Germany, Monika Petrillo moved to the United States in 1991
and has established herself as a highly respected and acclaimed script supervisor
in the industry. She has worked alongside directors such as Robert Rodriguez,
Richard Linklater, Hal Hartley, Wolfgang Petersen, George Hickenlooper, and
Tony Bui. Monika has also written about her work as a script supervisor for
publications such as Filmmaker Magazine and has advised directing fellows at
the Sundance Filmmakersí Lab.
Her personal and professional travels have taken her to far-flung destinations
like Namibia, Japan, Costa Rica and Vietnam. A life-long adventurer Monika earned
her pilotís license at age 24 and soon thereafter set out to fulfill a dream
of flying around Australia. Working as writer, director, DP, editor and producer,
Flyabout marks her directorial debut.
Finally finishing a project which pre-dates her marriage as well as her two
kids, Monika is looking forward to giving her ancient editing system the burial
that it richly deserves.